It’s that time a year again, where students rush to get their housing for next year locked down and compete for leases in the best spots on campus. Finding a place to live is only half the battle, however, as your new home won’t be a very fun place if you aren’t compatible with the people you share it with. While you may think that living with your BFF is a great idea, differences in lifestyle and conflict resolution could turn them into your worst enemy. Here are a few tips from Madison Property Management and backing those up are MPM resident Olivia Johnson with some roommate experiences of her own.
Going far beyond just the basics (smoker/non-smoker, pets/allergies), it’s important to find a roommate who has a similar interests and habits as you. Are you a partier and have friends over often? Do you prefer to stay home and watch movies? “I live with three guys,” Olivia says, “I’m laid-back, love video games and shooting hoops, and am the best wing-man out there, so I fit in just fine.” Her roommate choice is unconventional, but it works out for her because she gets along with them and enjoys the same things they do.
It’s also important to find someone whose cleanliness level aligns with your own. “People think I should be clean because I’m a girl, but if you look at our apartment, our rooms are all piles of clothes. The only difference is that my pile is pink and purple and blue instead of green and red and black like the guys’. I don’t mind that we have dishes piled up…. I know one of us will get to them eventually!”
One flaw in Olivia’s roommate choice is the drastic difference in schedules. “I work 8-5, but my roommates work late shifts after school. I’ll be in bed by 10 most nights, while they’re just getting home at 2am. Sometimes their late nights wake me up, but they’re usually respectful and keep the noise level down for me.”
Is your potential roommate financially responsible? When it comes to rent, you need to be able to rely on your roommates to pay their share. “We have an agreement; if one of us pays rent late, that person has to cover the 5% penalty fee.” It’s not fair if a roomie is constantly buying beer but can’t pay their rent on time. Save yourself the confrontation and make the rules ahead of time.
“One of the things I love about living with boys is that I know they’ll never steal my clothes!!” Sharing is different for everyone – some kids grew up in big families and share everything, thinking nothing of borrowing some milk for cereal when their roommate finds it irritating. Find out what’s off limits and what things can be shared, including TV time, food, and computers.
Do you hear your friend complaining constantly about their roommate? It’s common for many people to gripe about their living problems to their friends, yet they never confront their roommate about the issue. Leaving little notes, texts, or hints that a roommate needs to do the dishes isn’t going to get the dishes done. Find out if your potential roommate is a passive-aggressive resolver or more direct and confronting. Having similar conflict resolution styles will ensure that your time living together will go smoothly.
MPM has a roommate service that assists you in finding a roommate with similar lifestyles and budgets. We will work with you like we did Olivia to help you find shared housing that you can actually live with! Visit our roommate service here, or call an MPM representative today!