Finding a place to rent in a major urban center, like a big city such as San Francisco, New York, or Austin, can sometimes be a demoralizing experience. While there is plenty of choices available, as well as varying levels of quality, the most shocking thing, especially for renters coming to a city for the first time from smaller towns, is the price of rent. For example, a one bedroom apartment in New York City averages about $2000 per month, and goes UP from there, not including additional expenses like utilities, cable TV, and Internet access!
The price of rent is the single, biggest factor that determines what kind of choices a person has for choosing an apartment or townhome. But of course, a single person’s income is not always the sole determining consideration for choices of living space.
The Roommate Factor
For many people, the undeniable advantage of seeking a roommate is the additional choice this gives for living spaces. If your budget allows you to spend $2000 per month on rent, then this means that if you have a room-mate with similar spending power, you are both now more realistically able to afford a $4000 apartment. If you get more roommates, the cost goes down.
So the immediate benefit is that you increase your possible spending power on rent, or, conversely, save money, if you decide to split rent on an existing place you’re living in, by 50% or more. But, despite the imme-diate financial gains, there should be other considerations at play when thinking about getting a roommate.
Everyone has different predispositions, and if you’re more introverted, the idea of having your own space, un-der your control, without anyone else in it, may outweigh the financial advantages of moving into a bigger space with someone else in it. On the other hand, if you’re an extrovert and prefer the company of others as often as possible, then living on your own, with no one to talk to, aside from friends online or on the telephone may feel intolerable, even if you can easily afford to do so.
Another important factor is your ability to compromise. Living with someone else, especially someone you’re not already familiar with, is going to require compromises. What if you work the night shift at your job, but the other roommate works during the day? What if you’re a vegetarian, but the roommate isn’t? What if you love music playing loudly but the other person prefers quiet? What if your chosen apartment allows for pets, but you don’t want one, while a potential roommate already has a cat?
These and many other issues are things you need to consider. If you’re going to live with another person, compromise of some sort is a 100% absolute necessity. You can’t have everything exactly your way when you live with another person, that is unfair. Conversely, you can’t let another person take advantage of you, and have a list of demands. The key to successfully sharing an apartment or townhome with another person relies on a number of different factors