Renting with roommates is one of the best methods to save money. Depending on your personality and financial status, you may choose to have one or multiple roommates. Almost everyone is nervous when they first meet a potential roommate, so you have nothing to feel bad about.
Living with roommates is not only economical but is also enjoyable. Don’t look at a roommate as someone to share expenses with, but rather share experiences with. Roommates make moving out more fun, especially if it’s your first-time leasing. Learn how to find a roommate and communicate with them for the best possible living experience.
What Do I Look for In a Roommate?
Look for people you mesh with. If you spread yourself too thin, find someone who keeps themselves in check. If you go out too often, find someone disciplined to stay in. Living with another person (or other people) is all about balance.
Suppose you can find someone with similar interests as you, great. If not, that’s okay too. Many young people learn in their first few living situations that living with your friends isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes, living with someone who isn’t a long-time friend brings out the best in you!
What Do I Do When I’ve Found a Roommate?
When you’ve found the right person (people) to live with, it’s all about finding a suitable apartment. Once you’ve found a fitting apartment, ensure everyone signs the lease. It’s critical every roommate signs the lease so everyone knows what’s expected of them and everyone is legally bound to the apartment (more on that later).
Part of sharing an apartment means sharing its financial and literal responsibilities. Sit down with your roommate(s) and look at your expenses. Which expenses are fixed, and which are fluctuating? Are there a few that cost the same? Are there any more expensive than others? You must find a way to split the bills with your roommate(s) equally.
It’s not all about money; the apartment must be maintained. How will you decide how the chores are performed? Will you make a rotating list, or will you divide the tasks, and everyone knows what they must do? Discussing bills and duties when you first move in will prevent tension and arguments later.
How Do I Communicate with My Roommate(s)?
You must be honest with your roommate(s). Communication isn’t just for their mental health, but for yours too. Miscommunication and lack of communication are the most significant cause of conflict. Many conflicts can be avoided when each roommate ensures everyone has the same understanding.
The best way to prevent conflict is through open communication; you won’t find yourself in a bad situation when you’ve performed all the preventative measures. The best time to set “ground rules” is at the signing of the lease. Before everyone signs the lease, discuss how everyone will share the bills and chores.
Likewise, you must talk about when it is acceptable to have friends over and understand each other’s schedules. If someone works the graveyard shift and another works nine to five, the conflicting schedules might mean the apartment is not a place to host.
Why Should I Rent with Roommates?
Renting with roommates is one of the best life experiences. It teaches you how to communicate, collaborate, and, most importantly, get out of your comfort zone. When you find the right people and have the right conversations at the correct times, renting with roommates can be a breeze. Remember that clear communication is the difference between a healthy and toxic living situation.