Tag Archives: Roommate Wanted

Sharing an Apartment: Drawbacks of Having a Roommate

In continuation with my series of thoughts on having a roommate I’ve given the readers the Roommate Questionnaire, which covered how to interview a potential roommate, and most recently answered the question of why have a roommate to begin with.

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Helpful Tips on Finding a good Roommate

 

The hardest things to consider when deciding to share or not to share your living space are the drawbacks of having a roommate. Unfortunately there are a few of these to consider before taking the plunge into a shared apartment.

The main problem I’ve discovered is personality clashes. Even with friends as roommates, the inevitable argument will surface, and sometimes it can go so deep as to not be solvable. In this case, a good conversation/argument idea should be set in place so that you can talk out your problems and not allow them to fester and become a disruption to your friendship and your apartment living. Often you will meet someone and become instant friends. This perfect friend then becomes your roommate, and months down the line you discover that your roommate isn’t quite the person he or she seemed to be.  This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage to having a roommate.  If you or the other person decide that living together just isn’t working out, another set of problems will set in.

If you break your arrangement, you have to consider if you can continue to pay the rent on your own. Before this happens, a strategic Roommate Agreement should be signed and a lease should be signed by both parties. This way, if your roommate leaves, he or she will still be obligated to pay, which will be a financial relief at least. A Roommate Agreement will hold each roommate accountable for bills, rent, household duties, entertainment schedules and privacy issues, as well as the possible moving out problem that may arise. In another post I’ll address the ways to approach a Roommate Agreement.

Another disadvantage to have a roommate is lack of privacy. If you love to have people around all the time, this will not be so much of a problem, but there will be moments when you wish to be alone, and coming home to a roommate and her possible friends that she’s entertaining will not be a welcome factor. There will be times when you need your own space, so setting boundaries in advance can help to alleviate possible arguments. You each should be entitled to your own private space, such as your bedrooms, that must be acknowledged by both of you and maintained with the utmost honor.

Having a roommate can be a wonderful experience. You can develop a friendship that will last a lifetime. Consider all the drawbacks that sharing your apartment will entail before making the final commitment and be sure to sign a Roommate Agreement and a rental lease with your potential roommate. As I said, a post will follow on this idea. Thanks for reading.

Helpful Tips on Finding a good Roommate..   Read More

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Sharing an Apartment: Why have a Roommate?

You’ve found the perfect  apartment in Easton Pa. It has large rooms, hardwood floors throughout, an island kitchen with relatively new appliances, and two nice sized bedrooms with walk-in closets….The location is great, and you can park off-street with easy access to your door. It’s a renter’s dream come true. You’ve searched for so long…

But the rent of this dynamic Easton apartment is way more than you can afford. In fact, it’s almost double, and you have to tag on some utility expenses. While you nurse your broken heart you realize that the apartment has enough room for two people.  So maybe you won’t be able to make that smaller bedroom a workout/office space. If you really want the space, a roommate would make it within reach.

Help with paying the rent is one of the main reasons renters share their apartments, but there are other benefits too. Of those I talked with, the main reason may have been help with the living expenses, but most found the duel living situation satisfying, as long as they were compatible with their roommate. Sharing a living space with a friend is always the first option. Since you already know the person and have things in common, a living together situation can be an easy transition, and can help grow the friendship. Some renters noted some great advantages to having a roommate that I didn’t think of.  Sharing the chores what one. They made a list of what they wanted done, and each roommate checked off their duty each week.

Sharing in the food expenses was another benefit many found. One girl had a roommate who was studying to be chef. This was a luxury in disguise, for her friend was constantly trying new recipes and cooking some creative things up, which relieved her of the cooking duty most of the time. She, in turn, cleaned up the kitchen.

One roommate traveled a lot with her job. This gave the roommate her own private space regularly, with the luxury of having someone to share the rent. The traveling roommate could count on her roommate to water her plants for her while she was away, and since she had a pet cat, her roommate, of course, took care of the feeding and litter box duties.

Another key benefit to rooming with someone in your Easton apartment is the fact of companionship.  Many people do not like to live alone. Having a roommate will almost guarantee a lack of loneliness. Sharing your apartment with a relative or trusted friend that you get along with well assures you of potential for great conversations, help with problems, and a partner in crime when having a party or  some other endeavor.  Having a roommate, though a challenge at times (we’ll cover some of the challenges in a future post), basically has more benefits than drawbacks. The expenses alone, in this time of financial wows and cutbacks, is reason enough to consider sharing your space.

If you are a renter or are considering a move, visit the Renters Corner at the top of this blog for useful information on making your move easy and stress free.

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Sharing an Apartment: Roommate Questionnaire

Finding a roommate to share your Allentown apartment can be a difficult task, but one of the key strategies on your search is to meet the potential roommate in person and interview them. They in turn may do the same. I discovered through experience some interesting questions that you should include on your questionnaire and thought I’d share.

image: Cafe by Stockholm Syndrome

As protocol for the meet up, make sure you decide on a public place to have the interview, especially if this is a stranger responding to your ad for a roommate. Make it a comfortable place, where you can have a coffee or tea and get to know each other. Avoid bars and liquor. You want to have a clear head and a clear atmosphere. Also, I suggest you meet during the day if possible, on a weekend perhaps if you both work full time, or during a lunch hour.

Open your meeting with a nice greeting, and a handshake. First impressions? Take notes in your mind when you can. Your first impression will take you far. Trust them. An immediate bad feeling can be telling you something. When you sit down, don’t be afraid to bring out your list and take notes. This is your place you want to share after all. You will want to find someone truly compatible to make life easier, not more stressful. With that said, here are the questions:

  • Have you shared an apartment with someone before?
  • Was the person you roomed with a relative, girlfriend or boyfriend, co-worker, or friend?
  • Why did you decide to move out?
  • Was there any problem with your previous roommate?
  • Do you have a full time job?
  • What are you work hours?
  • Do you do any work at home? How often?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you use recreational drugs or alcohol?
  • Are you in a serious relationship? Will your boyfriend or girlfriend be staying over and how often?
  • Do you have a special diet that you follow, vegetarian, diabetic, vegan, or any other?
  • Are you religious? Does your religious principles effect you daily living and how so?
  • Do you consider yourself a neat person or carefree and sloppy?
  • Will you be will to do a share of the chores to maintain a neat and clean apartment?
  • Will you share the cost of cleaning products for the apartment?
  • Are you willing to work out and divide the cost of a grocery list each week?
  • Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
  • Friends? How many?
  • Will your friends visit a lot, and do you like to throw parties for your friends? (This isn’t a bad thing, as long as the two of you are in agreement!)
  • Do you watch much television? What do you watch? How often?
  • What time do you usually go to bed, and what time do you get up?
  • Are you a musician? What instrument do you play? How often do you practice?
  • Are you willing to co-sign a lease?
  • Are you willing to sign a roommate agreement?
  • Are you able to supply references from previous roommates, employer, or previous landlord?

Asking any of these questions will open a dialogue with your new acquaintance and will help you get a feel of what the person is like. Keep in mind that this list is designed for an interview with someone you’ve never met before.  If the person you’re meeting is an acquaintance, adjust the questioning accordingly….or perhaps not! It’s up to you, but do take the time to get to know a person before jumping in to sharing your Allentown apartment.

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