Today’s apartment market has put many renters at a crossroads. In markets where rent is exceedingly difficult to afford, many renters are seeking to forego their solitary lifestyle in favor of co-living. And, in cities where finding an apartment is challenging, many are asking friends and family to share some of their valued space. In markets across the country, renters are combining homes through the bonds of friendship, love, or assistance.
For some, the thought of having a roommate instantly creates feelings of anxiety and morose. For others, the prospect of sharing their space with another is an exciting opportunity to save money and create new experiences. So, is it better to share or better to go it alone? There is no one answer, but these insights can help you solve the roommate conundrum.
- Know Your Limits: Set routines are hard to break and that goes for both you and your potential roommate. Things that don’t bother them might drive you insane and vice versa. So, before you decide that co-living is right for you, there need to be some conversations. How are you going to deal with the things that annoy you? And, beyond that, how are you going to communicate these challenges in a non-offensive way? Everyone has a list of how much they can “live with.” Knowing these limits up-front is the first key to being a successful roommate.
- Not Everything is Shared Equally: Saying that you are going to share all expenses equally looks great on paper but is often not realistic. If one roommate uses more water than the other, should the water bill still be split equally? What about power? Also, food and groceries are a challenge to solve. The impact of unbalanced sharing – whether it be financial, experiential, or spacial – creates rifts that can often spell demise for a roommate partnership. The more open you both are, and the more you successfully communicate your side of these issues, the greater the chances of success.
- Personal Space Is Priceless: The hardest thing to share is not rent, utilities, or food, but proximity. There is such a thing as too much togetherness, and it is easy to cross the line without knowing it. As roommates, it is important to schedule personal time in advance. There is nothing wrong with setting up time for yourself and asking your co-habitator to find joy outside your shared domicile – as long as those arrangements are made fairly in advance. Respecting personal space it just as important as keeping finances balanced.
- Discovering the Best Fit: When you need to find a roommate in challenging times it can be easy to jump at the first opportunity that pops up. But, getting the wrong roommate can make your nightmares much, much worse. Sometimes, similar lifestyles and values make for good opportunities, but personal habits lead to conflict. In some cases, having a roommate that is a polar opposite of you is a good thing. Some want a BFF, while others want a complete stranger who is only there in passing. Determine the things that you are inflexible on and make sure that the items are discussed before any partnership is established.
Once you find a successful roommate, often the two of you will realize that you can afford more space and that means it might be time to move into a new apartment. When that day comes – or the day that you decide to go your separate ways – be sure to begin your search on www.ApartmentSearch.com. Fast, easy, free apartment locating is at your fingertips, and you can even earn up to $200 in rewards when you tell your new apartment community you found them on ApartmentSearch. Visit us today!