These days, finding a good roommate is almost as hard as finding your soulmate! But don’t despair — with good communication, clear expectations, and a little bit of intuition, you too can find your perfect roommate. 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 »
Living with another human being isn’t always easy, but as rents continue to rise in many urban areas, roommates become a financial necessity. Whether your roommate is your childhood best friend or a stranger you were placed with, combining two different lives is bound to result in a few conflicts. Once you find an apartment, it’s important to try to anticipate future disputes before they arise and set up guidelines for when fights do happen.
Here are 3 of the most common roommate disputes and how to navigate through them maturely: Read the rest of this entry »
The day has finally arrived. You just moved back to college and into your new student housing apartment. Summer is over and you are gearing up for an action-packed semester. However, the worst-case scenario has come true: you have discovered that one of your roommates is also your worst nightmare. You definitely cannot live like this until December. So what can you do? Use these tips to wake up from the nightmare and into a happier apartment life for the fall semester.
Can the Problems be Resolved?
In many cases, the challenges of a bad roommate are ones of perception. People from different experiences and backgrounds than you often make completely different lifestyle choices. Many times, a meeting of the minds and a discussion about each other’s expectations can provide a mutually beneficial solution. Get everyone in the apartment involved and keep the tone of the discussion light. No one wants to feel confronted. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Sharing an apartment with a friend can be a high-risk, high-reward situation. You get the comfort of knowing many of your friend’s habits before you move into the apartment together, so unexpected surprises like suddenly discovering your friend has insomnia and a serious addiction to reality TV likely won’t occur. You also know that you and your friend get along, which is likely why you’d decide to share an apartment together.
Living in an apartment with a friend can put stress on your relationship, so it’s important to take steps to ensure that you don’t lose your buddy when you gain a roomie. Here are some tips for doing just that:
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk
So your roommate leaves a mountain of dishes in the sink after dinner every night. Think she’ll get the hint if you wash them? Think again. You’ll start feeling resentful doing double duty and your roommate will likely not even notice. In situations like this, it’s much better to talk about it. Don’t hesitate to establish some rules about things like cleanliness and quiet time. You don’t have to do anything draconian, like write them up and post them everywhere, but talking about what your expectations are with your friend, especially before you two move in together, will make any future disputes much simpler to defuse.
Do Apartment-Oriented Tasks Together
This can really help alleviate the pain of things like chores and decoration, since both you and your friend are invested in getting the task done. Not only does doing work together ensure that you’ll both be splitting the load, it also makes it easier to get done. After all, you’re hanging out with your friend! What’s not to like about that?
Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
Here lies the crux of any successful roommate pairing: You have to make sacrifices. If you’re used to living in an ice box, while your friend’s more accustomed to sauna temperatures, you two will likely have to split the difference and keep the apartment at a middling temperature. If you’re a neat freak and your friend’s a complete mess, you’ll need to become a little more lax with your standards, while your roommate will have to pick up after herself a bit more. Obviously, you’d rather have everything exactly your way, but compromise is just part of being a good roommate, and you wouldn’t want to be anything less than that to your friend.
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Do You Need to Chart Your Chores?
Struggling with roommates? A chore chart might be the key to harmonious apartment living in your new apartment. So you’ve rented an apartment, found a roommate and are all moved in. It feels nice to be settled in at your new home, but there’s still something important to take care of: how will you split up the chores? No doubt, we’d all much rather spend our time doing something fun instead of scrubbing the tub or taking out the trash. But it’s got to get done, or apartment living will quickly turn messy. Failing to organize chores is also a sure way to get into a conflict with your roommate, so make things clear from the beginning. There are a two ways you can do this — just talking to your roommate and deciding what chores will be done by which person and how often, or making a chore chart. A chore chart for day-to-day apartment living may feel a little bit lame at first. Can’t we just do the chores when they need to get done? you might wonder. You can try it that way, but all too often when directions aren’t clear, chores will wind up being forgotten. Dishes can pile up in the sink, dirt can cover the floor and bathrooms can get downright awful. If you and your roommate are clear from the start about which chores you’re supposed to handle, you can avoid all kinds of messes when it comes to apartment living.
Setting Up a Chore Chart
Making a chore chart for clean apartment living is easy. Get together with your roommate and come up with a list of apartment living chores that need to get done. It’s different for everyone, but here’s a list to help you get going:
- Load and run the dishwasher
- Unload the dishwasher
- Wipe down kitchen counters and sink
- Wipe down bathroom counters
- Mop kitchen floor
- Mop bathroom floor
- Clean the toilet, bathtub and sink
- Clean out fridge
- Take out trash and recycling
Once you’ve got your list — and you’ll probably keep adding to the list as you discover new chores — start working on the actual chart. You can either go big and put it on a poster board, or just put it on a regular piece of paper. Keep in mind that you may want to recreate this chart every couple of weeks. You’ll want to make a few columns at the top: Chore, Who?, Due Date, and Done. List each chore on its own line under Chore, the person responsible for it under Who?, the date you’d like it done under Due Date, and leave the Done column blank. Once the chore is done, just put a check mark by it in that column. Keep your chore chart somewhere visible, like on the fridge. If you or your roommate are unhappy with your assigned chores, just switch off next time to keep it fair. And remember, if you haven’t gotten to the chore chart stage yet, and are just looking for a decent apartment for rent, ApartmentSearch.com is here to help. Our website has tons of resources and fantastic apartment listings for you to browse. Plus if you end up finding an apartment through ApartmentSearch.com, you can collect up to $200 in renter’s rewards! Not a bad way to start out in your new place.
The roommate search, oh my! Trying to find a roommate who does the dishes every night and puts them away, respects your belongings, agrees with you on temperature and pays their share of the bills on time is no easy endeavor. Finding a roommate who vacuums, cleans up without being asked and someone who is just generally pleasant to be around would be ideal.
Is there such thing as The Perfect Roommate? Of course not! We all have roommate search horror stories, whether it involves that guy who hogged the television all day and well into the night and always paid his share of the bills a week late, to the gal whose pet beagle howled any time she was away. The thing with a roommate search is that all too often, you don’t really know what you’re going to get — and realizing that you got a bad roommate is no fun. Maybe you were in a hurry to find a roommate, or maybe you just didn’t know what to look out for. Whatever happened, one thing’s for sure: There are a few things you can do that will help you with your roommate search.
- First, you need to be honest about who you are. Are you a slob? Do you get upset when there is even one dirty dish in the sink? Do you love to have lots of people over all the time? If you don’t like to clean and are always having people over, it’s not very fair to search for a roommate who likes things clean and wants the apartment to be quiet and private.
- Meet up with potential roommates to talk. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable meeting them at your home, meet at a coffee shop or another public place where you can sit down and have a conversation.
- Find out what their schedule is like. If they have a night job and sleep during the day, and you have a 9-to-5, that could potentially cause a conflict.
- What are their hobbies?
- Do you want to include pet owners in your roommate search?
- Do they drink, smoke or do drugs?
- Discuss the things that typically wind up becoming problems when they’re not first addressed: how chores will be handled, how things like kitchen utensils and food will be shared, what’s okay and not okay when it comes to having guests over, thermostat settings, out-of-town guests, when bills need to be paid and so on.
These are just a few ideas to help you get a good roommate search going. If you meet with a potential roommate and you get the feeling the two of you wouldn’t be the best match, don’t be afraid to politely tell them that. It’ll sure save you a lot of roommate frustration in the long run.