Whether you’re considering sharing the rent with your best friend, your significant other, or someone new, ironing out some of the day-to-day details before you sign that lease can help make sharing your space a success. At Weidner, we’ve seen our share of move-ins and move-outs and thought we’d share these 7 tips with you:
- Be clear on your reasons for moving in together. Make sure your goals match your future roommates’, even if you’ve known each other for a long time. Is the decision to move in together meant to further and deepen the relationship, or is to simply split the rent and expenses? If each of you has a different set of reasons for moving in together, it may cause tension. Just be clear upfront so there are no surprises or unfulfilled expectations.
- Agree on the rent and expenses budget. Nothing says “Surprise!” like not having your share of the rent. Make sure both of you agree to the budget, including all utility and related expenses before you sign the lease.
- Agree on pets. If each of you has pets, make sure they are capable of cohabitating. Consider doing a trial run for a weekend to see how everyone gets along. Also, consider that allergies might be an issue.
- Who’s doing the chores? One person’s version of neat and tidy may not be another’s. Discuss some ground rules for common areas and come to an agreement on how to keep your apartment home comfortable and clean. Consider hiring an outside service if you’re both busy and would prefer not to do much cleaning.
- Find a middle ground for décor. Tastes and styles can vary greatly, so it’s important to know what look and style you both want to create in your shared space. If you are into all things antique and your roommate prefers the modern look – it could cause a problem if you don’t communicate it first. Work towards a compromise the best you can and have some fun with it!
- Guess who’s coming to dinner? Having guests over can be great fun or an awkward inconvenience, depending on who you talk to. Even if you already share a lot of the same friends and social schedule, make sure to ask your roommate or partner how they feel about having guests over and whether or not they prefer some notice.
- Pick your battles. Successful cohabitating is largely dependent on clear communication of expectations and knowing how to pick your battles. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Consider the reasons you moved in together in the first place and let that serve as the guidepost to how important a difference of opinion is. While we all should feel understood and respected, minor differences shouldn’t weigh down the positive aspects of sharing your space with another person.
Communication, setting expectations, mutual respect, and a sense of fun makes for a good foundation for any partnership. From all of us at Weidner, we wish you a very successful co-habitation!
-The Weidner Team