Living with roommates can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. They can turn an apartment into a home – or they could turn it into a source of never-ending stress and conflict. Before deciding if you want to live with roommates, you should consider the pros and cons of having them.
- Cheaper rent
If you have roommates, you’ll be able to divide up the cost of your monthly rent and utilities. Instead of spending most of your paycheck on housing, you’ll be able to save your money for other investments. You could also afford a nicer and bigger apartment if you shared the cost.
- Building friendships
Your roommate doesn’t have to just be someone you share a space with. He or she could also become a movie buddy, a confidant for all your dating woes, or a friend to get dinner with on Friday nights. Having roommates could develop your social life, and they could become lifelong friends. You wouldn’t have to worry about coming home to an empty apartment after work or feeling lonely on the weekends.
- Shared household chores
Instead of being the sole person who does the dishes, cleans the bathroom or vacuums the living room, you can split up household responsibilities with roommates. You can rotate who does which chores each week and set it up on a calendar.
Not only does having roommates lessen your workload, but it also keeps you accountable. If you live on your own, you might let your cleaning duties slide and let the dishes pile up. Having a roommate will motivate you to keep your apartment looking tidy and presentable.
- Shared belongings and helping each other out
Sharing your items – such as the TV, your dish-ware or even your car – could make you and your roommate’s lives easier. If you forget your keys or your printer breaks, you’ll have someone you can rely on. Or if one of you is a great cook, this could help out with apartment life.
- Less privacy
While it can be great always having someone to hang out with, sometimes there will be days when you just want to be left alone and have peace and quiet. This can be especially stressful if your roommate often brings guests, like a boyfriend that slowly turns into an unasked-for extra roommate. To prevent these frustrating situations, set up boundaries and rules with your roommate beforehand so you’re both on the same page. It would be helpful to find out each other’s schedule so you’ll know when you can have time to yourself.
- Having to compromise
You might think the living room would look great with LED string lights or pop art prints, but your roommate might not share your tastes. You’ll have to consult your roommate before making any big, or even little, decisions, whether it be decorating, hosting your friend for the weekend, eating each other’s food or borrowing clothes, taking a shower in the morning or at night, or changing up cleaning responsibilities. This can become a bigger problem if your roommate damages your belongings. Make sure you create guidelines with your roommate and keep open communication.
- Having to rely on them for finances and chores
If your roommate doesn’t pay rent that month, it becomes your problem too.
And if your roommate decides to forget that it’s his or her job to throw out the trash, you’ll be the one who has to deal with it. Establish ground rules and let him or her know when the due dates are for rent and utilities so neither or you are taken by surprise if the power is shut off. You should create a rental agreement with your roommate that goes over what the procedure and consequences will be if you have to deal with unpaid rent.
- Not getting along with your roommate
Your apartment should be a place where you can unwind and relax, not a place you dread going to. If you don’t get along with your roommate, your apartment could become a place where you’re walking on eggshells 24/7. Before signing a lease with a roommate, you should make sure you’re compatible. Even if he or she is your best friend, you could have different lifestyles and priorities; for instance, if your roommate tends to have friends over every night while you would rather have a quiet apartment, he or she might not be the best match.
Whether you decide to get a studio apartment or a four-bedroom apartment, Realty & Mortgage Co. offers apartments of all sizes. Realty & Mortgage Co. can help you throughout the whole process, from figuring out how much you can afford, getting rental furniture or renter’s insurance, to navigating the city.