More so now than ever before, adults, young and old, are living with roommates. In almost every major city, the percentage of homes now being shared by roommates has jumped considerably in the past ten years. It might be to save on rent, live in a larger space, or even just because a little extra company is ideal – but whatever the cause, apartment dwellers are consistently looking to outfit their two bedroom apartment with another resident. Here are 5 reasons why renting with roommates is more popular than ever. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Roommate Tips’ Category
With new roommates come new furniture, decorations, and usually, a different idea of how they want to decorate your new 2 bedroom apartment. Whether it’s your best friend or strictly a roommate relationship, everyone has different taste. Having trouble syncing up your feng shui? Here are some tips to get your shared space looking and feeling homey and still “you.” Read the rest of this entry »
It seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t keep your apartment clean. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! And of course, your
lazy busy roommates don’t make the process any easier.
You’ve thought about making a roommate chore chart, but isn’t that a new chore all of its own? Fret not – take charge of your chores and reclaim your rooms once and for all. Execute the following tips with your fellow renters and you’ll all be well on the way to making and maintaining an effective roommate chore chart. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve ever shared in a 2-bedroom apartment, you know the roommate life can be rough. Dishes, turning off lights, or noisy late nights – whatever the little things are that irk you, don’t let it ruin your living situation. Here are some guidelines that all roommates should follow but might go without saying.
Share Chores Equally
You can try as hard as you want to keep your apartment dwelling separate, but you can’t avoid sweeping the kitchen floor. If your roommate is a little less tidy than you are, there are ways to communicate what’s important to you to keep fair. Putting a list of divvied-up to-dos on the fridge can be an easy way to remind your roommate of things both of you needs to keep up with. Read the rest of this entry »
Generally, multiple bedroom apartments save each tenant some money compared to renting a one-bedroom or studio apartment by yourself. Of course, this leads to the dreaded roommate dilemma. Maybe you have had a bad roommate experience, or have never had a roommate at all. Thinking about trying a “blind” roommate? Use these tips to avoid setting yourself up for disaster and have a pleasant experience in your apartment while saving money on rent.
Do: Seek Practical Resources
Where you look for a roommate should depend on your situation. If you’re in college, there are usually resources for students to find roommates. Even if the university doesn’t provide it, there can be Facebook groups, or an outside resource online like RoomSync to match roommates at specific colleges. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the biggest issues in apartment living is making sure all roommates are doing their fair share to keep the apartment clean. Many otherwise happy roommate relationships have quickly gone downhill when all parties weren’t on the same page about cleaning. The key to avoiding this situation is establishing expectations early, and keeping all roommates accountable.
1. Establish a definition of clean. Before you even move in together, you and your future roomie should have an honest conversation about what each of you considers to be sufficiently clean. You don’t have to agree perfectly on everything. But if you like your apartment to look straight out of a magazine and she’s more lax about her apartment living situation, then you’re clearly going to run into some problems.
In addition to defining clean, you should also define dirty. There is a difference between being a bit messy and being downright dirty. While you might find a couple articles of clothing occasionally strewn around the living room to be annoying, it’s probably not on par with a week’s worth of dirty dishes piling up in the sink.
2. Create a cleaning schedule or chore chart. A simple chore chart with weekly or monthly chore assignments can keep everyone on track and accountable. Just make a list of all the chores that need to be done and assign each to a roommate along with a due date.
Can’t agree on who should do what? You can rotate chores so everyone is responsible for each chore an equal number of times. Alternately, you can assign chores based on everyone’s weighted preference using a chore calculator.
3. Keep each other accountable. Make sure your chore chart is someplace where everyone can see it. Hopefully the social pressure will keep everyone on track and your apartment living situation peaceful. However, if doesn’t, be sure to address the problem quickly, tactfully, and with respect. Bring up to the offending roommate that you noticed they haven’t been completing their chores on time. Offer to switch chores with them or give suggestions on ways they might make the chores less of a hassle.
Make sure to keep the conversation about the state of the apartment and not about the roommate’s behavior. “I’m worried we’re going to get ants in the kitchen because the dishes haven’t been washed in a few days” is likely going to be better received and more productive than “You never wash the dishes and now our kitchen is filthy.”
You may also want to consider adding some sort of penalty for repeatedly missing chores. For example, roommates who miss more than one due date during the month might have to buy the other roommates dinner or pay the entire Internet bill for the month.
Living with someone can complicate a relationship. Money issues can complicate it even further. My first roommate experience culminated in an explosive fight over money and unpaid utility bills. In order to avoid a disaster situation like mine, here are some tips to divide expenses between roommates so that money problems are never an issue.
Know your expenses
Before figuring out how you are going to divide up your expenses, you have to know what your expenses are. You’re most likely going to have utility bills, such as heat, electric, and cable. In addition to utility bills, think about shared household items such as paper towel, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.
Start from the beginning
Part of the problem with my roommate situation was that we never discussed who was paying what and how we were going to go about dividing up the expenses of the apartment. When you move in, have a “family meeting” and discuss bills and expenses. My one roommate is in charge of all of the utility bills and my other roommates and I pay him at the end of the month. It’s an easy system that we have never had a problem with. I also have a friend who pays for the heat and electric bill and their roommate pays for the cable and Internet bill. Figure out the best system for you and your roommates and establish it early so each roommate knows where they stand and what they owe.
Have a communication system
If you’re the one in charge of the bills, ask your roommates early and often for their share of the bills so they have time to get you the money. Establish a communication system, such as a text message reminder at the end of the month or a calendar on the refrigerator or in a shared space to outline what everyone owes and when it’s due. Communication is key in any relationship and when money is involved, it’s best to be in constant communication so that no one is surprised.
What about rent?
The biggest shared expense for you and your roommates will be your rent. If one of your roommates is late with rent, it can affect your relationship with your landlord and can cause you to have to pay a late fee. Look into paying your rent online. That way you won’t have to collect any rent from anyone at the end of the month. Your rent will just automatically be taken out of your account when it’s due.
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While not everything in life needs to have a strategy or a systematic process, some things can become more comfortable with a well-developed plan. This is especially true for new roommates with opposite living styles cohabitating in an apartment. From taking the time out to find an apartment together to taking out the trash and paying bills, having a roommate can be a rewarding experience.
One of the best methods for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable living situation begins with preparation. Starting a dialogue with your new roommate regarding potential apartments, budgets and living styles will greatly aid in understanding each other’s expectations. And to help make certain the application processto find an apartment goes smoothly, be sure to discuss and document your rental histories so that you may help avoid an unexpected application denial.
After moving in, there are no hard and fast rules for creating a system for living with roommates; however, recording your agreements regarding bills, cleaning, groceries and other household responsibilities will help hold each person accountable and more than just verbally committed to his or her obligations. Charts and lists may help divide up tasks, and posting the documentation in a visible area such as the refrigerator can help each person stay on track.
The real “Golden Rule” with roommates comes down to communication. Everyone has their own preferences and habits, from their methods for cleaning to noise tolerance and guests. A great way to help maintain the respect factor is to communicate upfront and compromise where possible. As situations arise during the living situation, clear and prompt communication will bolster trust, enabling each person to quickly and efficiently solve problems and prevent conflicts.
In communal living situations, we all want and expect each person to pull his or her own weight. Yet, life situations, such as business or vacation travel and financial hardships, sometimes present challenges. Making arrangements and negotiating these situations with honest discussion between roommates can help solidify and strengthen the relationship.
Roommates do not have to be best friends to make apartment living enjoyable. Yet, being prepared for cohabitation and having a plan or process when you find an apartment can help build a bond, making the experience both rewarding and in many cases, even quite enjoyable.
One element of apartment living that takes a bit of adjusting to is sharing your bathroom with one or more roommates. Living with roommates can be rewarding and fun, not to mention smart financially. An apartment for rent with only one bathroom is generally less expensive outright, and it is easy to arrange a polite sharing agreement and maintain cleanliness together. Whether you are moving into a new apartment or are a seasoned bathroom sharer, it is crucial to approach the situation with a positive, considerate attitude and encourage your roommate to do the same.
When you find an apartment with one bathroom and begin the move-in process with your roommates, promote an open discussion about how storage areas will be designated in the bathroom. Plan out where each roommate will store his or her hygiene products and implements before unpacking them. Keep the designations organized and fair, so that every roommate will have equal space for his or her own allocation. When possible, try to avoid keeping too many products cluttered around the sink. When the area immediately around the sink is clear, the bathroom feels more clean and open in general. Make smart use of storage throughout the bathroom by thinking beyond cabinets and shelves— line up shampoo bottles along the towel bar in your shower.
Ensure that your apartment bathroom is always well-stocked with supplies, and agree to alternate making those essential purchases of toilet paper and disinfecting products. Practice general etiquette rules like leaving the seat down and refilling the toilet paper roll when it’s empty. We also recommend establishing a cleaning schedule so that each roommate is responsible for specific weekly duties, and everyone stays aware and on the same page
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Moving into a new apartment always comes with a set of exciting challenges. If you’re planning (or hoping) to move in with another person, picking that roommate is right up at the top of that list. A well-chosen roommate has the ability to make a living situation much more enjoyable and affordable, offering you the appropriate mix of availability and privacy (and on-time bill paying) that you desire. However, a poorly chosen roommate can make any living arrangement, no matter how ideal otherwise, eminently painful. The last thing you want is a stressful situation brewing in your own home—after all, it should be the place you take refuge from your daily stresses. With that in mind, here are some tips for picking out the best roommate for you.
First, list what qualities you would consider ideal in a roommate. Think about your own traits during this exercise. Do you treasure a measure of peace and quiet when you come home after a hard day’s work? Chances are you’d prefer someone who is similar than someone who’s constantly inviting half the apartment building over for hors d’oeuvres.
Next, talk to friends. Ask them if they know of anyone looking to make a move in the near future. Also consider posting a classifieds ad in a local online forum, mentioning traits you’re looking for in a tactful, casual way. A demanding, bulleted list of roommate requirements will scare prospects away so fast it’ll make your head spin.
Finally, schedule interviews with any prospects you might find. The most important thing to keep in mind, when first meeting a potential roommate, is to be completely honest with yourself and with them. Don’t try to make yourself something that you’re not! If you have a less-than-stellar cleaning record, that’s totally fine; just don’t insist that you scour the floors with a toothbrush when your roomie-to-be asks about your orderliness. If she decides that’s a deal-breaker, that’s okay—you just avoided butting heads down the road.
Looking for an apartment for rent with a new roomie? Great! We’re here to help. Using our search tools, you can find an apartment in cities, towns, and hamlets all across America. We’re particularly fond of Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments and Seattle apartments, but search anywhere your heart fancies. Happy hunting!