Our latest Finding Home Campaign revealed that affordable housing (40%) and inflation (33%) are among the strongest influences impacting move decisions. Moreover, younger generations, including Millennials and Gen Z-ers, are more likely to say inflation has significantly affected their ability to locate affordable housing (74%).
It comes as no surprise then that more and more younger people are opting to live with roommates. A survey from Pew Research Center which was conducted during the pandemic revealed that nearly 32% of all U.S. households were “doubled up,” meaning the space was shared with at least one adult who wasn’t a partner. However, the American Planning Association notes that the post-pandemic housing market may get even tighter. Citing a nationwide “housing crisis,” they found that current homeowners are holding on to their properties, effectively locking younger buyers ― who are coping with significant debt and a rapidly rising cost of living ― out of the market.
For many in this situation, it will mean delaying the purchase of that first starter home and sharing a space, at least for the time being. However, instead of looking at the downsides of the roommate experience, let’s focus on a few of the benefits – as well as tips for successfully sharing a space.
An Opportunity to Save – and Share
Obviously, living with someone else will cut down significantly on your own day-to-day expenses. In addition to the monthly rent or mortgage, you will also save on the costs of essentials such as electricity, gas, water and internet. If you and your roommate have similar tastes in food and décor you can share expenses for food and split the cost of key furnishings such as a sofa, TV and small appliances. There’s also the benefit of being able to divide household chores and responsibilities between you. And remember, the money you save gets you one step closer to your forever home.
There Are Social Benefits, Too
Although you’ll be sacrificing some of your personal privacy, having a roommate can help combat loneliness and encourage more social interaction. While you might not be the best of friends, you’ll almost certainly be meeting new people from your roommate’s social circle and vice versa. And living with another person is also a great way to develop empathy and consideration for the feelings and needs of others, along with the ability to compromise, work through minor disagreements and move forward.
Making It All Work
Living with someone who isn’t your partner will never be completely perfect. How do you avoid potential problems and conflicts? Our advice is to set up some “rules of the household” as soon as possible. Many experts recommend creating a roommate agreement that covers basics such as bedroom assignments, cleaning duties, pets, quiet hours and how you’ll handle overnight guests. Be honest about the things that you find bothersome or even annoying and reach mutual agreement on how you’ll handle them before moving in. And when issues do come up, deal with them immediately to avoid creating feelings of distrust or resentment.
And if you ever feel discouraged or overwhelmed by a shared living situation, keep in mind that it’s just a positive step towards settling into the the place of your dreams.
We hope your personal journey to Finding Home will be smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
Moving or about to move? Get a no-obligation quote from Mayflower.
Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style.