Apartment Advice

Pros and Cons of Roommates (vs. Living Alone)

When it comes to figuring out whether you’d like to live with a roommate or not, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons.

You may be struggling with the decision between living alone or with someone. If that sounds like you, it’s completely natural not knowing which option is best.

After all, both have benefits and downfalls, so it’s vital to choose carefully.

We understand that you might not want to deal with someone else’s music and messes, but on the other hand, you might get lonely and bored living alone.

Plus, need we even remind you how pricey living on your own can get?

Below are some pros and cons to consider before deciding whether living alone or with a roommate is best for you.

1. Financial Considerations of Living Alone

If you’re a student or have recently graduated, sometimes it just isn’t financially feasible to live by yourself.

Splitting the rent with someone can save you both money and help ease financial stress in the process. Sharing rent is one pro to having a roommate that you can’t deny.

On the other hand, if you can afford to live in an apartment by yourself, and you prefer solitude, going solo might better the better option.

If you decide to have a roommate and split the rent, however, you should understand the lease terms and what they entail for both of you.

Consult with the apartment complex to see which lease options are available — a month to month or yearly lease, for example.

You and your roommate should agree on how much you both will pay per month. Arranging payment and how much you pay isn’t determined by the complex, but rather, it’s something you both decide.

You should also figure out how you plan to divvy up utilities and other apartment expenses like the internet bill.

Talk with your potential roomie about what should happen if one or both of you need to break the lease or temporarily not pay rent. Ask the apartment manager what your options would be if that were to happen.

For example:

  1. If your roommate went on an extended vacation, could someone sublease your current roommate’s share of the apartment until they get back?
  2. If the vacation becomes permanent, can the lease be assigned to a new person?

Sometimes things happen you can’t anticipate, which is why you should have a plan in place in case someone should have to move.

Related: 7+ Clever Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

2. Cons of Roommates: Driving One Another Crazy

If you decide to get a roommate, you should sit down and have a discussion before rooming together because friction between roommates is a definite con.

Talk about chores, who’s in charge of what, and who drops off the rent check. Those are just a few examples — brainstorm all of the shared responsibilities you can think of.

The last thing you want is to do is get stuck doing more than you anticipated.

Here are a few other scenarios in which you may drive one another crazy, such as:

  • One of you is a neat freak, whereas the other is not.
  • Your schedules are different, and you get woken up when your roommate gets home late at night or wakes up too early.
  • Your personalities don’t mesh well.
  • Listening to loud music or movies that you don’t like can get overwhelming.
  • You strongly dislike your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Friends hang out at the apartment constantly and spend the night a lot.
  • Your roommate forgets to drop off the rent check at the leasing office.

Make sure you talk about your habits and expectations so you don’t drive one another crazy.

Not every roommate situation works out, and that’s alright.

However, remember that if your roommate is on the lease, they may need to find someone to take their place or wait until the lease is up.

3. Pros of Roommates: It’s Fun Getting to Know Someone

Some people may be apprehensive about living with someone new, especially if they don’t know the person well. But creating new bonds can be a big pro.

Even if you are already friends with your potential roommate, there’s always something more to learn when you live with someone.

Are you considering prospects you don’t know? Becoming roommates with someone you don’t know that well is often a rewarding experience.

Why is that?

Well, it gives you the chance to learn about someone else’s life experiences. Getting to know someone who has gone through different life experiences can help you grow as a person.

Furthermore, it also teaches you how to get along with someone who may or may not share your same interests.

If you do share some of the same hobbies, and assuming you want to hang out, creating new memories outside the apartment can be fun.

For example, perhaps you both share a love for traveling. Who knows, maybe in the future you can go on a trip together.

After all, at that point, you’ll already know how it is to live with one another!

4. Experiencing Peace and Quiet

Perhaps you’re an introvert, or you prefer to come home to a peaceful and quiet apartment. If that’s the case, it may be a pro for you to live on your own.

Living by yourself also means you are in charge of the remote. You can read a book or take a nap whenever you want to — interruption-free.

If you like to come home after a busy day and relax and pull up a chair, then living on your own might be a good idea.

However, there’s the issue of loneliness, which we discuss next.

5. Cons of Living Alone: Battling Loneliness

In comparison to #4, if you like being around people, living alone can be a con. You may get lonely.

Psychologist John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago did some studies on loneliness. He discovered that lonely people who deal with the same stressors as people who aren’t lonely experience higher levels of stress.

Lonely people have fewer positive interactions. They also have higher levels of stress hormones that can result in high blood pressure.

We are built for human interactions,  so if you tend to get lonely and ultimately decide to live alone, make sure you plan enough social activities.

Or — just get a roommate!

Related: How to Meet Your Neighbors [5 Proven Methods]

Living with another person can be a pro in many ways. But if you’re a private person who needs time alone, then having a roommate might be a con.

But whatever you decide, nothing is set in stone.

Sometimes living with a roommate doesn’t work out. So make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into lease-wise before moving in together.

You want the move in (or move out) to go as smoothly as possible.

Whatever you decide, we hope your living experience is the best one yet!

Having more than one roommate can score you a whole house. Read College Housing Alternatives: Renting a House With Friends

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