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4 years ago
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I think I have to rent a room with strangers. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I live in Manhattan and the guy I've been living with for the past 3 years is getting married. None of my other friends' leases are up at the same time and I really can't afford to get a one bedroom.

Is this a terrible idea to rent with people I don't konw? I'm really hesitant, but at this point, I think it's my only option. HOrror stories welcome. Good experiences prefered.
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4 years ago
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I've lived with multiple strangers I found through craigslist and have been happy with the results every time. I have found that living with a stranger can be easier than living with a friend you have known for a long time. Things can get messy with a friend because you both might go in with expectations that are unrealistic.

Sure, there are definitely creeps out there, but most people are cool and if you're open and honest about your expectations for your roommates and turn your weirdo radar way up, you should be fine. Plus, you get to meet some new people. I say go for it.
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4 years ago
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While I've never personally rented a room with someone I didn't know, I do have a lot of friends who have (with varying degrees of success.) It's definitely not uncommon.

From my experiences with living with roommates, it's important to be compatible on a couple of things:

- Hours you keep: If one of you is a teacher who has to get up at 5 and the other is a bartender who gets home at 4, it's not a good idea to live together

- Cleanliness: One messy vs. one with OCD = issue

- Guest Policy: Do you like to have people over (even if just to watch tv)?

- Budget: Make sure you both can afford to pay rent, utilities, AND eat. If your budgets aren't compatible, don't live together, no matter how great the place is

- Do you LIKE each other: This is a big one people seem to forget. When you meet your potential new stranger roommate, do you like them?


I can't wait to hear the horror stories from others, though :)
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4 years ago
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I have never lived with strangers... but, in DC lots of folks that work on Capitol Hill do. My friends that have gone through the process treat getting a new roommate like hiring a new employee. There is an exchange of info over email, a phone interview, and an in person interview with all roommates present. I am not sure they go as far as doing a drug test, but that wouldn't be too bad of an idea! (if it wouldn't be completely off-putting...which it would be).
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4 years ago
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Very nice advice from Colleen, pointwise and covering mostly everything.

My opinions, no problem at all. I just need to make sure that the new roommate is educated and matured enough to make sure that he will have his part of the rent arranged at least 2 days before we are suppose to pay! And yaa, if understanding and maturity is there, even if ur habits are different, it wouldn't be difficult to adjust!
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4 years ago
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I have lived with Craigslist contacts many times and it worked out great for me each time. I actually disagree with a couple of Colleen's points:

"- Hours you keep: If one of you is a teacher who has to get up at 5 and the other is a bartender who gets home at 4, it's not a good idea to live together"

I find this to be the perfect situation - I always preferred that my room-mate be out when I am at home, and vice versa. If you are both always home at the same times, you will eventually get in each others' way.

- Cleanliness: One messy vs. one with OCD = issue

For the most part, agree, but if you can negotiate a division of responsibility where all parties contribute but in different ways, that could work too.

- Guest Policy: Do you like to have people over (even if just to watch tv)?

As long as both of you are respectful and communicate, this shouldn't become a huge problem.

- Budget: Make sure you both can afford to pay rent, utilities, AND eat. If your budgets aren't compatible, don't live together, no matter how great the place is

Yes, you should all be able to afford your monthlies.

- Do you LIKE each other: This is a big one people seem to forget. When you meet your potential new stranger roommate, do you like them?

Not sure I agree - I think a mutual respect is much more important. I've lived with people I really like and had it turn out terribly, and lived with people I barely knew and had it work out great.

Anyway, like someone else noted, keep your weirdo radar on high, and you should be fine.
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4 years ago
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I currently live with somebody I had never met until I moved in. It worked out really well. Prior to this, I had only lived with friends from school and it definitely is a different dynamic at first because you are both feeling each other out. But, it was cool because I could come home from work and not feel obligated to hang out, but when we wanted to chill we would too.

I agree with Colleen, though. Make sure to have the same schedules at least and preferably the same type of personality. But, all in all, it was definitely something I would do again
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4 years ago
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I wouldn't worry about this at all. Honestly, living with strangers isn't the hard part for the most part. It's really finding a neighborhood that suits your taste, which you can do easily with Nabewise (Nabewise.com)!
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1 year ago
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My mom wrote a book about renting her room. She wrote about what she has learned from her housemates. She says trusting people is trusting universe. She had 50 international guests in 10 months. 50 different windows to life. http://www.amazon.com/Trusting-people-trusting-universe-doors/dp/149053248X
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