Adding a roommate to the mix can make apartment living less expensive and more fun. Choosing someone to live with is a process that takes careful consideration, time, and effort. If you're searching for a new roommate, take a look at the top questions to ask before making a decision.
When Do You Sleep?
An early riser paired with a roommate who prefers late nights isn't ideal. Ask your potential roommate to provide a clear picture of their regular sleep schedule - not counting occasional late nights out or early morning wake-ups for special events.
A mismatched sleep schedule between roommates may mean that you (or your roommate) feels uncomfortable or awkward being home at certain hours. Depending on your (or your roommate's) usual activities, it may also result in one person keeping the other one up all night/day long.
Where Do You Work?
The answer to this question provides you with several different, but equally important, pieces of information. These include the following:
- Finances. Having a roommate eases the financial burden of renting. Someone who doesn't have a job, or has a low paying job, may not have the ability to pay rent.
- Home office use. According to FlexJobs, 3.9 million workers in the United States work from home. If your roommate is part of the remote workforce, they may need extra space or extra quiet time for their job.
- Schedule. While coordinating sleep schedules can help reduce the amount of roommate-roommate conflict, working at the same time often comes with its own issues. If you only have one bathroom, showering (and getting ready for work) will require careful planning.
Along with these issues, knowing where your potential roommate works can have its perks. A roommate with a car who works near your employer can drive you to work, decreasing transportation costs or giving you an alternative to taking the bus/subway.
Do You Entertain Often?
A solitary homebody and an outgoing entertainer are an odd couple when it comes to sharing a living space. If one of you feels uncomfortable about having guests over, while the other is a social butterfly, the living arrangement isn't likely to work out well.
Not only do you need to know if your potential roommate enjoys entertaining, but you also need to know how much and when. There's a major difference between inviting a friend or two over to watch a movie and filling the apartment with a partying crowd of people nightly.
How Do You Want to Split Expenses?
Even though you might have already agreed that rent should be a 50/50 expense, rent isn't the only group cost you'll incur as roommates. You'll also need to know how the two of you will split the following:
- Bills. Gas, electricity, water, internet, phone, cable, and other household bills aren't always a straight half-and-half split. Talk to your potential roommate about what they plan to pay for and why.
- Food. Will you each buy your own groceries? Or will you share food, splitting the cost down the middle? This is an important topic to tackle before you're forced to share a refrigerator.
- Entertainment. If you both entertain equally, who pays for expenses such as alcohol and other similar costs?
- Pets. Do you have a household pet or pets? If so, ask about handling the cost of food. Also consider who will pay for potential damage caused by the pets when your lease is up.
Clearly outline all costs and get precise answers. Without definite answers, you may end up paying more than your fair share.
Are you looking for a new apartment? Contact Montgomery Realtors for more information.