Four Single Moms Bought A House Together To Raise Their Kids & It's A Brilliant Idea
“There is almost a spiritual safety net every day here.”
One of the hardest parts about being a single mom is the loneliness. Not having someone to talk to about your kid at the end of the day. Well that plus all the expenses. The idea that you are probably not going to be able to buy a house on one income, or even rent, is pretty laughable. To make things easier, four single moms got creative. They bought a house together, a four-unit building, in fact, where they are raising their kids and supporting each other in truly the best of all worlds. Plus, they have a craft studio.
Speaking with TODAY, Holly Harper explained that she and her husband of 17 years divorced in 2018, and when she started looking for a place of her own in Washington, D.C. she found the real estate market difficult for a single mom who was self-employed. So she reached out to her friend and fellow single mom, Herrin Hopper, to see if she might be interested in buying a house with her. They added two more friends, found a four-unit home in Maryland, and moved in with their kids all between the ages of 9 to 14 years old.
It wasn’t really a new idea to Harper, who wrote in an essay for INSIDER in January that she had always loved shows about women co-housing like Grace and Frankie, The Facts Of Life, and of course, The Golden Girls.
When it came time to make decisions, however, Harper and her friends were realistic. “We also had to agree on what type of house we needed,” she wrote for INSIDER. “We wanted a multifamily property that would allow two units of similar size, with neither of us sleeping in a basement. We also wanted to be within walking distance of public transit and in a safe neighborhood for our kids to play.”
They moved into their home in Tacoma Park, Maryland in August 2020 and named “Siren House” in a nod to stories of mermaids luring fishermen with their siren song. “We each have our own separate units that are fully functional on their own, and we can all lock the doors,” Leandra Nichola, one of the single moms living in the house, told FOX 5.
Since then, they have come to rely on each other in so many ways. “There is almost a spiritual safety net every day here,” Hopper told TODAY Parents. “I could be my worst self, I could be my best self, and they see me for who I am, and it's OK.”
There are issues that come up, of course, like kids mixing up their belongings. But the benefits seem to outweigh any negatives. Like when they hold their monthly meetings about household repairs, they often do so with a bottle of champagne. “From car-sharing and carpooling,” Hopper wrote in her essay, “potlucks and small favors; built-in babysitting and dog-walking; sharing expenses; having friends to ugly cry with and unlimited, on-demand hugs; and feeling safe, loved, and grounded in the family — I've never been happier.”
Hopefully this particular siren song will catch on for single moms who need a home. And need a friend.