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anyone have roommates?

Posted by joulesR4me (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 4, 05 at 14:33

I must be going insane. Now that I'm taking a couple night classes, I don't seem to be at home as often. I actually need someone for "doggie-care"!! I mentioned this to an acquaintance recently thinking one of her kids might be interested in low rent in exchange for dog-care and found that she might be interested. Wow. I almost forget what its like to have a roommate but I know its gonna be weird. Have any advice?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: anyone have roommates?

Definitely ask lots of questions about living habits. I had a roommate for about 5 years and we are still friends, but I couldn't live in the same house any longer. I am NOT a neat freak, but she was/is a major pack rat and the piles of stuff kept growing and growing and I just couldn't take it any more. :)

I would ask about anything you will be sharing: refridgerator, phone, tv, computer, etc. What hours do they keep (i.e., are they an early bird that might be disturbed by you coming in late or vice versa?) My old roommate and I had work hours that were just a couple of hours different and that was nice because you always had the house to yourself for a couple of hours every day.

We both had dogs too, so when there were 'accidents' no one got too upset about having to clean up b/c next time it might be *your* dog! ;)

Good luck!


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RE: anyone have roommates?

I had roommates in the military and in college. Sometimes we only got along because we had to. These days I'd die if I had to live with a roommate.

: )


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RE: anyone have roommates?

Just once. I got my first clue when I moved my plants into the living room for better light. Came back to find them back in my bedroom.

Never could accept I don't care to watch t.v. or make work part of my conversation. Even to this day I don't understand what she expected. I paid my share and did my agreed "chores"....more "company" I suppose.

Enjoying be a hermit. A lesson well learned.

Wing


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RE: anyone have roommates?

My love of roomates deteriorated in college- especially when my calling card got stolen - you could track the calls from the phone on our floor all around the world. It was comical when a $3,300 telephone bill arrived the next month.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

I'd rather hire a petsitter for the dogs than have a stranger in my house. Dogs are adaptable, they'll be fine as long as they can go out.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

I have my kids! Can't kick 'em out just yet at 12 and 14! I tell them to take care of the furniture as they will be needing it when they move out. They don't believe me!

I rented a room last year while working out of town. I got my fill of being the roomie, thanks. The first room was the guest room of a retired couple. They would comment if I came in late from work. I often worked until 10 or 11 as I had no social life or home life. That was a bit tedious. They acted like I must have been out whooping it up. Gosh, I wish! I moved out of that room when I decided I couldn't take the dead fish smell anymore. They grew orchids in every room but mine and I think they must have used fish emulsion. Nasty smell.

Next I moved into the guest room of a single man who was a total player. He had a differemt woman in his room several times a week. And yes, I could hear their night activities through the vent. I used ear plugs. One week the same women was there 2 nights in a row and thought, gee, a relationship! But alas, there was new girl the next day.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

Ive had roommates off and on my entire adult life. Currently I rent out a room in my house. I do it primarily for the financial benefits; I live in a high-housing-cost area and definitely feel that sharing my home is worth actually having enough money to travel and take classes and other fun things. There are good and bad things about it. I recommend thinking it through and trying to be pretty honest about what you can and cant happily live with. If you decide to get a roommate, I also suggest actively looking for someone who meets your needs and has a compatible lifestyle; do not pick a roommate just because s/he happens to be a friend of a friend (or a kid of a friend) and needs a place to live, pick someone based on interviewing them and determining that youre reasonably compatible and neither one of you has any habits/hobbies/personality traits that is going to drive the other one insane. Know what you expect and will be comfortable with. Make sure the person youre renting to is expecting the same situation you are. Are you planning on sharing your home or renting out a single room? Do you have frequent or long term guests? Will your renter? Are you both comfortable with the amount of entertaining the other is likely to do? Do you have compatible schedules? (unless your house is big enough youll never see each other). Do you expect to become friends with the new person, or prefer to be left completely alone, or somewhere in between? Will you share meals or cooking duties?

One big thing I noticed when I transitioned from renting someone elses house with a roommate and renting to a roommate in my own home, is that the people I rented to (as in, Im both roommate and landlord) did NOT do half the housework, yardwork, etc as my roomies in the shared rentals did. The assumption seems to be it is my house, Ill take care of yard and common areas and they only have to worry about their room and dirty dishes. Not a big deal once I adjusted my expectations, and probably not a big deal to you since youre not used to the other way around.

While most of my roommates have been more than willing to share pet duties, Ive never expected that from them, nor did the lower-rent-in-exchange-for any kind of work. I suppose that could work, but I would think you have to be very clear up front exactly what work you are expecting in exchange for the cheap digs. If you expect her to be home at a certain time every night to walk the dog, she needs to be aware of the specific requirements.

I NEVER do leases. I ONLY do month-to-month rental agreements. I assume that even though Ive discussed living habits ahead of time, sooner or later I may find myself in a situation where one of us is unhappy, and I see no point in trying to enforce a lease that requires miserable cohabitation. I REQUIRE a signed agreement and a security deposit. I build into the agreement a clause that allows immediate termination of the agreement for certain (illegal or violent) behaviors. This clause is not legally enforceable and I know it, but I doubt most of my tenants do, and the reality is that if I feel threatened in any way, I will change the locks and deal with legal repercussions later if they happen to know enough to know they can sue me.

Be smart, think through what you want out of the situation. If it doesnt work out once, that doesnt mean it cant if you learn from the first roommate that you cant live with a night owl, next time, make sure you dont get a night owl. BarnMoms situations could have been easily avoided (assuming she had other living options) by *asking* first how often the guy had overnight guests or if the couple had any problems with the fact shed often be coming home late. But, of course, she would have had to know what questions to ask, and other situations would require other questions, which is why I say its important to really think through what kind of situation you want and make sure ahead of time the other person is on the same wavelength. There are definitely some good points to living alone, but having a roommate has its good points, too, and not all of them financial, if you take care to avoid the pitfalls and make sure you have an out (month-to-month, no lease) if you fall into one anyway.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

In my situation, it was not my primary residence so I didn't much care what he did with his life. I could certainly escape. I was not allowed to have overnight guests but this was not an issue for me. I never used the kitchen or any room in any way except my room and the bath, which I shared with the other renter, a man. I cleaned the bathroom (the other renter had much lower standards than I) each week and kept my room neat and dusted. I was only there 3-4 nights each week.

I agree, all of these things need to be sorted out ahead of time but the personal life stuff is touchy.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

hey, BarnMom, just using you as an example, not suggesting you did anything wrong. But joules is thinking of renting out a room in her home, if she gets in a situation that's uncomfortable to her (and only she knows what that is), she doesn't necessarily have an easy out. Personal life stuff should NOT be touchy when you're deciding whether or not to live in the same house with a stranger (or someone you know, for that matter). It's kinda like the STD before sex discussion; even if you're not comfortable with the subject, it's still important to have the discussion. I mean, it's not like it's still going to be private once you're housemates, anyway...


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RE: anyone have roommates?

Oh, I'm not defensive. I think you give some really good advice. So many things come up after the fact that you don't think about in the beginning. This man was a complete control freak in a lot of areas. How do you know that ahead of time?


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RE: anyone have roommates?

Wow - thanks for all the great thoughts!!! The woman I first spoke of did come by to talk. I don't know if she's seriously interested or not ... I know how it is when you question your marriage and you want to "feel-out" your options. Though she might very well make a good house-mate, I'm not certain if she'd be able to accommodate my real want - a doggie helper. So, we'll have to talk more. You all have given me a lot to consider though and, after I get home tonight, I'll try to make a list of questions/discussion items to use for prospective renters. I see there's more to this than there was during my college days ... thanks again. I'll likely be posting back at the beginning of the week with tons more questions.


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RE: anyone have roommates?

I never considered myself good roommate material -- too much of a hermit, very possessive about my stuff (you'd better not be heating/eating MY TV dinners! lol), etc.

However, there was a situation that worked quite well for me. I shared a four-bedroom house with three other women. We all were beyond "a certain age" which I think helped -- more maturity and more life experience which, in turn, enhanced our maturity. Also...and I think this was the key part...we all treated our bedrooms as individual studio apartments.

The living room was basically a passthrough to the kitchen where we had assigned cabinets and refrigerator space. We grabbed our stuff, cooked it and took it back to our rooms. Everyone had her own TV/stereo/radio.

It's not that we weren't social. Just that we had boundaries that we maintained for ourselves, and we had respect for the other roommates.

This arrangement worked better for me than I ever would have imagined. I'm still friends with one of the roommates even though I now live 1,600 miles away.

Karen


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