Monday, April 30, 2012

Roommate Chronicles: Part 1

Recently I've gotten a couple of emails from readers and friends asking a few roommate related questions. Roommates are an interesting principle all by themselves. If you think about it having roommates can save everyone a lot of money, time, and can act as a security in a lot of ways. You are never alone with roommates. But there are also some things you have to seriously consider. Since I bought my house in 2008 I have had a number of roommates come in and out of my home. Some were really awesome and remain my best friends to this day, and some I hope to never see again.

So I've decided to extend out a little advice in the roommate department that I've learned the hard way over the last few years, hopefully to save everyone a little trouble.

A few of the questions I received were:

  1. How do you find a good roommate? What are your requirements in a roommate?
  2. How do you deal with the bills? Do you split them up?
  3. How do you collect the rent?
  4. Do you have a lease agreement?
  5. Overall how do you live with strangers?
Those are just a few questions I've received so I thought I would just go about addressing the first one today.

"How do you find a good roommate? What are your requirements?"

I think the most important thing to consider when looking for a roommate is to think about the type of lifestyle that you live as well as your age. I'm not saying that you can't room with much older or younger people but I think it's important to keep in mind because of maturity levels and different levels of responsibility. For myself, I make it very specific when I put an ad out for a roommate that I want a college aged female as a potential dwelling sharer. I do that for a number of reasons. 

One, I've never had much luck with guy roommates in terms of longevity and cleanliness. It turns into the guy often thinking that you're going to clean up after them. I'm an independent single lady and I have no interest in cleaning up someone else's mess or playing wifey.

Two, I have a total of three bedrooms which means that I rent out the other two rooms at this point. The two people that are going to be sharing the other bathroom need to be able to get along and if they are able to bond over hair products or make up I think it makes it much easier. 

I have found that living with females is much more fun in all honesty. Some would argue that living with girls causes more drama, but I don't feel as though that's entirely true. I screen my potential roommates to make sure that they are mostly single (or at least aren't going to be having one of those boyfriends that stays the night every night and starts doing his laundry in my fancy washer and dryer. Not happening.) and that they are female. I want to live in an environment that is positive and geared towards independent female status. Also, women tend to prefer and appreciate my decor way more then men do. As a DIY blogger, that's huge for me!

Overall in regards to finding a roommate, I recommend setting your standards high because you are living with this person for a minimum of 6 months to one year and you deserve to be comfortable. And also being very clear in what you are looking for in your life and roommate experience. 

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