The Pros and Cons of Living with a Roommate
…plus what you need to consider before finding one
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Need a roommate?
Renting a whole apartment to yourself may not always be the best idea and living with a roommate can be beneficial. If you’re in a tight situation - perhaps you are no longer able to afford ridiculous amounts of rent, or you’d prefer to not be alone, then finding a roommate could be your best option.
You have to be careful when choosing a roommate and this is one of the activities you need to take your time with, so you don’t end up regretting living with a stranger for the entire lease.
If you’re on the fence about whether to find a room mate or not, consider the pros and cons before making a decision.
If all goes well, you will make a new (possibly lifelong) friend
You wouldn’t have to pay full rent (and utilities)
You won’t feel as lonely
There’s someone to help around with chores, errands, etc
You get to share stuff like food, drinks, etc
Increased social skills
Be ready to throw ‘privacy’ out the window
They might not always have their part of the bills available
You can’t do what you want, when you want
Disagreements are unavoidable
You can’t control who comes in or out of your apartment
What to consider before getting a roommate
Sometimes, financial difficulties may not be the only reason to consider getting a roommate. Before your search, you may need to answer a few questions to figure out if you really need a roommate or not.
Are you willing to accommodate someone else?
If you’re the type that finds it difficult to live with other people, you shouldn’t find a roommate. If you like your personal space but can’t afford the rent, perhaps getting a higher paying job would be the better option instead of living with someone you can barely tolerate.
Do THEY have similar vALUES/TRAITS/SCHEDULES?
Are your values aligned? If you’re optimistic, you should find someone with the same positive, upbeat personality as you. If you work the night shift, consider someone that works the regular 9-5 so you can have time to yourself when they’re away at work (and vice versa).
If you’re responsible and level-headed, you have no business living with someone that’s the opposite. If you don’t like conflict, a roommate may not be the best idea.
Have they been employed for some time?
This one is important because you need someone that can pay their portion of the bills. You don’t want it to get to month end and they’re unable to pay for rent or utilities. You need someone that has been employed for a while (6 months +)
DO YOU HAVE ANY ALLERGIES?
Write down a list of what you’re allergic to - pets? plants? medication? Make sure you note down every allergy and use that to fish out the room mates you won’t be caught living with.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT THEM?
References are still important. Once you’ve found some potential roommates, the next step is to contact their references and ask open-ended questions that might give you a better idea of who you’re about to open your doors to.
Whatever your reasons are, this is a decision you need to make carefully because there is no right or wrong answer as to whether you would need a roommate or not. Everyone’s situation is different and at the end of the day, you need to look after yourself first.