Zillow, a real estate site, has revealed that 30% of working-age adults live with roommates. This jump from 21% in 2005 is attributed to rent and mortgage affordability.
With the economy becoming more stringent, it’s only natural to look for more ways to save, and getting a roommate is an excellent place to start. Before welcoming someone into your home, make these considerations.
- Plan ahead
Haste is a sure way to getting a horrible living situation. Planning ahead gives you time to look for a roomie who will be a good fit in terms of their living style, bills, and privacy. You get time to meet more people and have a chat before you make a decision. But life doesn’t always work like that. If you need a roommate ASAP, ask someone, like your friend, to help you interview potentials. This helps you remain rational and cautious of the red flags you would otherwise be tempted to ignore.
- Talk bills
The reasons you are considering a roommate in the first place is to ease the burden of bills. But money is a difficult topic for most people, which makes it vital to be on the same page from the word go. Rent is the biggest issue, and while sites like habito can help you calculate your monthly mortgage and split, it’s not always easy. If the amenities and rooms are shared differently, the split might not be 50-50. The best way to split rent is to find a middle spot where both of you are happy. Brainstorm on non-rent expenses and find a happy middle-ground for them as well.
Cleaning is often a sour spot between roommates. Maybe you are super tidy, and they are a little messy, or perhaps a filthy pig. Finding someone with similar habits as yours would be a plus, but if you are not so lucky, it’s best to agree on how to handle cleanliness. You can opt to hire a cleaner or schedule chores. Being honest about cleanliness will help you not burden each other and ensure your house is in excellent living condition.
Living with someone requires trust. You are sharing living space and amenities, and you need to know your stuff will be safe when you are out. If they have changed three roommates in the last three months, or they give you suspicious vibes, consider that a red flag.
- What are their quarks
Everyone has quarks, and while your friends may tolerate them, they would be pretty annoying to a stranger. You may find it amusing if your new roommate finds it helpful to schedule bathroom time, but it might be annoying if they can only sleep with ocean waves track in the background while you need total silence.
Getting a roommate is like getting a spouse. You must be sure you are compatible before you hand them the contract. You will not know everything until they move in, but you will have agreed on most of the basics, which is a plus.