The jump from moving out of the family home and out into the real world can be daunting for any young person. Many people are now choosing to make the transition easier and more affordable by moving into shared accommodation. Whether you have just bought your dream home (https://yarrabend.com.au/alphington-real-estate/) and are hoping to econimise, or you are still renting, there are many financial and social benefits to house sharing.
Having said that, there are still a huge number of pitfalls that one can find themselves facing. Here are a few tips to make a share house experience one of the best decisions of your life.
- Choose with Care
Just like getting married, the secret to happy house sharing lies with the partner you choose – so choose with care! If you don’t have a good friend who is looking to share, then advertising may be your only option. Look for someone in a similar age demographic so you are socially comfortable with them. Allow them to place personal belongings around so they feel at home, and not like a boarder in someone else’s house. Don’t underestimate your instincts when choosing a housemate. If you warm to them immediately then they may be the right person for you.
Make sure you check and double check references! Ask questions – have there been issues in the past with them paying their rent or bills?
- Make it Legal
Whether you are renting or letting out a room in your own home, make sure you put your housemate on a lease and take a security bond. If you’re renting then this should be done through your real estate agent, as this will cover you in the event that your housemate falls behind on rent, or causes any damage to the property.
- Set the Ground Rules
Don’t forget to discuss and come to an agreement relating things like chores, bills, food and friends staying over, because any of these can become a huge problem down the line. For example, they may have their partner stay over one night a week, but if that becomes five nights a week then you may be getting another housemate against your wishes, and will definitely need to put your foot down.
Other issues such as combining food or keeping it separate are vital for the smooth running of the household and need to be agreed upon in advance.
- Make the most of your personal space
Spending too much time in a small area with anybody can create tension, so ensure that your personal spaces such as your bedroom are designed so as to be as comfortable and usable as possible. Things like underbed storage and fold away beds can be utilised to give you a peaceful haven to escape to when you need your alone time.
- Make shared spaces work
In an ideal world, a share house would have living spaces enough for every member of the household. In the real world, this is rarely the case so you need to make your shared space work for both of you. The television can be another minefield so unless you all agree on what to watch, you may be better off with the tv in your bedroom.
Sharing a house need not be a drama and can in fact be one of the most wonderful, rewarding experiences of your life. Remember to BE the housemate that you would like to live with and then FIND the housemate you would want to live with. Once you have found the right match, agree on a few ground rules and then sit back and enjoy the fun.