Roommates & Flat Sharing

With inflating prices abound, it's common for people today to seek out likable, like-minded roommates to split the bills with. While this is seen more often with the fledgling crowd of young adults who aren't yet settled into their financial standing, it's not atypical to find older audiences who also need (or simply prefer) a little company to keep the lights on.

Traditionally, one would start their young adult life with close friends to share a lease with, or they might find someone who's a little more well-off with a mortgage in the works to rent a room from. Some middle-age families might try to pull a trustworthy roommate under their wing for the financial leg-up on child care expenses, which is one of the more popular places for people to seek out a new home.

Generally speaking, a well-off family won't accommodate any roommates — no fault in that. If anyone could live on their own terms without sharing their space with someone else, the concept of roommates might border on obsolescence. Until that day comes, people will continue taking shifts on trash duty, dish-washing and general upkeep. It's common knowledge that this routine gets old after awhile, however.

Aside from making a lower-wage income livable, it's also just sane to share a space when everyone can get along. One of the problems that the world is facing now is population versus housing versus real estate, which is forcing more people into smaller spaces to spare costs to both development firms and the general public.

Important Factors to Consider

For those who are seeking to save money or just avoid the emptiness of a lonely home, there are serious implications to consider. As a home-owner or a lone renter, liabilities can very quickly open up and consume an otherwise manageable or healthy living environment. Consider the following when pursuing a shared housing situation:

1. Who can vouch for the trustworthiness and temperament of a chosen roommate?

Everyone has a past, and it's no secret that human beings in general have a tentative track record at recognizing or accepting their own faults. This is why it's better to find a roommate whose trustworthiness can be vouched through a close friend or family member. Even better, choosing a family member or close friend of one's own circle will dramatically reduce the odds of winding up with an unruly flatmate.

2. Will one's own inhibitions interfere with their ability to cooperate with someone else?

Sometimes, the object of doubt isn't so much outward as it is inward. For those who possess the wherewithal, introspecting on their own shortcomings and predicting how they may affect others is an important step toward making a home-sharing environment possible despite foreseeable complications. Other questions to ask may include:

  • How will one's own financial situation affect others in the home?
  • Is one's own temperament an object to others' patience or tolerance?
  • Are there lifestyle choices that may affect others, such as smoking or alcohol use?
  • Does one intend to frequently invite friends, family or a significant other over?
  • Are there differences in perspective that may create conflicts with others?

3. From what locality would the best roommate come?

This is an unfortunately necessary question to ask, as not every city or town environment will condition its population to see things the same way other people do from other environments. Someone from a more polite and proper upbringing may struggle to get along with attendants of James Madison University, for example.

Three Websites About Roommates and Flat-Sharing

  1. Usnews.com - This widely acclaimed news site provides tips on how to find the best roommates.
  2. Brickunderground.com - This article lists 20 questions that everyone should ask a prospective roommate before inviting them in.
  3. Thesimpledollar.com - For those who are debating over the cost benefit of sharing a home space with a flatmate, this article is worth looking into.

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