Getting a roommate can save you money and help you afford a bigger place. But what’s the trade-off? Weigh the pros and cons to find YOUR answer.
You Get a Roommate

There are lots of things to think about when renting a new apartment. What neighbourhood do you want to live in? How much can you afford to pay in rent? How near or far do you want to be from work or school?

Those are all important decisions you’ll need to make, but there’s one other question that tenants have to ask themselves before signing a lease:

Should I live with roommates, or should I live alone?

Every living situation comes with its fair share of pros and cons, so you should always weigh your options.

To help you make this crucial decision, here’s what you need to know so you can decide if you should live with roommates or choose to live alone.

Living With Roommates: PROS

1. You’ll spend less

Having people to share the bills with is one of the main reasons why people choose to live with roommates. Utility bills, such as Wi-Fi, electricity, and heat, can total hundreds of dollars per month. You’ll definitely pay less by sharing those bills with one or two additional people.

Depending on the building you move to, you might even be able to save some money on rent.

For example, a one-bedroom apartment might cost $1500 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment in the same building might cost $2,000.

Just by having a roommate, you can spend $500 less in rent each month.

2. You can get a bigger place

The money you can save on rent just might allow you to lease a bigger place!

A bigger kitchen, a second bathroom, and a bigger living room may be out of your price range when living alone. But those may all become options if you have roommates to share the expenses.

3. You’ll have someone to share the chores with

Don’t love the idea of spending an entire Saturday cleaning tubs and toilets, mopping floors, and dusting every shelf?

With roommates, you can share the chores so you won’t have to do it all yourself!

Living With Roommates: CONS

1. You probably won’t have much alone time

The more roommates you have, the more likely it is that you’ll never have any private time to yourself.

If you’re a social butterfly, this might be a good thing. But if you’re someone who likes solitude and peace and quiet, this can be a big drawback.

2. You’ll have to learn how to share

When you share an apartment, you have to share everything. That includes space in the refrigerator, the couch in the living room, and shelves on the wall.

3. You’ll have to agree on how to decorate

Living with roommates means you’ll have to learn how to give up some control, especially when it comes to decorating. You can’t have everything exactly your way.

So unless your roommate(s) don’t care where you put the couch or mount the TV, be ready to compromise.

4. They might be messy

Everyone has a different standard for cleanliness. A mess to you might seem perfectly neat and tidy to your roomies. Or vice-versa.

5. You’ll need to agree on some rules

When sharing an apartment, it’s always best to come up with a few basic ground rules.

From cleaning to having guests over to taking out the trash, you’ll need to agree on some house rules and decide collectively what is or isn’t allowed.

Living Alone: PROS

1. You’ll have plenty of alone time

If you care about your privacy and love some alone time, it’s best to live alone.

It can be fun living with roommates and having people to chat with or eat dinner with at the end of the day. But if you like your quiet time, living alone is the way to go.

2. You can be as neat or as messy as you want

Don’t feel like vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom? Don’t care if your Amazon boxes are piling up by the door?

When you live alone, you can be as neat or as messy as you want. No one will be there to tell you otherwise!

3. You can decorate in your own style

When you live alone, you get to make all of the decisions. From the throw pillows on your couch to the framed family photos on your bookshelf, how you decorate will be entirely up to you.

4. You can make all the rules

If you prefer to do what you want when you want, live alone.
It’s important that roommates agree on some basic house rules about making noise, cleaning up, or having guests over. When you live on your own, you won’t have to worry about making or breaking any rules other than the ones you set for yourself.

5. You’ll never have to worry about someone else breaking the lease

With roommates, there’s always the possibility that someone will want to move out early or break their lease. And that could leave you on the hook for paying their share of the rent.

When you live alone, you’ll never have to look for a new roomie or have to pay more until you find someone new to move in.

Living Alone: CONS

1. You’ll be solely responsible for the rent and bills

If you live alone, you’ll be 100% responsible for paying every bill. And, depending on your financial situation, that can be a heavy burden to bear.

2. You might have to rent a small place

If you’re working with a tight budget, you’re probably going to have to sacrifice some space. A studio apartment or a small one-bedroom may be all that you can afford.

3. You’ll have to do the chores yourself

With no one to share the responsibilities with, cleaning, cooking, and taking out the trash will be all on you.

4. It can get lonely

Perhaps the biggest drawback to living alone is the fact that it can get a bit lonely at times. Unless you invite guests over on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending most of your downtime alone.

Whether you decide to live with roommates or choose to live on your own, there are pros and cons to each scenario.

As long as you can afford the rent and bills, living alone offers lots of privacy, peace and quiet, and the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want.

Living with roommates, on the other hand, can save you money, afford you a more social atmosphere, and cut back on the time you spend doing household chores.

For some people, living alone is ideal. For some, it’s better to live with other people. Weigh the pros and cons before you make your decision.

Once you know how you want to live, you’ll be able to decide where you want to live.

Author Bio:

Julie Contos is the Director of Marketing for J Malden Center. She has 20+ years of experience creating and executing top notch marketing campaigns for multi-family, commercial, and retail real estate developments. Her capabilities include a deep bench strength in brand development, brand management, multi-channel media plans, digital marketing, social media, communications, and public relations in the real estate industry.