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20 Comments

  • Reply FrugalMe |

    Well my flatmate lives in 100 km from the city however she works in the city. Since she works 4 days a week in the city – Wednesday at home she stays over Monday and Thursday night. So a flatmate who just needs somewhere to stay while having a house and family elsewhere is perfect. Now that she is on maternity leave I have lots of space to myself.

  • Reply Twiggers |

    My brother-in-law lives with my husband and I. It’s been this way for 7 years. It helps us financially and helps him. He’s pretty clean and kind of stays to himself. There are times that I wish my husband and I could have a normal, married life….but this is our marriage 🙂

  • Reply Loren |

    My 20 year old niece lives with us while she is attending trade school. She has friends in her old town, so when school is out, she’s gone (which is about four nights a week). She’s very trustworthy, is responsible, and I am comfortable telling her yes or no to things.
    She used to pay rent, but since the economy tanked, she now babysits for us weekly and does our hair. It works out pretty nicely as an exchange…I often think how it wouldn’t work if it weren’t family. Because we have children, I would not be willing to rent a room to just anyone.
    I just saw an article in our local paper about extended families living together to save money and it makes the families closer….

  • Reply Jen |

    Your post reminded me of what my grandparents did when they bought their house waaaay back when. They took in boarders. I forgot how they got the referrals – if they were men my grandfather knew from work or local farmhands. But they rented out rooms and my grandmother may have fed them (she didn’t have an outside job so she had the time to do so). Fast forward a few decades and they paid off the mortgage, sold the house, and were able to buy a retirement home without a mortgage.

    As for being 30 and having roommates, there’s nothing awkward in saying you have roommates if you live in an expensive area. Here in Boston there are LOTS of thirtysomethings with roommates. Some are professors/grad students, and some are regular working professionals.

  • Reply Kelly |

    I don’t think NEVER to pets and kids is something everyone would agree with.

    Some people are pet people, and some people (like friend’s of ours) have children and loved having a built-in playmate for their daughter, and they traded babysitting so everyone could have date night.

    We don’t have room for roommates, but eventually we may add on so my parents can live with us.

  • Reply Craig |

    My roommate is a friend from college and it is working out very well. Bottom line is to be respectful and the fact that we are friends helps a lot. Because we have the same group of friends, so when they are over, it’s for both of us and not getting in the way of personal space.

  • Reply Monkey Mama |

    Renting a house with strangers worked well for me. (I’d be less inclined to invite strangers into my home…). We worked different schedules, never saw them, and all drama in the house revolved around ones who tried to be friends. So I think it’s a decent rule to not be friends with your roommates.

    Your post reminded me – the best roommates hands down are the ones who live with their boyfriend/girlfriend but don’t want their parents (or more likely, their extended family) to know. So they need an address and a room to put their things… Funny thing was in my 20s that about described everyone. I had a few of those roommates. Best ones ever – never saw them. Very common. (Though I remember getting really sick of the BS in my 20s because I couldn’t keep straight who lived where and who was s’posed to know what. Oy vey. Literally most of the parents knew but they didn’t want anyone else to know – friends and other relatives).

  • Reply Rivr Gurl |

    My husband was working out of town and his 16 year old sister (who was working in excess of 40 hours a week) stayed with me for 6 months and kept me company when she was home in addition to some cleaning when asked. She was a great roommate because she’s very easy to get along with and although slightly messy, it generally remained limited to her own room.
    She moved cross-country to be with her grandmother at the time my husband’s other sister was discharged from the military. She’s 18. DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA. She was unemployed and not seriously looking for a job for four months (even though we had a clear verbal agreement that she would pay so much in rent each month). She ate our groceries (occasionally buying some herself) and sitting home all day on MySpace and watching TV (Teen shows which are highly irritating to intelligent people). In spite of not being able to “afford” rent she was able to afford trips to visit random army boys she knew in addition to one snowboarding trip with some that left her stranded 200 miles from home (with our snowboards) so we had to make a sudden trip to rescue her (without reimbursement).
    In addition to all this, I’m currently 7 months pregnant and yet I found myself constantly cleaning up after her. We ultimately gave her a month’s notice that we needed our space back (for baby stuff 😀 ) and that she needed to find another place to stay, which ended up being her parents house. I didn’t mind having a roommate (even in-laws), it’s just a strain when it’s a bad roommate. In retrospect she was in the “college girl” age group and I really should have known better.

  • Reply Michigan Lady |

    I am 25 and have lived with lots of different people during college and after graduating college. I am so thankful I have not had to worry about a mortgage (especially during this time)- and I seem to pick and up move every year (which is fun/not so fun).

    It REALLY SAVES me money- though! I have always lived with friends, but recently pretty much moved in with a PERFECT STRANGER…and it has been GREAT!

    I recomend living with strangers, rather than friends. With strangers you really watch yourself and respect each other’s privacy…ect. But with friends you can just tend to get on eachothers nerves and not be sooo respectful because you are (too) comfortable around them.

    But of course, do some research on the “stranger” to make sure everything is A-OK with them.

    I pay $400 a month in rent (and there is a gym and a pool that i have access too!) when my friends are paying $850+ for their own apartments…thats quite a savings!!! And with our recent pay-cut it pretty much has SAVED me!!!

  • Reply Eric |

    I’m 33, and after my divorce, I needed a way to make ends meet, so I tried taking in a family and renting out part of my home. It was a disaster, and resulted in an eviction lawsuit and thousands of dollars lost along with much of my personal property destroyed.

    I knew it was due primarily to the personalities of the individuals and have since gotten a new roommate, and couldnt be happier! My advice would be to do a background check and credit check as it tells alot about someone’s level of responsibility.

  • Reply Pam |

    One of my best friends was someone I found through a classified ad- she was looking for a roommate and I needed a place to live. I was her maid of honor a few years later and seven years later we are like sisters. I’ve actually had great luck many times living with total strangers.

  • Reply Maria |

    Although I have considered it for financial reasons, I wouldnt have roommates even if they are family because I like to have my own space. Plus my son tends to “get away with things,” when someone else is in the house.
    You cannot place a monetary value on your sanity and knowing that your Diet Pepsi will be there when you get home. 🙂

  • Reply Beks |

    I’m so glad roommates have worked so well for many of you! I agree with Jen, I think we’re moving to a time when living with others is just becoming a way of life – a way to live within our means. To those with bad experiences (rivr gurl – I hope the new baby is far easier to live with; ) ), if you need a good roommate, I wish you the very best at finding one.

    Oh! And who knew strangers wouldn’t be so bad! Maybe I should give it a try!

  • Reply Debbie |

    Make sure you get roommates who are willing and able to contribute to the household in some way: rent, grass cutting, paintng, odd jobs, raking leaves. You may be able to barter with a person who is handy around the house and needs some help on the rent.

  • Reply Kristy @ Master Your Card |

    Meh..I’m definitely not a roommate person. Read my story if you want to know why, it’s too long to describe here.

    http://masteryourcard.com/blog/2009/02/20/a-story-of-sucky-roommates/

    I probably will not be living with anyone other then a significant other anytime in the near future. I think, even if times were tough, I’d find another way because my sanity probably couldn’t take any more. Beyond that, I’m extremely picky about my living space and I don’t want someone questioning the way I do things. I’m not really into compromising my personal space anymore. Call it getting older and set in my ways, but once you’ve been through what I’ve been through and then had freedom, going back isn’t an option.

    Although, I’m glad you’re open to friends and family only, Beks. I have a friend who found her roommate on Craiglist, but I’m skeptical as to how that will play out. He seems nice enough…

  • Reply Writergirl |

    I lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment for six years after I graduated from college, and my monthly housing expenses came close to $1,000. Then I bought a house. Even though my housing costs with property taxes, insurance, repairs, heating oil and other utilities amount to $1,700 a month, having roommates has drastically reduced what I personally pay. Buying a house allowed me to save, invest and prepare for emergencies.

    I started with one roommate I found through Craigslist, who lived with me for a year. He worked the night shift and his 10-year-old daughter visited him on weekends. I took in a few interns from work for three months at a time. The turnover got to be annoying. Now I have two long-term roommates (going on 3 years) who are close to me in age and lifestyle but who were originally strangers. I do count them among my friends. Occasionally I take in a third roommate. Sounds hectic, right? It’s not. They share in the chores and buy household supplies. I take in $1,500 a month in rent. I have company at the end of the day if I feel like staying in. They’re professionals, like me, and do their own thing. It works for us.

  • Reply Nicole |

    I will have “roommates” for the next 20 years in the form of small children:) Glad you can have yours to help you keep your head above water:)

  • Reply Rob |

    I’m a 24 year old dude, and I own a house, have room mates, a girlfriend, a business, and a huge German Shepherd/Lab Mix.

    It’s not dogs that you need to look out for, because most people with animals are pretty responsible for the most part, it’s people who have absolutely no background checks or references.

    I think the type of person that you are describing as a room mate, is one who is never at your house but still pays your mortgage. That’s pretty unfair.

    My room mates helped me get on my feet while I was in college, and we all enjoyed each other’s company and always had someone there to let off steem with and have a few drinks/shoot some pool.

    They needed a place to stay, I checked out their references and did the background thing, and for the most part it was no drama. We all kept the common areas cleaned, and it was good. Ones to look out for though, are the ones with absolutely no possessions that they are bringing with.

    Roomies are pretty chill, usually.

  • Reply weldon |

    My best roommates Have always been Japanese Exchange Students.

    *Clean
    *Quiet
    *Polite
    *Always Always

    When I had roommate I networked with the Local Language Schools. I had a new roommate ever 9 moths to a year, but I never had any problems.

  • Reply K-money |

    When my BF took a six month job overseas I let a friend who needed a place to live be my roommate so I’d have company. Four years later the three of us are sharing the 2 bedroom house I bought. I am in my late 30s and not ashamed to say “my roommate” because that’s just the way things are. If one of us needs personal space we just don’t speak to each other, we know you have to respect each other’s space for tight living arrangements to work out. Plus, she scrubs the grout in the shower and helps keep my cat’s litter box clean – that by itself makes having her around worth it to me!

So, what do you think ?