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Pros & Cons of Having a Roommate

March 19, 2019

Photo: Ryan Devisser

If you’re planning on moving to a new apartment, you might be considering a roommate. Living with a roommate comes with pros and cons, and it’s up to you to weigh them. We put together a list of what people love about living with a roommate, and what people can’t stand. Consider each of these before deciding if a roommate is right for you.

Pro: Saving money

This is pretty much the main reason people consider a roommate in the first place. Depending on where you live, renting an apartment by yourself is expensive. For renters early in the beginning of their careers and living in a pricey city like NYC or SF, roommates may be necessary. If you are worried about paying rent by yourself, getting a roommate is a good move. When the dreaded time of the month comes to pay rent and utilities, your wallet will be thankful you decided to live with a roommate.

Con: Losing out on privacy

If privacy is something you need in life, a roommate might drive you crazy. If you’re still pooling a few different roommate candidates, ask about their daily schedule. If you have nearly identical schedules, you might be giving away some privacy. If they’re busy when you plan on being home, you’ll still have your alone time. If privacy is something you constantly need, a roommate might not be for you.

Pro: Lifelong friend potential

You might be moving to a new city where you don’t know many people. If that’s the case you may be concerned about making friends. Or you may simply not want to live alone. A roommate that you share plenty of interests with could become a great, lifelong friend. In the early stages of looking for a roommate, ask about their interests, hobbies, and what they like to do in their free time. It just may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Con: Schedule conflicts

Conflicting schedules between two roommates can be the cause of many issues and arguments. If you love to get a good night’s rest before your workday, and your roommate stays up until the wee hours of the night, it might not be a good fit. It’s best to understand the prospective roommate’s schedule and routine before deciding to move in with them.

Pro: An extra set of hands

Having an additional set of hands to help with cleaning and household chores is a great benefit of having a roommate. Splitting up these duties and sharing responsibilities can save you time and energy… sounds great right? Draft out a chore schedule, and tackle them together

Con: Sharing everything

When you split the rent with a roommate, you are essentially agreeing to share the living space. If your idea of a perfect morning is firing up some coffee and watching an episode of The Office, you could be in for a rude awakening when your roommate is already up and using the TV to watch the news. If you aren’t willing to compromise on things like this, a roommate is not for you.

In any case, living with a roommate is a sensitive decision. Make sure to work through the pros and cons before deciding if living with another person is right for you. Consider the good experiences you may have, as well as the potential horror stories that may unfold.

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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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