Sharing rent with a roommate is a pretty tempting arrangement at many points in your life. From young adults in their first apartment to professionals relocating for a job, taking on a roommate means lower rent for more home. If you and your roommate get along, it could be a rewarding friendship in a great place. Or it could be the other thing. When you’re looking for a new place or your circumstances have just changed, to roommate or not to roommate becomes the important question.
To help you make the right decision, let’s take a closer look at roommates and how to choose them.
When Roommates Go Right
A good roommate is someone whose lifestyle, cleaning standards, and financial responsibility match your own. They might be someone you barely see, but they always leave their plates rinsed, and half of the rent is paid on time. Or they might become your best friend, sharing dinners and movie nights and staying in touch for years after you make new living arrangements. Not every roommate will be your bestie (and not every best friend makes a great roommate) but when the fit is right, it can create unforgettable years of friendship and co-living.
- Lowered rent
- Lowered bills
- Chore sharing
- Shared friends and networks
- Shared groceries and meals
- Shared transport
- Close friendship
When Roommates Go Wrong
It’s also important to be aware of the risks of a bad roommate. Everyone’s heard a few horror stories and the potential is all too real. A casually bad roommate is someone who leaves dirty plates in the sink, wet towels on the floor, and watches action movies when you’re trying to sleep.
A terrible roommate is someone who doesn’t pay rent or bills, brings strangers into the house at all hours, steals your possessions, and causes damage they don’t intend to pay for. This is why it’s so important to choose your roommate carefully. When it goes wrong, it can go very, very wrong.
- Different lifestyles and personalities
- Less privacy
- Compromise/ Give and take
- Different cleaning standards
- Clashing schedules
- Bad match and conflict
- Unpaid roommate bills/rent
- Unwanted guests
A Matter of Privacy
You may also want to consider your own nature in terms of being a roommate. Some people just aren’t suited to sharing a house. If you can’t stand having someone else in your house, compromising on kitchen drawers, or sharing a bathroom with another person, that’s OK. In fact, it’s good to know about yourself before you accidentally inflict your discomfort on both you and a potential roommate.
The Right Apartment for Roommates
One of the most important factors of a harmonious roommate arrangement is actually the floorplan. The right apartment can make all the difference. If your two bedrooms don’t share a wall, that’s a plus. If there’s a bathroom for each of you, another plus. If the kitchen is open-plan or has tons of cabinet space for shared/separate dishes, another plus. If the walls are thick so you can’t each other at reasonable volumes, that’s another point toward harmony. In an apartment building, amenities that make it easy to give each other space like a fitness center or lounge can also improve your shared lifestyle.
You’ll find a great selection of roommate-ready apartment floorplans and building amenities at Station A in Denver.
Finding the Right Roommate
- Financially Reliable
- Pays their share of rent, bills, and groceries
- Personality Match
- You get along and enjoy each other’s company
- Standards of Living
- You mesh on cleanliness, chores, and organization
- Agree on house rules and guest rules
Most importantly, you need to find the right person to share with. These three factors are more important than being friends, sharing meals, or even decorating the same way. If you have the same standards of respect for each other, agree on how to do chores, and always pay rent on time, you can work everything else out. It also helps if you are on a similar schedule – or have a system that works for not disturbing each other’s sleep.
Your Bestie May or May Not Be the Best
Best friends are sometimes perfect roommates, but sometimes can’t stand to share a lifestyle. Be careful when selecting from existing friends that your lifestyles meet your optimistic expectations of harmony.
Roommate Matching Services
There are several reasonably good roommate matching services online to help you meet strangers who share those critical traits like cleanliness, schedule, and favorite movies. You can also network through social media. Just be sure to really vet a stranger before moving in together.
Interviews are crucial. Zoom now makes it easy to get a read on personality mesh, but you may want someone over as a guest – even for a few nights – before you really decide to sign a year lease together. Spend more than one interview getting to know a potential roommate and take time to get into those little details like respect, guest policies, and lifestyle differences that will matter when you’re living in close quarters.
To Roommate or Not to Roommate?
Is pairing with a roommate the right answer for you? The benefits of splitting rent, utilities, and securing a more spacious apartment to share is pretty tempting. With the right roommate, you could forge some unforgettable memories with a new friend, or even help each other with the next steps in your careers. At Station A in Denver, you can find both excellent roommate-style apartments with distant bedrooms in each floorplan or elegant private floorplans if you choose to live solo. Contact us today to explore apartment options with or without a roommate in mind.