With the high cost of living in New York City, it’s common practice to live with a roommate. Still, choosing to rent with a roommate is a big decision, and one that can have a large impact your daily life. Here are a few things to consider.
Is a roommate right for you?
First, you should look at your options and consider if a roommate is the right decision for you at this moment. Perhaps the easiest place to start is your budget. The reality of renting in New York is that you may need a roommate in order to live comfortably in the neighborhood you want to be in.
Second, consider your general style of living as compared with your potential roommate’s style. Take some time to talk with a prospective roommate about the hours they keep, cleanliness, having people over, and other issues that are important to you in your home.
The final thing that’s important to look at when renting with roommates in New York City is to determine if they are financially reliable. Do they have stable jobs and income? One of the biggest problems with roommates is the inability to cover the cost of rent. Make sure your roommate has a stable income, or some savings to cover rent in case he loses his job.
Before you move in with a roommate, set some ground rules. These are for both of you; to help you stay sane. Talk about issues like smoking, cleanliness, chores, hours and guest policies, and anything that may have an impact on the quality of life you experience while living together. Remember that these boundaries are not to be punitive, but to support both of you in the living situation.
When boundaries are broken, or you’re unhappy with something with your roommate, say something. Communication is a key to compatability between roommates. Don’t let the annoyances fester and grow. Have a conversation, see if you can meet in the middle, and move forward with respect.
At the end of the day, you and your roommate will be sharing a lot together. Be open to new experiences, try new things, and see if you can be open to new perspectives. When you choose someone to live with, you’ll learn a lot about them. Whether they’re a friend or an acquaintance, you will need some open-mindedness and willingness.