For many searching for an apartment to rent in NYC it might seem like an impossible task to find your dream apartment after factoring in costs of living. As rent prices in NYC are higher than most cities, many people have a difficult time paying all their living expenses on their own even with a professional career. Nearly half of New Yorkers live with roommates. While the most obvious reason for having a roommate is to split up living expenses, that’s not always the case. Living with a roommate can also be important if you’re someone who enjoys another person’s company.
Since living with a roommate involves living very closely together and spending long periods of time together, many people find that they become good friends with their roommates rather than just existing in the same home together. In a perfect world all may go smoothly, although it’s important to note a few key factors to consider before choosing a roommate based on not only your expectations but the other persons as well. Below are important things to keep in mind and openly discuss with a potential roommate beforehand to ensure that your living expectations are met.
Budget: Before even looking for a roommate or speaking with them, you have to have an open conversation with yourself about what you’re willing to pay from your pocket for rent and other expenses. Based on your finances, make a weekly or monthly budget of how much you can reasonably pay for living expenses. Ask yourself if you’re willing to sacrifice the apartment you want for a desirable neighborhood or vice versa. Living within your means can also mean considering other factors like if you drive to and from work or need to take public transportation, if so being near a subway station or bus stop may be more important to you.
Lifestyle: When you meet a potential roommate it’s important that you both be open and honest with how you both live. For example if you’re not a smoker and your roommate is, this can cause friction in your living situation. Many people who are looking to rent with roommates like to choose someone they already know in their life such as a friend or classmate, though despite previously knowing your roommate doesn’t make the two of you compatible to live together. You must remember that while this person may be pleasant enough, living in close quarters with them may be a very different scenario. Factors like what schedule the other person keeps and their personal habits may not be compatible with yours so make sure these things are discussed beforehand.
Setting boundaries: When you choose a person to live with, it’s important to set household rules and let the other person know what behavior is acceptable to you and what isn’t. You may prefer a roommate of a certain gender or age group which should be made clear. Some roommates may decide to split the price of rent 50/50 and others may pay less in rent and instead take on other expenses like internet and utilities. Other expectations to make clear before living together with a roommate are if food will be mutually shared or if you’d each rather be individually responsible for your own food. It’s important that when living with a roommate to ensure that they will be a person with common courtesy, someone you can trust and who will respect agreed upon rules and responsibilities. This is especially important when it comes to the expenses because if they fall short on their end, you will also suffer the consequences.
Renting with a roommate doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you know what questions to ask and who to look for. Besides lessening the financial burden of living in NYC, living with one or more roommates can even leave you with long lasting friendships. Since many people in NYC live with roommates, there is surely someone out there who can be a perfect addition to your home.