Roommates(ing): Seeking Advice.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2014 1:14 AM GMT
    Hello Guys,

    So let me start by saying that I finally found a job in my field after 8 months of searching and in a great location as well. I've been thinking long and hard (mhm) about relocating closer to my job for better work/life balance. I have lived at home throughout my college years and honestly I have reached a point where I want some independence and freedom, or so I think.

    Well it comes down to this. Even though my job is great and pay is reasonable, cost of living in Boston is too high for me to afford my own place. Therefore, I am looking at a roommate type situation. I still need some help with the following:

    1. Besides Craigslist, what other good sites would you recommend for searching roommates? LGBT or what not.

    2. How many roommates is too much? What should I look out for in future living situation? What questions should I ask?

    3. What has your experience been like sharing living space/apartment?

    4. If you currently live with roommates, would you mind sharing what your average monthly living costs (excluding rent) is like?

    As you can see, I know absolutely nothing. Kind of embarassed to even post this at my age, but whatever.

    I look forward to hearing your stories and advice! icon_biggrin.gif
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Feb 25, 2014 4:02 AM GMT
    So, are you looking to move into an already established roommate situation? Or are you looking to find someone else and then the two (or more) find a new place together? Or are you thinking of getting a place and then finding a room mate(s) to share it with?

    I've lived in a lot of different situations over the long term of my life. Living alone is mostly the best (imo) but having roommates can be cool, too. The most I ever lived with was a communal household of (thinking backā€¦) 8 residents. I put it that way because there were almost *always* more people than the 8 who paid rent LOL. But, oth, it was a huge house, including a full basement with a great sauna.

    So the number depends on the size of the place and how things are worked out in terms of privacy, being respectful of one another's needs and quirks, agreements about tidiness and so on.

    A *bad* roommate situation (where you don't get along but are trapped financially in an unresolvable situation) is the worst. Or, having a roommate flake out on your, leaving you responsible on a lease for rent can also be bad.

    So you want to make sure the roommate is responsible and responsive. Communicative. Someone you like well enough to 'hang out' with sometimes. Someone who will be reasonable and treat you with mutual respect.

    As for sharing expenses you'll have to share utilities, probably internet, and maybe other things like water and garbage depending on the lease. Depends but probably at least $50 each per month.

    Hope that's helpful.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2014 9:12 AM GMT
    Depends what you're looking for. The busier you are in/with your personal life the less often your housemates matter. That being true if no personal connections involved etc.

    Its kind of like interviewing for a job :O

    I agree with woodsmen - living alone is most stable if affordable -

    I've interviewed for lots of places including communes - I've learned that there is no easy answer for this - lots of variables -

    Best of luck.
  • chadwick1985

    Posts: 391

    Feb 25, 2014 11:33 AM GMT
    Like the guys above have said it depends on what youre looking for. I lived in a big house with 4 of us. We worked for the most part the same schedules so we had time to chill but being as they were all straight bringing a guy home was very awkward. I have also lived with one person who kept an opposite schedule to mine. It worked well, bills were paid but I had the house to myself on days off.
    One thing to consider is often times the more people paying rent means the smaller portion of rent that has to be paid by you.

    Questions to ask are things pertaining your preferences, do you smoke, do drugs, party a lot etc. If you don't do those things finding a roomie that doesn't helps a lot. Do you like or are you willing to live with pets, kids etc. There's all kinds of things.

    Def do a credit and background check. You don't want to move in with a guy who has been convicted of theft, possession / trafficking in stolen property, drug use etc. Often times even if they wont steal from you someone they have over will.

    I would say living with one other person is easiest, less mess, less confusion, only one person to track down for rent etc.
  • chadwick1985

    Posts: 391

    Feb 25, 2014 11:40 AM GMT
    Craigslist and possibly back pages are all that comes to mind and other than rent for electric, internet its about $60 a month.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2014 6:01 PM GMT
    During my first year in a houseshare (incidentally why do people over the pond call it a roomshare?) I woke up one night to find one of my housemates naked holding his dick in his hand getting ready to piss on me while I was asleep. I shouted "Kevin what the fuck are you doing?" he responded "sorry wrong room" and stumbled off. He was very drunk (I hope).

    He was nowhere near being my worst housemate!
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Feb 25, 2014 10:02 PM GMT
    Do you belong to any sports clubs or similar in Boston? My rugby club is based in London and there's a continuous string of room availability up on the Facebook group.

    It would start you off with at least knowing something about your potential sharer/s
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2014 10:04 PM GMT
    Just start hooking up with guys at the bars and marry someone you like.

    I'm kidding. Don't actually do this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2014 10:11 PM GMT
    I lived alone both and with roommates, ex boyfriend before. The only advice I can give you is just be respectful, clean up after yourself and be civil. I think living with 1 or 2 male roommates would be great. Get your own room/bathroom if possible. I don't like sharing bathroom. If you live in Boston, the rent (your own room) should run between $600-$900 plus about $50 a month for your share? I heard the Beacon Hill area is nice.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2014 12:01 AM GMT
    Get a shithole and live alone. Trust me...roommates suck.
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    Feb 26, 2014 3:53 AM GMT
    Hey guys, thank you for sharing and sorry for a slight delay in my response.

    MikeWSo, are you looking to move into an already established roommate situation? Or are you looking to find someone else and then the two (or more) find a new place together? Or are you thinking of getting a place and then finding a room mate(s) to share it with?


    I'd rather move into an already established roommate situation. Maybe a year or so down the road, depending on experience earned, I might find my own place and seek out roommates myself.

    snazI agree with woodsmen - living alone is most stable if affordable


    Only in my dreams.

    chadwick1985I would say living with one other person is easiest, less mess, less confusion, only one person to track down for rent etc.


    Honestly, would be the best case scenario. However, I am trying to save as much money as I can and it will be hard to do in a 2-bedroom $2k+ apartment in Boston. icon_neutral.gif

    chadwick1985Craigslist and possibly back pages are all that comes to mind and other than rent for electric, internet its about $60 a month.


    Craigslist is what I have been using, occasionally glance at Zillow. I also signed up for PrideRoommates (suggested under an old topic on RJ) and that site seems to be too inactive. I could go to an agent, but rather not spend money on those fees.

    As far as utilities go, I came up with a liberal estimate that they will cost me ~$100 a month if split amongst roommates. icon_lol.gif

    seafrontblokeDo you belong to any sports clubs or similar in Boston? My rugby club is based in London and there's a continuous string of room availability up on the Facebook group.


    Good idea, but too late in the game for me. I have thought about joining a softball league though!

    socalx10I lived alone both and with roommates, ex boyfriend before. (1) The only advice I can give you is just be respectful, clean up after yourself and be civil. (2) I think living with 1 or 2 male roommates would be great. (3) Get your own room/bathroom if possible. I don't like sharing bathroom. (4) If you live in Boston, the rent (your own room) should run between $600-$900 plus about $50 a month for your share? I heard the Beacon Hill area is nice.


    1) That should be easy, unless you catch me in a bitchy mood... Then I just need my space!! LoL.

    2) I agree, definitely best case scenario.

    3) In Boston, I would be lucky to get a half bath in a 4-bedroom apartment!

    4) The $500-800 mark is generally what I'm aiming at. Even in that price range, 2-bedroom apartment can be quite out of reach. Beacon Hill is an amazing neighborhood, but very expensive and not worth the price (ex. 2bed at $2,900).

    hellass
    Get a shithole and live alone. Trust me...roommates suck.


    Sorry but shitholes dont come cheap in this city.

    I don't know what I will do. I haven't really seen too many reasonably priced and/or decent looking apartments posted online yet. Maybe I should suck it up, and wait for the summer season when all the f'ing college kids go home!!! J/k!! icon_lol.gif
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3534

    Feb 26, 2014 7:08 AM GMT
    I would look around a university for a cheap place. Schools have formal boards to advertise. I would limit a house to 3. I would live with students for a few terms to get used to it. You dont have to commit long.

    Summer sublets are cheapest.

    questions: smoking, drinking, partying, music, pets, kids, visitors, nudity, food sharing, vegetarianism, candles, incense, ethnic foods, parking, sex.



    I would move into someone elses place so if the cheque bounces, it is their problem not yours.

    If you have a car and they dont, you will get perks (and have to drive them).

    As for utilities in medium city in canada. 3 bedroom townhouse $1240+ me living alone

    electric $200 two months
    gas heat/hot water $70 month winter
    internet $50 month
    landline phone 29$ month

    water 100$ month at my bfs house mine is included.

    when i have roomates, I like to share non-junkfood. We used to go grocery shopping for most staples (anything expensive or treats you were on your own it may not all balance out...but overall it's cheaper, and a hell of a lot less mess to all eat meals together and cook once, plus you dont have to be paranoid about YOUR milk or YOUR laundry soap) , and write the costs on the wall...and settle up every month or so. Basially one guy buys groceries, the next guy pays the power bill as it came in, the 3rd guy got the internet and phone...whatever comes in if you are low man on the list you pay the next thing. Good once you trust each other.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 26, 2014 8:02 AM GMT
    I've never shared food with housemates. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. I've never once felt "paranoid" about my groceries. Everyone just sort of pitches in for oommunal items like garbage bags, toilet paper, and dish soap. Generally, the best housemate relationships I've had, we just politely ignored each other and lived our own separate lives. Others may have had different experiences.

    Craigslist is fine.

    Internet is $45 split two ways, electricity and gas is like $30 split two ways. But that's California, where we pay next to nothing for gas/electric/heat.

    I've never lived with more than three other housemates, and I wouldn't recommend it...

    Two bathrooms is AWESOME. In general, pressure points in a house tend to be the kitchen and the bathroom, so eliminating one of them by not needing to share a bathroom can be very helpful.
  • slick_2000

    Posts: 5

    Feb 26, 2014 12:17 PM GMT
    There's lots more to living in a community than LGBT! In fact, there are several helpful guides written on community living. A key predictor is the previous setting and what motivates the move. Getting ejected from one setting is always a bad sign for the next. Simple tasks like clean-up, good hygiene, security, privacy, inter-personal dynamics, and more are all important. I remember my community living days when I was in the Army. Lots of guys were simply pigs, gay and straight! Stats and good looks alone do not a good roommate make! My experience also includes outside friends of roommates -- are they compatible, respectful, etc. The bottom line, once you've made a selection, is to set expectations by assigning or organizing rules and schedules -- I forgot to do the dishes, I'll get to them tomorrow! In traditional gay settings, there's always the orgy party and individual lovers. It's always tempting, but you should work out those details in advance to avoid difficulties. It's always nice to agree on a party time/dates so that everyone can join in, but not everyone wants to be groped, raped, etc. The question of drugs and sharing also becomes very important when one roommate depends on his buds to pay the cost of drugs without any compensation. It gets kind of expensive. In fact, I don't think that there's a book written on organizing an LGBT household. I lived in several communities and did find it to be attractive, but then I always did the dishes after!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 27, 2014 3:20 AM GMT
    Apparitionelectric $200 two months
    gas heat/hot water $70 month winter
    internet $50 month
    landline phone 29$ month


    Wow utilities don't come cheap in Canada!

    ApparitionWe used to go grocery shopping for most staples (anything expensive or treats you were on your own it may not all balance out...but overall it's cheaper, and a hell of a lot less mess to all eat meals together and cook once, plus you dont have to be paranoid about YOUR milk or YOUR laundry soap)


    That sounds like a great idea and a smart move!

    CFL_OaklandIn general, pressure points in a house tend to be the kitchen and the bathroom, so eliminating one of them by not needing to share a bathroom can be very helpful.


    Yeah makes sense. I can't imagine sharing 1 bathroom in a 4bedroom house. Must be a nightmare!

    slick_2000In traditional gay settings, there's always the orgy party and individual lovers. It's always tempting, but you should work out those details in advance to avoid difficulties.

    It's always nice to agree on a party time/dates so that everyone can join in, but not everyone wants to be groped, raped, etc. The question of drugs and sharing also becomes very important when one roommate depends on his buds to pay the cost of drugs without any compensation. It gets kind of expensive.


    Are you for real? I can't tell. icon_lol.gif