If you’re still looking for the silver lining in the recession cloud, let us know when you find it. From where we sit, the economic future has not improved appreciably in the past few years. And if you’re one of the young adults out there who finds their personal budget seems to shrink by the day, finding a roommate might not be the worst idea in the world. Most financial advisers say housing should comprise no more than one-third of your budget, a percentage that seems to grow larger and more onerous in the face of rising fuel and food prices.
Think of it this way. A roommate is an immediate way to halve your housing costs, but the decision should be undertaken only after considering all the angles.
Obviously, only having to shoulder half the financial burden of rent and utilities is a major benefit that makes it seem like you received an immediate pay raise. Choose carefully, and you can find a cheerful soul to pass time with on a rainy weekend afternoon, and who will help keep the common areas clean. If you’re really lucky, they might even have a large screen, high definition television to put in the living room.
Choose poorly, and your life could become hell on earth. In the worst case, your new roommate is chronically late with rent payments, or can only muster a portion of what they owe. Toss in a tendency for all night rave parties, clogging the bathroom plumbing with unmentionables, and loud sex in the kitchen at 3 a.m. But it doesn’t even have to be that traumatic. The disconnect could be as simple as a personality conflict that keeps you on edge any time you’re in the room together.
Worst case scenario, your new roommate is using your apartment to sell drugs or mastermind his new prostitution business. Make sure that you spell out in exact detail, before they move in, what can and can’t be done on the premises, how long the rental agreement will run for – it wouldn’t be bad to have a contingency plan (like an emergency fund) in the event you have to kick them out, which you can do if necessary.
The Young Wealth Team
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