Roommate Pros & Cons
To live or not to live with a roommate... that is the real question! There are several factors you should consider when deciding if sharing your home is the right choice for you. Read through these pros and cons to see what the best situation is for you!
SHARING THE COST OF RENT
Pro: Split rent in half
An awesome thing about having a roommate is there are two wallets responsible for expenses, saving you both money. Each month when rent is due, both of you will only pay half of the amount you would typically pay. This can be a great option if the rent at some apartments is a little over your desired budget.
Con: If they can't pay, you do
A downside of splitting rent is you rely on your roommate to pay their half. If they can't pay their amount, you are responsible to pay it in order to avoid a late fee or other situation. It is always a good idea to evaluate your potential roommates' financial situation and choices before inviting them into this partnership. Do they often quit jobs or get fired frequently? Do they have a history of missing rent payments? These are red flags you may want to avoid!
HAVING COMPANY OVER
Pro: Social butterflies will thrive
Do you enjoy meeting new people and socializing? Having a roommate could make your social life soar because you will most likely be introduced to their friends at some point. This can make for some super fun nights in where you all enjoy playing games together, watching movies, having dinner, or even just sitting around and talking.
Con: Their friends might not be your friends
Sharing an apartment with a roommate also means sharing the space with the people that they invite over like their friends, family, or significant other. This can be uncomfortable for some people, especially if you tend to be more introverted or do not particularly enjoy the people your roommate brings over. Talk about expectations for guests in advance with your roommate to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
CLEANING THE APARTMENT
Pro: Two sets of hands are better than one
Spending a day deep cleaning your apartment can be overwhelming, exhausting, and often a burden! Luckily if you have a roommate, there are two extra hands helping you scrub down every surface. Devoting a couple hours every week to "buddy-clean" your apartment with your roommate can be a super effective way to keep your space spick and span. Check out our guide to tackling a successful spring clean!
Con: One set of hands might refuse to clean
One risk you face when having a roommate is that they contribute heavily to making the apartment messy, but seem to disappear when any sort of cleaning takes place. This can lead to conflict and frustration. To avoid this, set a roommate agreement right when you move in that keeps both of you accountable and aware of the cleaning expectations. Another way to stay on track is to make a chore chart to assign jobs to each roommate. This way everyone knows what they are and aren't responsible for!
YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE THERE
Pro: You've gained a best friend
Moving into an apartment with someone forces you to get to know each other! After a long day of work, your roommate will be home waiting to hear all about a cranky customer or the latest office drama. You will begin to share experiences together and will start making countless memories. Before you know it, you and your roommate will be sitting on the couch together binge watching your favorite shows!
Con: Living with your enemy is tough
Unfortunately, not everyone becomes best friends with their roommate. Once you begin living with someone, you may notice things about them you did not see prior to moving in. There might be regular conflict between you two which can make living with them quite unpleasant. Your home should be your sanctuary, where you find rest during the day. It is never a bad idea to get to know someone before asking them to be your roommate. Although this process can feel like a waste of time, it will save you a world of hurt and frustration in the long run.
FURNISHINGS ARE EXPENSIVE
Pro: What's yours is mine
A big thing to keep in mind when moving into an apartment is you will be responsible for furnishing it! This can be super costly, especially to individuals moving into an apartment for the first time. Thankfully, a roommate can help ease this financial burden by splitting the cost of furniture.
Con: Splitting up is hard
One thing to keep in mind when splitting the cost of furnishings is someone is going to have to keep the items after your lease it up. You can try to do your best to separate everything into two groups that seem to be about the same monetary value. For example, your roommate could take the couch and you could take the dining room table and chairs! Whatever you guys decide to do, just make sure you develop a plan together beforehand that details who will keep what furniture and if compensation will be needed for any items. This will prevent any conflict from breaking out.
A HELPING HAND AT YOUR SIDE
Pro: Roommate and right hand man
Your roommate can be a great resource for you if you sometimes need a little extra help! Do you ever wish you could go out for lunch during work instead of running back to your apartment to let out your dog? See if your roommate would be willing to bring your furry friend outside. Occasionally asking for a favor, as well as doing favors for your roommate, can be a fantastic way to care for each other and brighten one another’s days.
Con: When one favor turns into ten
Although it can feel nice to help your roommate every once in a while, being asked for favors constantly can get annoying. There is a fine line between helping your roommate and being your roommate’s personal assistant. If you end up feeling a little too relied upon, don't be afraid to politely express your concerns to your roommate.
Having a roommate can be very exciting but also isn't for everyone. It is important to consider the six topics above to discover the right decision for you!