Instead of renting an apartment, you may elect to share a house in NYC instead. In some ways, sharing a house is just like getting along with roommates in an apartment building. But in other, less obvious ways, it’s actually pretty different. Here’s some advice on how to share a house in NYC so you can have a positive relationship with your roommates that is clean, healthy, and reasonably sane.
Home security: When you share a house, you’ll need to approach home security a little differently. The apartment complex may have a main door to the entire building, and most of the apartments are above the ground floor. In a house, there are more points of accessible entry, and there is no backup plan like a secure apartment building entrance. Also, houses just look more tempting. In the mind of a potential thief, there’s a lower chance of being seen because there’s less people around and a better chance of finding valuable stuff.
It’s easy to think of a burglar as someone who flits from shadow to shadow in the middle of a moonless night. But most robberies occur in the day. In summer. When it’s nice out. And you and your friends are off toiling away earning cash at your respective jobs. So it is ultra, super important that everyone you live with understands the necessity of locking doors and windows.
Careful what you say, these walls have ears: Now that you’re out of an apartment building, you might think you won’t have to deal with neighbors waking you up. Or depending on your lifestyle, you don’t have to fret about waking up your neighbors. But keep in mind you’ll have a better chance of getting sound insulation between two apartments then between two rooms in a house. Walls separating apartments may have concrete or other sound dampening materials. In the house, it’s probably just drywall. If you share a house, you’ll have to be even more careful about noise, not less.
Clean up crew: Sharing a house typically means having more square footage than an apartment. Plus more communal living areas to share. Bigger kitchens, bigger living rooms, scaled up entry ways. That’s enjoyable when you’re accustomed to living in an apartment that qualifies as a walk-in closet to your friend in the suburbs. But that also means more to surfaces to scrub. You’re going to need to bring your A game and use elbow grease by the bucketful. Get the cleaning duties listed on an easily visible whiteboard in a communal area like the kitchen.
If it gets sketchy in there then pests will come to investigate all those alluring aromas. Pest control is expensive, and it is often a landlord’s responsibility to handle it. But not always. It’s easier to show that a tenant attracted the bugs in a house than in an apartment building. Nobody is going to be able to say “Oh, the guy in the apartment down the hall totally lured those here.” If somebody in your crew drops the ball, you could get stuck with the bill.
Greater expectations: The benefits of sharing a house are pretty cool, but the responsibilities are greater as well. Impress upon potential roommates before they move in that this will be a little different than living in an apartment. Security, cleaning, and noise considerations have to be made. Do yourself a favor and communicate clear expectations before anyone moves in. Work your expectations into the lease whenever possible.
Do you share a house? What do you do to keep a happy living arrangement? Post your comments below.