It’s a more complicated question that you may think. Even if you’ve always lived alone, or always shared your apartments, now might be time for a change. If you simply cannot afford to rent an apartment on your own, living with roommates is a great solution, but even if your finances are better, you may still choose to live with other people. Some renters choose roommates so they can afford to live in a more luxurious apartment or a more expensive neighborhood. Others do it just for the company, or to make housekeeping easier by sharing chores and errands. Roommate relationships aren’t just for young, single people, either: As the economy and culture shift, more families and people past their 20s are choosing to share their homes with roommates. Still, some people love the privacy, freedom, and drama-free advantages of living alone so much that they will tighten their budgets to make it happen.
The choice is a very personal one, and how you feel about living alone or with others will probably change as your life circumstances change. As About.com’s Apartment Living/Rental guide explains, a lot of roommate trouble starts when renters take a roommate just because external factors make it look sensible, because it’s what they’ve always done, or because everyone they know is doing it. This guide from About.com will walk you through the deeper, more personal reasons why living with roommates may or may not be right for you. Do you prefer privacy, or do you tend to feel lonely without other people around? Are you willing to risk personal conflict for a chance to save money and time? What matters most to you? Remember, though there are risks involved in sharing an apartment, you can take steps to set yourself up for roommate success, and in the worst case scenario, you can survive having a deadbeat roommate.
If you’re on the fence about whether to look for roommates or rent your Houston apartment on your own, read and listen to the stories of people who have done both. Which ones sound most like you, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences? Which story feels right to you? To get you started, check out “One is the Awesomest Number—5 Reasons Why Living Alone Rules” from Lemondrop, and “The Roommate Revolution: Why Living Alone is Overrated,” from Yes! magazine.
Posted by Melanie Belasco Levy on 05/10/12