Once you decide that cohabiting is right for you, there are many factors that you will need to consider. Finding an apartment in New York city is a choice between having a great location and having a great setting. Having a roommate can help you out especially if you are on a tight budget and can lessen the expenses you are faced with. However, if you do not like sharing a space, much less utensils and amenities then cohabiting is probably not for you. Just because you can afford to live on your own, doesn’t mean you have to. Many people consider finding roommates simply for the company as they do not like coming home to a big empty apartment.
What to consider when finding a roommate
Finding a roommate is categorised into three approaches:
- Pair up with someone that you know: It may be a good option to share an apartment with a friend or someone you know. This will also iron out possible issues of mistrust as you already know and trust the person. Knowing your friend means having assurance that they will pay the rent due at the desired time. However, while it may be good to spend time with your friend, it may also cause a strain on your friendship as you are seeing each other every day. Lots of intimacy is involved in living together and this may bring their annoying habits to the fore. Ensure that you carefully consider the person you choose as a good friend isn’t the basis for a good roommate.
- Consider people from your social network: If you are not keen on living with a friend, you may consider someone that you know through social media. Here you will find people who share the same type of lifestyle as you, know how to live on a budget and a similar lifestyle to you. You can send an email to all your contacts letting them know you are looking for a roommate.
- Embrace the unknown: Maybe you don’t mind living with a stranger and enjoy meeting new people. In this case you can place an ad on Craigslist as this is the most commonly used method. You would be able to reach much more people with this method and it is especially helpful when you need to find someone in a hurry. Be sure to include the following information:
- What is your employment status?
- Where are you currently living?
- What are your personal preferences in a roommate?
- What is your budget?
- When would you like the person to move in?
How to determine if a roommate is right for you
There are many pros and cons to living with a roommate and you need to be honest with your expectations. Discuss:
- Budget – ensure that you both are in agreement with the budget and that you can afford the apartment you are eyeing. Be aware of the income that your roommate gets every month so that you know you will not have to worry about late or unpaid rent.
- Cleanliness – this is a huge factor. Ensure that your roommate is clean and neat as this could get very uncomfortable. Decide on who is in charge of keeping the apartment clean and who will do the chores.
- Hours spent home – discuss the amount of time each of you will spend at home and whether you are okay with days when neither of you will be home.
- Guest rules – decide how often you both will be expecting overnight guests.
- Substances – Agree on whether or not you both will be using any substances and make sure that each party is happy with this.
Although discussions must be open and honest, there are some conversations that don’t need to happen. You don’t need to discuss sexual orientation and political preference.
There are other conversations that need to happen like who will be in charge of payments of bills, who will ensure the lease agreement is in order, who will set up utility bills and internet, what foods will be considered communal and what will be strictly yours. To have a smooth transition into communal living it is important to enter in with a clear mind and lay all expectations on the table. This can greatly lessen growing pains that would otherwise be a problem. Living with a roommate can be very rewarding of you choose the right candidate and the right location. It is a relief knowing that someone else is sharing your bills and contributing to the smooth running of the home. You should always keep communication lines open with your roommate and iron out differences as they arise.
Other ways to locate roommates
- Roomster – This is one of the more popular methods of finding a roommate. Here you will be able to see the property you will be living on, as well as the room. You can also browse people’s profiles and find people that are looking for a place as well. Updates can be expected regularly.
- Rainbow roommates – This website was launched in 1995 and caters to the LGBT community however everyone can use it. You will pay a monthly premium for this service to ensure that only people who are serious about cohabiting will be found on the site.
- Metro roommates – This is ideal for people who don’t want long term roommates but may need a room in the interim. Metro roommates has lots of short-term options and is owned by Sublet.com.
- Roommates wanted NYC – this site is quite smart and organizes meet and greets on a monthly basis. They are usually organised in bars in Manhattan and Queens. You can spend time with people that are looking for a roommate and decide if they are the right fit for you.
If you carefully consider the person you wish to cohabit with, you will find cohabitation can be quite fun.