ESCONDIDO, Calif. — About a million San Diegans will be 55 years or older by 2030, which is a 194% increase, says Silvernest, a home sharing site for an aging population.
Silvernest says it’s a modern Golden Girls service that primarily matches baby boomers with empty nesters. On Sunday’s in Escondido, you will find Nancy Elias, 80, and Jason Brody, 70 and Nancy’s dog, Decy, in the living room watching Los Angeles Chargers football.
“At the end [of the interview] she mentioned she really liked football and I like football and I said, 'I think I have gone to heaven’, that was a clincher,” said Brody.
The two were not on a date, but had met on Silvernest. The founder says the average homeowner age is 65 years old.
“We have a propriety algorithm that identifies and pairs individuals based on compatibility, so like a dating site, the system will do the heavy lifting for you,” said Silvernest Founder and CEO Wendi Burkhardt.
Elias’ husband of 59 years passed away last year, so her daughters set her up on Silvernest. Elias also has a 56-year-old Silvernest roommate and her third bedroom home is filled. Brody has been living there for 15 months.
“We are on the opposite political [spectrum] and he [Brody] is pretty good about it and he tolerates me,” said Elias.
Silvernest started in 2015 and is in all 50 states with 65,000 housemates and says it uses accredited background check services. Burkhardt says the website has organically grown the fastest in Southern California where there is a lack of affordable housing.
Brody says a roommate service for people his age and the $850 monthly rent has been a tremendous help.
“I was not inclined nor financially in a position to restock everything and get my own place somewhere, so this was a perfect solution,” said Brody.
Silvernest says homeowners can make $10,000 a year, while many are on fixed incomes.
“One of the things we didn’t anticipate, or plan during this journey, was the importance of affordable or housing,” said Burkhardt.
The importance of championship in a home for our parents has been vital for many of the roommates.
“We are mature enough, both of us, that we respect the other space and what they need and we can also speak up for us,” said Brody.
Silvernest says it has roommates of all ages and the oldest homeowner is 103 years old. A homeowner's subscription is $29.99 a month and it costs $24.99 for housemates to cover the background check.