Need a roomie?
If you’ve got the house but nobody to share with, you’ll need to find housemates, and ideally ones that will suit you.
See the checklist on finding a good housemate for questions to ask.
You can advertise on noticeboards or sites linked to your place of study or local areas, and sites like gumtree and Craigslist are also a useful place to post or check out other people’s ads.
You can also link up with people looking to share in your area through lots of different house-share and real-estate based sites, plus they often have useful tips and info for renters.
Be careful though, scammers may use these sites too – make sure to check out Avoiding birds of prey…tips to avoid scams, to find out how to best protect yourself. These tips are important and will only take a sec to read.
Get the best housemates for you
Basically, you want to live with people you can get along with who expect similar things from a housemate as you do.
The first step to finding someone is to meet up and chat. Are you basically on the same page with lifestyle things like habits and schedules? Do you agree with them about chores and paying the bills?
Get a feel for what they’re like starting with this checklist to find a good housemate.
Plus, if you’re checking out a room, you’ll also need to ask extra questions. Add in the questions in finding a suitable room plus anything else you think is important.
Moving in with partners
It can be a problem if things go pear-shaped and you’re stuck with each other and a lease you can’t get out of. No matter how hunky-dory it is now, it’s always a risk (seen the divorce rate?).
At least go in with your eyes open and be clear on who owns what and whose name everything is in –- just in case
Your memory isn’t fool-proof, and neither is theirs.
So, your wallet’s on the table then it’s gone? It might not be your housemate, thieves pop in and out of houses in a flash. Police once rocked up with my wallet (found in a drug raid) and I didn’t even know it was missing yet.
It’s hard to get along once you’ve accused someone of stealing or something else.
Moving in with friends
This can be fun, but only if you start off with a good understanding of what to expect, and you have clear boundaries (this is super-important).
Living together is about more than getting along – you have to be compatible enough in habits (is he a slob but you’re a neat freak? Uh oh!), plus you can’t live in each other’s pockets or you’ll get sick of each other. Ideally, if you’re moving in with friends, make sure you keep your own life and some of your own friends.
Also think hard before moving in with a couple, it can sometimes be tricky to share with a couple if you’re single – you’ll always be outnumbered in decisions plus, frankly, it can be annoying to have a couple snuggling up next to you every night (ok, sour grapes).
Not to mention how uncomfortable things can get if they fight or break up and you’re the one passing the salt across a stony silent dinner table. Just a thought.
Check out these handy tips to get along to prevent things going pear-shaped with your new roomies.
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Housemate from hell, anyone?
Busting to move out of home, Dizzy (yep, not her real name) found a place with a former school friend.
At first it was heaps of fun – decorating with beanbags and candles and enjoying the late nights drinking vodka and raspberry. But as Dizzy made new friends she started getting cranky phone calls from her housemate. Next she noticed her toothbrush was wet each day so she got a new one to carry around. Then her clean clothes came from the cupboard smelling of smoke and BO. When her underwear started disappearing (surely there were more in the drawer yesterday???) then she woke up to her friend in her bed staring at her, that was it – she asked to break the lease, and, luckily, in her case, the landlord agreed.
Of course, not everyone will fixate on their flatmate and turn into a psycho, but moving out is a huge emotional change, and anyone will get irrational, angry or upset at times. It can be trickier to manage boundaries if you’re friends first, then housemates.
You might miss your old buddy or, worst-case, even have a fling with your bestie’s partner. Yes, that old clichéd love triangle is a cliché for a reason. When people spend heaps of time together, one thing can lead to another; wink, wink. Bye bye friendship. Hello, daytime soap opera.
Remember that a decision like this WILL, sadly, be with you for life…and possibly on facebook.
My tip? Don’t go there. Usually it’s the friendship you’ll be missing, long after the affair.
If it’s getting out of hand, try mediation, for example, from your local community justice centre (you can find some links to mediation and free or cheap legal advice at useful websites: renting).
Mediation or counselling is often free, and is always worth a try before more serious measures such as taking someone to court (which usually costs a bomb, often even if you win).
It’s a hysterical read, and quite informative.