How To Share A House In NYC

share a house

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.

How Should Roommates Split Utilities?

split utilities

Splitting utilities with roommates should no longer be a cause for concern. With so many resources to be utilized, it’s really hard to get it wrong. Here are a few tips, tricks, and apps to help you split utilities and navigate your way through fair sharing.

There’s an App for that.

When it comes to splitting utilities with roommates, precision is of utmost importance. A calculator and dry-erase board leave too much room for human error and discrepancy. Here are a couple apps that are designed to help equally and fairly split costs and bills including utilities. Splitwise is a free mobile app that allows you to keep tabs. Everyone in a “group” can see the running tab of who owes who and how much. Its great at maintaining accountability. Venmo allows easy transferring of money amongst roommates. Some banks even have mobile apps that will allow money transfer at your fingertips. An electronic receipt helps record who spent what and when.

Discuss every factor.

Before everyone starts downloading apps it’s vital to discuss the position of all roommates. Just as everyone decided the person in the largest room with a view pays a little rent than the person sleeping in the walk-in closet, fairness is applied to the utilities. If one roommate needs 3,000 television channels and another hasn’t had a TV in a decade, adjustments need to be discussed. Timing is important. These conversations need to be had right away, not when the late notice is slid under the door. Also that one person who turns the AC down to 65 in the middle of the night- don’t let him get away with it. That energy consumption comes at a price.

Distribute.

Determine how and when payments are to be made and who is responsible for that particular utility. This should be evenly distributed. The leader or control freak of the group may insist she make all the payments, avoid this. Someone take internet, the other electric etc. This person is responsible for collecting everyones share and submitting payment.

Agree.

Once all roommates agree on how utilities will be split get it in writing. Type out all the details, big and small, and have everyone sign the roommate agreement. No, it’s not overkill and it will prevent problems. All roommates keep a copy and one posted on the fridge. Leave no excuses for when bills are due.

 

3 Roommate Red Flags

Roommate red flags

Most everyone has a roommate horror story. Not the “Friday the 13th” type horror but the “eats all of my groceries and is always late on rent” scare. These aren’t just funny old college stories but lessons on what to avoid when choosing roommates. Curving a bad roommate is all about following the signs.  Luckily, it’s pretty obvious when you know what to look for.  Here are 3 roommate red flags to keep an eye on.

 

  1. Overtly messy. Even if you are not the cleanest of people, an overtly messy person simply has very little respect for shared space. This person will usually leave their chores to others and not feel guilty about it. An overtly messy person is often selfish and sees roommates as guest in their domain. If you find someone who leaves trash outside of a trash can, take notice to this red flag.

  2. Bad spending habits. You and an old friend are looking for a place in the same neighborhood, and it seems rightfully convenient to be roommates. But they often borrow money with late or no return, yet always have their favorite Venti Starbuck’s frappa-whatever in tow and are constantly shopping. It’s not terribly difficult to notice a person has poor money management and struggles with prioritizing. This is a red flag because such roommates are likely to be late on rent and not agree on their share of utility bills. This puts you at financial risk. It is also likely this person will borrow clothes and food without asking. Nobody has time for that.

  3. Bad energy. Constant gossip, complaining, and bad mood are signs someone has bad energy. If you leave your conversations exhausted it is probably a red flag. A roommate isn’t always going to be the ray of sunshine in your day but at the very least you should not live with someone who is a happiness vacuum. If you feel you need to escape this person, moving in together is the worst of decisions to make. When you are searching for your new place and new roommates on Roomi, here are a 3 roommate red flags to consider.

 

 

 

How To Have Pets With Roommates In NYC

pets with roommates

Getting along with a roommate can be challenging at times, even when your personalities do complement each other. Add pets with roommates into the mix and diplomacy can break down fast. Especially in NYC, where owning a pet is harder than usual due to a high cost of living and limited accessibility to things like parks. Part of the problem is that we tend to think of our pets as just that. Ours. Our pet is our responsibility, our love and joy, our source of occasional stress. But if your current roommate or prospective roommate has a pet, then you can work together to own pets with less stress despite the challenges NYC presents.

Consider The Benefits Of Sharing Pets With Roommates

Happier, healthier pets: Even cats want a play pal sometimes. If your pet and your roommate’s pet get along, they won’t be bored when both of you are working. And a decrease in pet boredom correlates to an increase in furniture longevity. That’s just science.

Balance work life with pet care: If you live in NYC, chances are you work some crazy hours just to make rent. That can leave your pet home alone for longer than you’d like. If you and your roommate have offset schedules, you can split up pet duties. Then you don’t have to worry while you’re at work that your puppy is developing abandonment issues and tearing up your favorite pajamas in an act of wholesale retribution.

Save time and money: Pets are totally worth it, but they’re a lot of work, and they’re not cheap. Especially in NYC. You can get more chores done in less time if you split the workload between the two of you and coordinate. You save money by buying common items in bulk whenever possible.

Pet Care Action Items For You And Your Roommate In NYC

Balance work schedule with pet workload: Put both of your work schedules down on paper. For each day, mark who leaves and who gets home first and second. Assign pet care tasks, like putting food in bowls and refilling water. Keep the workload even and make sure your pets are getting maximum social time with you and your roommate.

Buy bulk: You and your roommate should take a moment and write down every single expense your pet incurs. Then sit down together and circle the commonalities. You can buy those in bulk and split the price. If you both have the same kind of pet, you might be able to get them to agree on the same kind of food. This is easier with less finicky eaters. Like Labrador Retrievers, Mother Nature’s adorable cross between a furry canine and an insatiable vacuum cleaner. If your pets just aren’t having it, there are plenty of other expenses you can split. Wipes. Bags. Brushes. Shampoos. Litter box necessities. Biscuits. Bacon. pH balance chemicals for saltwater fish. Toys. The list goes on.

Tired pets are well-behaved pets: Alternate walk days and double the frequency your pets get to go outside and stretch their legs. Walking two pets at once is a good solution for smaller animals or well-trained ones. It’s not advisable for larger pets who might confuse being paired up with another animal as some kind of competition. A Husky might think, “oh hey, we’re racing now?” and next thing you know, you’re going for an unscheduled ride.

Merge pet cleanup with room cleanup: Pets deposit hair, splash water, and some occasionally throw up for no reason whatsoever. Instead of treating pet cleanup like a separate chore, let your powers combine and fuse pet cleanup with regular apartment cleaning.

Have a pet cleaning station at the door: Despite NYC being a concrete jungle, pets have this uncanny ability to find every speck of dirt, every murky puddle, and track it back to the apartment. Put a pet clean up station with shared supplies right at the door to keep your apartment from being zoned by NYC as a landfill.

Do you have pets in NYC? How do you and your roommate handle things? Post your comments below.

Should I Get A Roommate In New York City?

roommate in new york city

That’s a big question to ask yourself. Getting a roommate in New York City will affect your life, finances, sleep cycles, and general state of sanity in every way. Finding a roommate is make-or-break material, and should be treated with the same level of care you approach a car loan.

Whenever confronted with a massive project with lots of moving parts, it helps to break it down into small, manageable pieces that can be tackled one at a time. This tactic significantly reduces the panic factor when we realize we need to uproot and transplant our entire existence in less than a month. So here is a list of smaller questions you can use to answer the looming issue of “Should I get a roommate in New York City?”

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Find A Roommate in NYC

Are you getting a roommate for the sole purpose of saving money?

That’s probably reason number one on the list for most people. NYC is a wealth of opportunity and excitement and priced to match. If saving money is a goal for you, then you’re probably feeling financial stress like 99.9% of the rest of the world. But keep in mind that saving money is the symptom. The root cause is stress. So be really choosy when finding a roommate to make sure this person is going to reduce your stress, and not add to it. If you don’t, then saving money won’t have accomplished your underlying goal, which is to lead a happier, healthier life.

Are there other ways to save money?

Do you write down everything you spend money on? I know. Ick. The mere thought of typing every expense into your phone is enough to instigate a small gag reflex. But, is the inconvenience stopping you? Or are you a leery of what you might find?

There are so many carefree ways to pay. Swipe a card, wave a phone, and pay online through PayPal. It’s easy to lose track of it all. Which is precisely why it’s so important to get every expense written down so you can see where your money is going. Coffee at Starbucks twice a day? Going out for drinks thrice a week? Those little expenses add up faster than we realize with so many convenient ways to pay.

Don’t be surprised if the money you could save by having a roommate could be saved with less stress by getting a studio apartment and dropping, or at least reducing unnecessary expenses.

Are there other ways to reduce stress?

Okay, let’s say you got your budget under control, or you’re one of those rare people who can balance a bank account through secret ninja techniques passed down through your family for generations. (Which qualifies as a superpower, by the way, so props to you.) If stress is still driving you into the arms of a roommate, take a step back before you commit.

Do you hate your job? Some workplaces are just toxic. Long hours, low pay, and enough workplace politics to fuel fifty reality TV shows. If you are losing sleep over your workload, finding a job that pays the same but sucks way less is a logical step to go through before finding a roommate in NYC.

Check other sources of stress. Relationship dragging you down? Maybe it’s time to break it off and move on. Is your apartment really loud? Do you have a better chance of winning the lottery than parking within a mile of your own home? Finding a new apartment first might do more for your stress levels than finding a roommate.

Once your affairs are in order, you very well may still want to find a roommate in NYC or even a new base of operations. With the right tools you can find an excellent roommate who adds to your life, not your stress load. Head on over to Roomi to find roommates in NYC, plus awesome apartments for any budget. Save money and reduce stress with our secure Trusted Listings and get to know your roommates before they move in with our chat app.

What expenses have you cut out lately? How have you found ways to manage life stress? Post your comments below.

Should I Become Roommates With My Friend?

Stories are often told of two strangers living together and becoming the best of friends. While it is said friends should avoid living together in order to keep what they have. Let’s take a closer look at this strange phenomena to decide: should I become roommates with my friend? There are three sides to every situation. Lets consider the good, bad, and reality of becoming roommates with your friend.

Pros. No roommate hunt, no awkward first meetings, no roommate interviews. Friends, for the most part, know each other. You understand your friends habits already and you may have experience resolving conflicts with each other. Living with a friend can reduce stress exponentially. You always have someone near who not only knows you, but gets you. There comes a time among roommates where you need favors, or to borrow almond milk until you can make it to the store. Having a friend as a roommate makes the asking part that much easier. Living with a friend is comfortable and makes it twice as easy to maintain your traditional nights of chinese takeout and Netflix originals. What is better than spring rolls and House of Cards…right?

Cons. Oh, how the truest of colors will shine! Three weeks into your new lifestyle living with your friend, you wake up realizing it’s not just the world’s longest sleepover. Facing issues with a friend that you live with can be intimidating. You walk the fine line of commitment over conflict. With a typical roommate, confrontation can be a lot easier to face. After all, you’re not too concerned if a stranger likes you or not. With a friend, it can be tempting to withhold communication around an issue because you don’t want to be another failed attempt at being roommates with a friend. But you’ve watched your leftovers disappear one too many times, and things aren’t looking so good anymore.

Reality. The reality of the situation is you’ll be fine. You friendship will grow in some areas and perhaps suffer in others. It’s 12 months and anything is manageable for ayear. At the very worst the friendship ends when the lease expires, and should that be the case maybe it wasn’t the strongest of bonds anyway. But you’ll most likely just pick up each other’s weird habits and have new found appreciation for one another.

3 Traits You Should Look For In A Roommate

Having a perfect roommate just isn’t a thing. Doesn’t mean you can’t strive for the best! Big city or small town, it’s important to know where to start when it comes to who you choose to share toilet paper and possibly most real side of yourself with. Here are 3 traits you should look for in a roommate.

  • Compatibility.
    Knowing yourself and your own personal habits will be the key to the ideal roommate. This person lives a similar lifestyle to you making for a peaceful household. If you party, don’t shack up with someone who goes to bed by 10pm. If you’re a student, find another! If you haven’t been bitten by the tidy bug it’s best not to choose a roommate who does the “white glove” check. The traits you should look for will be similar to the traits you possess. Know your lifestyle and remember, in this case- opposites do NOT attract.

  • Happy.
    Depending on how often you’re around happy people, this can be an easy one to spot. Living with a happy person is contagious. At the other end, living with a notably unhappy person can be a vacuum for your energy. Look for the type of happy vibes that aren’t superficial. If someone seems peaceful, content, and living with purpose the type of stability it can bring to their mood is palpable. THIS is who you want to be living with!

  • Trustworthy.
    Being able to tell if someone is trustworthy can be tricky. Plan a couple meetups before you choose to live with someone. Recognize how they treat your time. Do they agree on plans then bail? You can tell a person is trustworthy by how they value you and their commitment to the plans you’ve made together. At the earliest sign of shadiness, run. Living with a roommate you’re not sure can be trusted will be uncomfortable. No one deserves this.

Compatibility, trustworthiness, and happiness are 3 traits you should look for in a roommate. Roomi App can help you find roommates who get you. Once  and your perfect duo or trio have aligned use the Roomi App to find your perfectly placed, perfectly priced apartment. Happy hunting!

What To Do When Your Roommate is Late Paying Rent

Besides eating the rest of a leftover pizza, a roommate late paying rent is a fairly common roommate misdemeanor. Unfortunately, there are no roommate police as of yet and rent still needs to be paid. For those who have found themselves in this unfortunate circumstance- here is what to do when your roommate is late paying rent.

The approach. The first step to resolving the issue is understanding why it’s occurring. Respectfully reach out to your roommate to genuinely understand why their portion of rent is late. This can help you decide what moral code you are willing to uphold. Keep in mind, your roommate is legally bound by a lease, so don’t take on more than you can handle.

Zero tolerance. With this approach to the situation you have to keep a few things in mind. The first is that this cannot become habit. The ol’ nip-it-in-the-bud tactic is required. It’s understanding when emergencies come up, but handling someone else’s responsibilities, even in a small crisis, is not the way to go about it and may set you up to be a doormat. If the zero tolerance approach is something you’re capable of doing, then execute it swiftly and efficiently. Rent is late, if they do not pay up you find another roommate or arrange to sublease.

One and done. Perhaps the situation your roommate has found themselves in is so bad it’s understandable and almost relatable. You have now agreed to cover them this month- just this once. Get your agreement in writing. Type up a simple contract with its conditions. Though not legally binding, this is a good way to give your roommate a deadline or due date to return to you their portion of rent. Do not accept on the terms that they pay your portion of rent next month. This leaves four weeks for a hit and run to occur. After all, they have already proven their unreliability.

Resolution. Now that you have sought understanding and chosen to be tolerant or not, here are some long term decisions to consider in order to avoid or improve the situation. Have a heart to heart. If your roommates circumstance appears to be that of a habitual nature, express how detrimental being late or not paying rent can be to you and themselves. Evictions and damaged credit are hard hitters the next time you move. Speak to the landlord about adding another roommate- more people, less rent. If your landlord is accommodating it is also possible to modify the lease depending on the circumstance. Be open with your roommate about talking to the landlord in order to protect your own finances.

Avoid guilt trips or personal vendetta’s. Money matters should not be taken personally, it’s simply not worth. Don’t keep the issue from your landlord, and reach out to your roommate to collectively resolve the problem.

How to Resolve a NYC Roommate Fight

You’ve found the perfect pad, at the perfect price, in the city you’ve been dying to live in. Roomi may have helped you score some amazing NYC roommates but conflict has arisen, and even if you’re not a fan of adulting, you’re going to need to know how to resolve a roommate fight- without the sticky notes.

Boundaries and house rules. ​Setting boundaries and creating house rules can be uncomfortable for someone you’re just meeting, even life long friends struggle with this when choosing to cohabitate. But, it’s a necessary awkward that pays off. It’s important to create your rules and to be aware of others. When you hear knocking on your room door because your bass dropped one too many times-don’t be surprised since “Noise Level” is number 7 of the house rules. Honor NYC roommate rules and hold each other accountable. Keep house rules in a public area so all roommates have access and as a reminder. Here you can find tips on where to begin when creating house rules and boundaries with NYC roommates.

Timing. ​You woke up late and your can of Axe was empty- not only did your boss yell at you but you smell. It’s been an all round bad day. Coming home and seeing the same red pot in the sink for the 3rd day in a row has broken the camel’s back and suddenly it’s HulkMania in Apt 102. Before your living room reaches WWE status, consider whether the timing of the confrontation is appropriate and you are not fueled by misdirected stress. The earlier an issue is addressed, typically the easier the resolve. In the event that you do blow-off steam whilst confronting a roommate issue, quickly and sincerely apologize for it. Anger charged discussions accomplish nothing and you’ll end up washing the dishes out of guilt anyway.

Face to face communication.​ Roommate Facebook pages, group chat/text, and dry erase boards are all modern day platforms for asking NYC roommates to supply their share of toilet paper. When it comes to resolving a fight, discussing broken rules, or confrontation it should be done face to face with all roommates present. Often times what is said in text can be misconstrued- “No, I’m not yelling at you, I’m just really excited about toilet paper”. Avoid THAT conversation by talking to each other more often. The environment of the discussion should feel safe and no single roommate attacked by the rest. To effectively resolve a NYC roommate fight, lose the emoji’s and call for a house meeting.

Fight Fair​.​ Fighting rules with roommates are the same ones you apply to a fight with anyone else. Be respectful, understanding, learn to compromise, and allow for open communication. Living with roommates will teach you a lot about yourself and your conflict resolution abilities. Now you’ve got the tools to use to resolve a roommate fight. Following this advice will keep the peaceful vibes flowing and allow for an exciting and fulfilling NYC roommate experience. With the RoomiApp you may discover the boat doesn’t rock as much since you’ve found the perfect apartment at the perfect price. That’s definitely one less thing to fight about.

Help! My NYC Roommate Is A Slob!

You try to open the door to your apartment and hear the meaty thunk as it collides with your roommates discarded backpack and festering rain boots you could smell from the bottom floor.

Gritting your teeth in determination, you power your way through, forging your way through the knee-high canyons of discarded unmentionables, kicking a pizza box of dubious origin using only the very tippy-toe of your foot. You’re ready to pull your hair out over this mess, but there’s already so much of it clogging the drain, why bother?

Sound familiar? If your NYC roommate is a slob, it can be stressful at best and even evolve into a legit health issue. Especially in New York City, where humidity is higher, and apartments tend to be smaller, so there’s really nowhere to go to escape the bio-hazard zone!

Here are five helpful tips to clean up your roommate before the Center for Disease Control starts calling you up for free samples. And three options for a Plan B if diplomacy breaks down and conflict ensues across the perpetually troubled living-room-to-bedroom border.

  1. Talk about it.​ This is so important but not as easy as it sounds. You have to live together, and life is stressful enough trying to survive the workday without coming home to a room filled with so much tension you can pluck the air like a guitar string. But if you don’t bring it up, they won’t. So sit down and make sure you communicate what the problem is. Don’t be confrontational or hose them down with accusations, even if you’re right. (And let’s face it, you so are.) Keep it calm, clean, and honest with your NYC roommate.
  2. Remember this is about persuasion.​ You can’t really force them so you’re going to have to convince this person to work with you. Taking a “rules are rules” attitude might make sense logically, especially for organized people who are the first to raise concerns about sliding sanitary standards. But in reality, isn’t going to gain a lot of traction with a slob. Slobs are the sloths of rebellion. They will break the rules on basic principle through simple inaction or by taking so long to clean something up, a glacier in the next ice age will mop your floor before they do.
  3. Set clear goals and propose solutions. ​Nobody can reach a goal if they don’t know what it is. Make the expectations clear and simple with a cleanup schedule. Put it somewhere visible and break up cleaning duties evenly. Yes, it’s a little unfair if one person is making all of the mess. But singling them out is a sure way to put them on the defensive, making it even harder to convince them to clean up.
  4. Don’t make your home a battlefield​. Taking a big pile of your NYC roommates’s stuff and rigging a laundry basket to dump it on their fuzzy little head in the morning when they are still too weak to defend themselves might sound fun, but it’s only going to aggravate the situation. That said, consolidating all their stuff, respectfully, into a box and giving it to them can be a good way to get the ball rolling on a new habit.
  5. Do all of it at once to make the strongest impact.​ Consolidate their stuff, hand it over respectfully, have “the talk,” and present the new cleaning schedule, all in one session. This is pretty direct, so make extra sure to keep your body language relaxed, your tone serene, and your language respectful. If a Buddhist priest watched you do it, they would give you the nod. Now you are presenting yourself as a reasonable adult who is leading by example and offering solutions. Triple-wham-bam. Complete with comic book explosion effects. (Wait, do they even still write comic books? Or is all just movies now?)

If all that fails, you’re dealing with a roommate who is, quite frankly, never gonna change. At this point the best thing you could do is one of three things:

  1. Move out. If you’re not the landlord and it’s driving you that crazy, there is never a shortage of people looking for roommates, especially in New York.
  2. Accept it. Think of it like camping. In your own home. Complete with bugs.
  3. Revise the lease to include specific cleaning duties for all. This only applies if you’re the landlord, obviously, but that old phrase still holds true… get it in writing. When the day finally comes around that your roommate needs to renew the lease, you can point it all out. If they decide to move on, now you can communicate it clearly to the next roommate and hopefully head the problem off at the pass.

If your NYC roommate does decide to leave, nobody is advising you to dump a laundry basket full of their crap out the window when they walk to their car for the last blessed time, while you laugh maniacally alongside your cat. Because that would never happen.

Right?