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Welcome to the new economy built on sharing
Old 03-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Welcome to the new economy built on sharing

CBS Sunday Morning ran an interesting piece this morning:

Welcome to the new economy built on sharing - CBS News

Two things were very interesting to me: (1) the Lending Club, and (2) the retired lady who rents out her couch, bedroom and car to avoid losing her house, all done on AirBnB.

I did search on "Lending Club" on this forum and was far less interested after I read the threads, although they were pretty old. Maybe someone has more current experience?

I'd have to be in dire straits to rent out my couch and car, but I admire her for not just throwing her hands up and letting the bank take it.

Also, the San Francisco tree house on Airbnb was pretty darned cool
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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The whole thing doesn't look very appealing to me. Not sure how well I would sleep having a stranger on my couch.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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I think about what I would do in dire straits all the time, not with a feeling of dread but just so that I can think, "OK got that covered!".

On Sunday I went to look at the outside of a 500 square foot house just a few blocks from mine, that is for sale for an asking price of only $79K even though it is not a foreclosure. This house has one bedroom and one bath, no garage, and is tucked away on an equally tiny lot on a narrow one block long one way street that is very hard to find or get to. Still, photos online show that the inside of this tiny house is beautifully renovated and I could see myself living happily there if I had to.

I'd rather do something like that, than have strangers sleeping in my home. While I wouldn't have hesitated for a moment to do something like rent out a bedroom back in the 1960's when I was a teen, I am older now. At my age that sounds more than a little creepy for some reason.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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My family rented out our spare bedroom on several occasions for weekend guests. The money was nice, and easy, but not the reason we did it. It was actually fun getting to know the people for a brief while. People that are willing to rent from strangers like this tend to be very friendly.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:41 AM   #5
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When my sister went away to college, my mom rented her room out to students going to school locally.

There can be complications, depending on where one lives, with zoning laws/deed restrictions, HOAs, etc. Some floorplans lend themselves to tennants better than others too, like those with guest suites.

I've heard of seniors moving in together to save on expenses and for companionship & security.

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Old 03-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #6
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Read too many newspaper article about some crazies killing landlord to rent out a room unless I know that person.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:03 AM   #7
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I'd have to be in dire straits to rent out my couch ...
+ 1

Besides, that's where I end up sleeping on more occasions than I like to think about.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:33 AM   #8
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I went to school out of town and rented a room in a home from an old lady. it was cheap, clean, and cooking was allowed in a shared kitchen. she was a widow. there were two other young men there also. she got to keep her house and have some income and we had a good place to live. she did this every year. so I guess it is the people and the circumstances that dictate this situation.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:47 AM   #9
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Thirty-plus years ago I knew a couple of guys who rented rooms from elderly widows, half for them to have the extra income and half so they had a live-in handyman (part of the reduced rent deal) to do minor maintenance like cut the grass, shovel snow from the driveway, fix leaking faucet washers, replace hard-to-reach light bulbs, and the like. By all accounts it worked well for all.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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I guess I value my privacy, as well as the privacy of others, to ever rent out a room. We have put up relatives, folks we knew (or thought we knew ) at times and that was a strain. If we ever reached a point where we could not afford our home we'd have no qualms selling it and moving to a smaller home or apartment.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #11
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I thought it was an interesting story, but I'd be reluctant to share a car or especially a room in our house with a stranger. I checked out airbnb and was surprised at how many homeowners will rent space to stranger/travelers, and they provide pictures, bios and reviews - but I'd still be hesitant.

OTOH, I wish there were more organized ways to share lesser items. ie, why do 20 homeowners each need lawnmowers, really? It would be so much cheaper for all to share, and everything would probably be newer (though more heavily used during it's shorter life). It does seem silly that on a street of detached homes, each home probably has a lawn mower, lawncare implements, complete sets of tools, specialty small kitchen appliances, outdoor grills, and many other small items that sit idle 90%+ of the time. Any one of us could volunteer our garden shed to house the community items, I'd be happy to dedicate mine to 20 neighbors (too bad we only know 2-3 of them).

Evidently there are communities that have successfully organized sharing items like these and more, and it makes sense to me. YMMV
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:13 AM   #12
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OTOH, I wish there were more organized ways to share lesser items. ie, why do 20 homeowners each need lawnmowers, really? It would be so much cheaper for all to share, and everything would probably be newer (though more heavily used during it's shorter life). It does seem silly that on a street of detached homes, each home probably has a lawn mower, lawncare implements, complete sets of tools, specialty small kitchen appliances, outdoor grills, and many other small items that sit idle 90%+ of the time. ...
I've often thought about that too, Rental places seem pretty expensive, and a bit of a hassle to get stuff back in time. I've often wondered why public libraries are only organized around books/music - why not these other occasional use items (tools, etc)?

I know that my in-law's retirement place has a common workshop, but I don't think they have a common 'share' place for occasional things like cooking stuff you would only occasionally use, bread-makers ansd such - who needs that taking up space in a smallish apartment?

-ERD50
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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I've often thought about that too, Rental places seem pretty expensive, and a bit of a hassle to get stuff back in time. I've often wondered why public libraries are only organized around books/music - why not these other occasional use items (tools, etc)?
I wouldn't be interested in sharing that broadly, the items would be likely be trashed, and far less accessible (I don't want to drive to pick items up, just walk up/down the street). Seems that if it was 20 neighbors, there would be some accountability to each other, and the items would receive better care, even if not ideal. Again, I've read there are communities who do share, I just don't know how it gets organized - I assume they're neighbors who actually know each other - a revolutionary concept, self included.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:55 AM   #14
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I've often thought about that too, Rental places seem pretty expensive, and a bit of a hassle to get stuff back in time. I've often wondered why public libraries are only organized around books/music - why not these other occasional use items (tools, etc)?
I can remember borrowing music from the public library back when it was all on LPs. The scratches were so bad I was afraid they were going to ruin my needle/stereo. When I brought it back & reported it, they just took the records back in and put them back on the shelf. Same thing happens now when we return something to the video store.

Ever lend something to a friend and have it returned in deplorable condition and then had to confront them about it?* Now multiply that by 20 neighbors who have only 5% each vested interest in any single item. Remember Homer Simpson's mantra, "It was like that when I got here!"

*I once loaned a Commodore 64 system to a friend for the summer. When I got it back, the disc drive didn't work. When I asked, they said it never worked (but I never got a call about it during the three months). When I opened it up I found the problem. One of their kids tried to stuff a PB&J into it. The parents adamantly denied it, and I was stuck (after cleaning it up) with a bill for head alignment. Was that worth losing friends over? Tough call. I let it slide, but never loaned them anything again.

Don't get me wrong -- not all lending experiences have been nightmarish, but not everyone has the same "treat something borrowed better than my own" ethics. Someone has to be the "librarian" (i.e. "heavy"), checking things out and over again when they come back to make sure they're complete, clean, and in good working order, and then who decides if a problem is due to abuse or wear & tear? That's a lot easier with a book than with a lawnmower.

"Never a borrower nor a lender be" applies to more than just money.

In theory, such libraries sound great; in practice, they can present some PsITA.... challenges. YMMV.

Tyro

Edit: BTW - I still lend some things to some friends, but I've come to be more discriminating, and always with the thought that I may not get it back in the same condition as borrowed, if at all.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #15
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To Tyro and Midpack's last posts - yes, there is a strong 'Tragedy of the Commons' effect to this. W/O good controls it can get pretty bad. I've been disgusted at the amount of scratches in CDs/DVDs from the library - geez, can't people treat these with just a little care? And can't the library be more pro-active - probably more work than they think it is worth.

I guess we are seeing why this isn't more widespread. The neighborhood thing does seem more do-able, but then again, each of are 'someone', so if 'someone' hasn't done it, I guess we can all (me included) look in the mirror. Part of the problem is that we are likely more LBYM/frugal than most neighbors, so they aren't as motivated as we are. They'd rather throw money at something than deal with what it takes to save a few $. Lawnmowers could be a problem though - often there is a short break in the weather where a lot of people would want it at the same time. At any rate, it does seem rare, and still seems like a big opportunity.

-ERD50
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #16
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Yeah, there would likely be challenges, but the massive efficiency of it would probably still make it worthwhile.

Say you bought a snowblower for ten people. Even if you had to replace it every two years, it would still end up being cheaper than everyone buying their own. The space savings alone would be worth it for me.

I've actually fell into an arrangement with my neighbor that has been real nice. He has a nice big snowblower, and whenever we get a big snowfall he goes ahead and does my driveway. I pay him back with a couple of steaks for him and his wife. He does it just to be nice, and has never asked for anything, but I didn't want to freeload off of him. I think we're both happy with the arrangement.


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I can remember borrowing music from the public library back when it was all on LPs. The scratches were so bad I was afraid they were going to ruin my needle/stereo. When I brought it back & reported it, they just took the records back in and put them back on the shelf. Same thing happens now when we return something to the video store.

Ever lend something to a friend and have it returned in deplorable condition and then had to confront them about it?* Now multiply that by 20 neighbors who have only 5% each vested interest in any single item. Remember Homer Simpson's mantra, "It was like that when I got here!"

*I once loaned a Commodore 64 system to a friend for the summer. When I got it back, the disc drive didn't work. When I asked, they said it never worked (but I never got a call about it during the three months). When I opened it up I found the problem. One of their kids tried to stuff a PB&J into it. The parents adamantly denied it, and I was stuck (after cleaning it up) with a bill for head alignment. Was that worth losing friends over? Tough call. I let it slide, but never loaned them anything again.

Don't get me wrong -- not all lending experiences have been nightmarish, but not everyone has the same "treat something borrowed better than my own" ethics. Someone has to be the "librarian" (i.e. "heavy"), checking things out and over again when they come back to make sure they're complete, clean, and in good working order, and then who decides if a problem is due to abuse or wear & tear? That's a lot easier with a book than with a lawnmower.

"Never a borrower nor a lender be" applies to more than just money.

In theory, such libraries sound great; in practice, they can present some PsITA.... challenges. YMMV.

Tyro

Edit: BTW - I still lend some things to some friends, but I've come to be more discriminating, and always with the thought that I may not get it back in the same condition as borrowed, if at all.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:18 AM   #17
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I wouldn't be interested in sharing that broadly, the items would be likely be trashed, and far less accessible (I don't want to drive to pick items up, just walk up/down the street). Seems that if it was 20 neighbors, there would be some accountability to each other, and the items would receive better care, even if not ideal. Again, I've read there are communities who do share, I just don't know how it gets organized - I assume they're neighbors who actually know each other - a revolutionary concept, self included.
My neighborhood uses an email list and it works well. Items flowing back and forth include house jacks, chain saws, leaf blowers, post hole diggers, and even a laptop brick. It sucks when your shrub cutter comes back with a slightly frayed cord, as if it was caught by the blade end, but the money saved makes up for those rarities.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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I don't think I would be interested in sharing due to many of the problems already cited. I might, however, be interested in trades. What ever happened to the idea of trade/barter clubs where you could trade services?

Cheers!
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #19
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I suspect forum members are more "I's" (Myers-Briggs) and these folks that share are more "E's". Hard to relate, but it does sound interesting. Similar to taking in a foreign student.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:06 AM   #20
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I don't think I would be interested in sharing due to many of the problems already cited. I might, however, be interested in trades. What ever happened to the idea of trade/barter clubs where you could trade services?
IRS?
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