First time renter, roommate or no roommate?

Most first time renters are young people leaving home for the first time.  Having never been on their own before, there are many things to consider, like what can I afford, what do I have to pay for, or do I want a roommate?

I have been renting to first time renters on a regular basis for 19 years and have seen alot if different thought processes from applicants. Most have had Mom and Dad drilling information into their heads about paying the rent on time and not getting into trouble. I have to say that having done that with my own boys, I still watched as they, like most young people had to learn the hard way on their own.

Usually, when a young renter is responsible for their own rent, utilities and so on, he or she is busy enough trying to do it all that there are very few problems at the unit. The cost of renting, paying utilities and feeding one’s self adds up in a hurry. In an effort to make it easier and have a little free time many decide to get a roommate. This is where it gets tricky for a number of reasons. No matter how well you think you know someone, when you move in together and share rent and responsibilities you meet a whole new person in most cases.

When choosing a roommate it is a great idea to sit down and really discuss expectations rather than coming up with them as you go along. Ask yourself some questions. What rules would we follow?  What kinds of things about a room mate would I not be able to live with? What kinds of things about myself would someone else not be able to live with. What kinds of friends would they be bringing over? How would I manage if my room mate up and moved out on me?

Having a roommate or two can have many great benefits. Less rent and utilities individually, more help with common area chores not to mention a little companionship.  Just keep in mind that losing a roommate does not lessen your responsibility to the landlord and your rental agreement. Keep your rental record clean and make your room mate choices with care.  Have a back up plan just in case. Most importantly, be a great roommate!

M. Rick Phillips, Property Manager

Coldwell Banker First Realtors