Apart from a few years in my early to mid-20’s, I’ve had a roommate most of my adult life. Although there are certainly times I would prefer to live on my own, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of having a roommate, specifically when it comes time to pay the rent.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have good roommates who carry their own weight and are both courteous and respectful. Not everyone can be so lucky. Before searching for a rental to share with a partner or friend, it’s best to get to know your future roommate and communicate your needs and expectations.
To help ensure the process goes smoothly, the folks at Forbes magazine have put together a list of house-hunting personality traits to be aware of which we’ve summarized below:
- Tortoise vs. Hare – If you’re like the tortoise, you may miss the hot rental that goes off the market in a matter of hours. If you’re the hare, you’re more likely to beat the competition and nab the property but may have moved to fast and end up with a rental your not in love with. It’s best to know exactly what you want so you can jump at the right opportunity and win over the landlord.
- Urban vs. Suburban – Maybe you like the local nightlife or perhaps you plan on starting a family soon. The bottom line is there are a lot of factors that determine whether you consider yourself an urban or suburban renter. Weigh commuting, neighborhoods, and square footage together and know that you’ll have to sacrifice something in the end. Just make sure your lease allows you to sublet or sell the lease if you decide to change your mind later.
- Penny Pincher vs. Budget Buster – Know how much you can afford to spend before starting your search. Once you’ve decided on a price, both parties will be comfortable going forward – the penny pinching won’t worry about going over budget and the budget buster can pick and choose from listings in the agreed upon price range.
- Long Haul vs. Right Now – Decide how long the rental will last. Be sure to factor in employment, family status, the school district, etc. Depending on your threshold, ask your landlord to consider a 6- or 18-month lease option.
- Homebody vs. Weekend Warrior – Consider your lifestyle when choosing a rental. If you’re never home, opt for something smaller and save the extra cash. The key is to find a rental that can satisfy both of your weekend wishes.
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