Author Topic: Persuade me to rent with roommates  (Read 1018 times)

teltic

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Persuade me to rent with roommates
« on: March 28, 2019, 09:57:25 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

I'm looking for a gentle push to try the roommate thing out.  How many is too many?  I'm 28 single male, making $100k... If that matters (probably not)

Current living situation: 1 bed 1 bath paying $575 plus electric (~$25 a month).  I don't have internet and use mobile hotspot for netflix/light browsing.  I do miss online gaming a tad.

I'm getting a new job 30 minutes away from me.

looking through the internet...  These are the numbers I'm finding

$420 = 3 roommates utilities included
$500 = 2 roommates, utilities included
$475 = 1 roommate, utilities not included ($75 a month I'm guessing for internet and electric?)
$900 = 0 roommates, utilities included (I could live in a tiny studio for $800 all included, but basically no kitchen).

All within 5 minutes of new work!


I did have 1 roommate a couple years ago in San Diego, and my roommate was almost never there.  It was amazing.  I feel like I should try my luck again with roommates, but I'm getting cold feet.

I do value taking long baths, and cooking... Which I feel like having roommates cramps both (although is that worth $400+ a month to do?  Hell no).


Please help me make a decision :) Thank you!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 10:05:56 AM by teltic »

teltic

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 09:59:04 AM »
A couple questions to people with stranger roommates.

1. How often do you see them?
2. How often do you interact with them?
3. Any crazy nightmares?  How do I avoid?
4. Does it get old only having alone time in your 10 x 10 room?

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 10:08:32 AM »
Quote
I do value taking long baths, and cooking... Which I feel like having roommates cramps both (although is that worth $400+ a month to do?  Hell no).

By your own logic, it's not worth paying that much more to live alone. So just try one of the roommate situations and if you hate it, move when your lease is up. Also... You can cook with roommates. Why wouldn't you be able to use the kitchen?

I prefer having roommates and almost always ended up friends with mine.

Velexia

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 10:10:07 AM »
Maybe go on a roommate interview hangout session? Get to know if they're a fit. Talk about your Yes/No/Maybes and set up boundaries and agreements at the start.

teltic

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 10:12:04 AM »
Quote
I do value taking long baths, and cooking... Which I feel like having roommates cramps both (although is that worth $400+ a month to do?  Hell no).

By your own logic, it's not worth paying that much more to live alone. So just try one of the roommate situations and if you hate it, move when your lease is up. Also... You can cook with roommates. Why wouldn't you be able to use the kitchen?

I prefer having roommates and almost always ended up friends with mine.

I guess I would just feel weird cooking with others in the kitchen.  I know that is so dumb.

I value alone time, but I'm naturally a cheapass.

nora

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 05:19:41 PM »
We have three spare rooms which we rent out. So far, we have had very difficulties. We sometimes all end up in the kitchen, and other times we take turns -depends who is cooking with what. I would say the pros outweigh the cons entirely for us.

The pros are, their rent pays for all our household bills and more. We have more people in the house to have a conversation with if we want to. Having so many people means someone is generally home at all times, so better security and we can leave windows open when out.

Try it out and see how it goes!

ixtap

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 06:44:00 PM »
It depends on the roommate, take some time to meet with a few before you decide.

For some of your concerns, having a private bath would also be useful.

JLee

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 08:57:47 PM »
One roommate is the best number, because then when one of you is gone the other has the place to themselves.

mcneally

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 06:46:39 AM »
$475 = 1 roommate, utilities not included ($75 a month I'm guessing for internet and electric?)
$900 = 0 roommates, utilities included (I could live in a tiny studio for $800 all included, but basically no kitchen).
These numbers don't make sense. That basically implies you'd be renting the same apartment, just deciding whether or not to share it with a roommate. That said, I'd consider it if I had a friend I wanted to live with. On $100k salary, you'd be crazy to go looking for a Craigslist roommate. From the rent numbers listed, you live in a low COL city, and people older than college age looking for roommates aren't going to be classy people (as opposed to SF or NY where it is more common).
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 06:50:00 AM by mcneally »

JLee

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 07:51:28 AM »
$475 = 1 roommate, utilities not included ($75 a month I'm guessing for internet and electric?)
$900 = 0 roommates, utilities included (I could live in a tiny studio for $800 all included, but basically no kitchen).
These numbers don't make sense. That basically implies you'd be renting the same apartment, just deciding whether or not to share it with a roommate. That said, I'd consider it if I had a friend I wanted to live with. On $100k salary, you'd be crazy to go looking for a Craigslist roommate. From the rent numbers listed, you live in a low COL city, and people older than college age looking for roommates aren't going to be classy people (as opposed to SF or NY where it is more common).

That's not always true.  I had an electrical engineer as a roommate via Craigslist in Phoenix. We're still good friends, 4 years after we went our separate ways.

DirtDiva

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2019, 07:57:08 AM »
Do you have to sign a long lease for any of those situations?  If there is no lease, and it's not working out, you could move out with 30 days' notice, no?

I would probably look for a one-roommate situation, because more people  = more opportunity for irritations and less possibility for having the place to yourself.

teltic

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2019, 09:18:29 AM »
Do you have to sign a long lease for any of those situations?  If there is no lease, and it's not working out, you could move out with 30 days' notice, no?

I would probably look for a one-roommate situation, because more people  = more opportunity for irritations and less possibility for having the place to yourself.

For the 2 bed apartment, we'd have to sign a 6 month lease.  I am looking into a room in a house with 3 roommates for $420, which is a month to month thing.

I posted an ad looking for a roommate... I think I'd prefer the 2 bed.  Having 1 roommate.  I'm not getting quality roommate potentials (most can't spell... Some in spanish)...

I guess I'll keep holding on.  Maybe I'll hit up on friends on facebook to room with me :)

JLee

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2019, 09:24:20 AM »
Do you have to sign a long lease for any of those situations?  If there is no lease, and it's not working out, you could move out with 30 days' notice, no?

I would probably look for a one-roommate situation, because more people  = more opportunity for irritations and less possibility for having the place to yourself.

For the 2 bed apartment, we'd have to sign a 6 month lease.  I am looking into a room in a house with 3 roommates for $420, which is a month to month thing.

I posted an ad looking for a roommate... I think I'd prefer the 2 bed.  Having 1 roommate.  I'm not getting quality roommate potentials (most can't spell... Some in spanish)...

I guess I'll keep holding on.  Maybe I'll hit up on friends on facebook to room with me :)

I found my current roommate from SpareRoom.com.  I screened towards higher budget and impeccable English. It worked out spectacularly well.

BicycleB

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2019, 01:36:00 PM »
$475 = 1 roommate, utilities not included ($75 a month I'm guessing for internet and electric?)
$900 = 0 roommates, utilities included (I could live in a tiny studio for $800 all included, but basically no kitchen).
These numbers don't make sense. That basically implies you'd be renting the same apartment, just deciding whether or not to share it with a roommate. That said, I'd consider it if I had a friend I wanted to live with. On $100k salary, you'd be crazy to go looking for a Craigslist roommate. From the rent numbers listed, you live in a low COL city, and people older than college age looking for roommates aren't going to be classy people (as opposed to SF or NY where it is more common).

That's not always true.  I had an electrical engineer as a roommate via Craigslist in Phoenix. We're still good friends, 4 years after we went our separate ways.

I strongly agree that not all people in multi-roomie arrangements are "not classy." I mean - maybe I'm not classy classy, but I'm a clean thoughtful master's holding responsible person who's lived in a 3- to 4-roomie deal for over a decade (I own the house). But you have to interview carefully because you're not going to like all people either. I have turned down 20 callers in a row to find the right person.

In your shoes, I'd interview very carefully, leaning towards the 1-roomie deals as you dip your toe in.

You can interview to search for introverts vs extroverts; people whose schedules differ from yours; people who show thoughtfulness vs people who don't; etc. I look for all of things by asking gentle probing questions, offering and listening to stories, and asking followup questions. My roommates all get month-to-month deals from me but usually last for years because we are all people who converse pleasantly but leave each other alone most of the time. My experience may be an outlier though.

The cost savings from the roomie deal is the #1 cause of me being FIRE. It produced more than half of my stash and still covers about half of my cash outlay.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:38:37 PM by BicycleB »

dragonwalker

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 02:42:32 AM »
I thought I should comment here as I am in a similar situation except more extreme. I live in a house that was converted by the landlord so that there is no family or living room just 8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 1 kitchen although 1 of the bathrooms is the private bathroom of one of the rooms. Basically 7 people share 2 bathrooms. I have live here 5.5 years. Rent started at $478/month with 3% increase annually I'm up to $554. It's the suburbs of Los Angeles in a HCOL area. None of us share the rent we each pay separately and are on month to month. All utilities including Internet are covered. I am 31 now. 

If the area you live in is like mine you will definitely get a slew of different room mates from all types of backgrounds. I have to say much of the quality of your room mate depends on how carefully your landlord vets interested people. Obviously if you have control over this process you dramatically increase your chances of finding the right person but perhaps increase your risk of some situation causing that person to need to leave early because you are responsible for the entire rent.

You would think the house would be noisy and crowded but frankly given the number of people it is amazingly quiet. I think in large part due to the fact that none of us knew each other before hand and there is no comfortable common space. There is only 1 chair in a smallish kitchen. Ironically I feel that because everyone is in their own world, people become less social and therefore it's more quiet. The point is how much privacy you want is greatly determined by your attitude to making it social or not. The more comfortable the common spaces, the more likely your living space will be more lively and colorful. 

Surprisingly there have been few conflicts but what will happen especially if you live in closer proximity to someone or see them often is you might begin to feel annoyed by little nonsensical quirks that everyone has. Honestly I think it's just a type of projection outward if you are not having a good day.

A big consideration is privacy. In my particular place it's more limited only because I'm self conscious about the noise I cause and what can be heard by my neighbors. If you are not like this and simply don't care who hears you then all the better for you. But alas, this is the type of thing that could be a trait in a room mate that annoys you. For instance, they don't care about privacy so they aren't careful when it comes to noise or sounds so you get to hear it and now you are caught in that situation of confrontation, ignore or compromise. 

For this reason there is some benefit living with strangers that you can tell you won't be friends with but are RESPECTFUL. Ofcourse most people can put on a good show when you first meet so the key here is catching people in moments when their guard is down that might hint as to how they might act in a living situation. Given this reason and my own personality I'm much more inclined to rent and live with someone who has good credit, clean background and demonstrates respect and responsibility than a friend or someone I like. I think it's more beneficial to treat this like a business transaction than social hour. In the end the facts will better support the likelihood of less conflict how I see it. 

I know my own landlord does check credit and background and that does help to vet anyone who would pose a practical problem so that is a must. Most of the people I've lived with have been in their 20s and a few like myself in our early 30s. I think it's much less drama than expected and truthfully most people are more boring than they let on and ultimately most of us just slip into our own private cove where we feel comfortable.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 02:47:02 AM by dragonwalker »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Persuade me to rent with roommates
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 02:05:48 PM »
I definitely wouldn’t get more than 1 roommate and get references and call them! Also, see if you can find a 2 bed, 2 bath. Sharing a bathroom sucks. Sharing a kitchen is fine. I’d also spring for a house cleaner that comes every 2 weeks and split the cost.

I think you’re young enough to do this still and it’s a smart way to save money.