Deciding whether to share space with one or more roommates isn’t always easy. Some people rent with responsible, respectful friends while others have horror stories of late rents, bounced checks and dirty dishes piled sky high. When considering whether or not to rent with a roommate, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Run the numbers
Living alone can sometimes be a luxury few can afford (especially in very expensive cities). See what kinds of rentals fit in your budget using tools like the Zillow rent affordability calculator. If you are finding that you can’t afford places in your ideal neighborhood or you don’t love what’s available in your price range, then consider sharing the costs with a roommate. Although looking for a rental home with another person can sometimes make the search more complicated, you will be able to afford something bigger and most likely in a better location.

How important is privacy?
When you have roommates, you’ll likely also be interacting with their romantic partners, relatives and circle of friends. Even the most social of butterflies likes to be alone occasionally, but if having a lot of people around your space sounds unpleasant, renting solo might be your best option.
Style and substance
If you love spending time reading home décor magazine or gathering ideas on Pinterest or Digs, chances are you like your space just so. So it may be tough for you to get a roommate’s input on what pictures should be hung in the living room. Be sure to find someone who shares your aesthetic, or get used to compromise.

Neat or not?
The way you keep your space – both shared and private – should be in sync with your roommate. Clean freaks and slobs in the same household can lead to unresolvable conflict and frustration. If you are the type who can’t sleep until everything is put away at the end of the evening or the type of person who hasn’t seen their floor in months, going solo makes sense. A roommate situation works best when both parties are fairly even tempered and can handle each other’s occasional messes.

Social/security
Would you feel more secure or just less lonely with a roommate? Roommates can provide peace of mind at night or just someone to talk to at the end of the day.

Writing down a list of pros and cons may help you come to the right decision. If you go the roommate route, get off on the right foot by setting some ground rules.

-zillow

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