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House Hunting: 5 Things To Ask Before Living with Someone

Deciding to live with someone is a big decision. As fun as it may be to look for places and make plans, it can also be worrisome to wonder if you picked the right people. Whether you’re moving in with an old friend or a new connection, here are a few things that are good to ask before committing to living with someone.

What type of living situation are you looking for?

Knowing whether your future co-residents are looking for a house or apartment, how big of a place, and what area they were hoping to live in are all big things to consider. Although you can try to compromise, if you and your friend are looking for completely different living situations, it may be better to try to find roommates elsewhere. Also, having this conversation before beginning your housing search begins will save both you and your friend from the time and stress of looking and touring apartments that you both aren’t interested in.

What’s your budget?

In addition to what kind of place you are looking for, your budget is hard to compromise on. Finding the perfect place that balances everyone’s needs is difficult, and trying to satisfy price ranges with large differences can make house hunting even more tricky. If you, your roommate, and all the supporting parents involved can agree on a budget, it will be much easier to find a place that you both like and can afford. 

What household items do you have?

Not only is deciding where to live an important decision, but it is also important to decide what you’re going to put in it. At some point, it is good to talk about what you have and what you need. In addition, it is generally a good idea to consider what you’ll have to buy and how you are going to split those costs. There are a few different ways of dividing things up and all have their pros and cons. Whether you want to divide the list in half for each roommate to buy or shop together and split the costs, as long as you and your roommate are on the same page about how you want to divide purchases up, the whole process will be so much simpler.

How do you best communicate?

Now in a perfect world, you and the people you live with will never be in conflict — along with chocolate being a vegetable and acing every midterm. But since this is very unlikely to happen, it’s good to talk beforehand about the best way you each communicate. This can extend to non-confrontational conversations such as how to best remind one another of important plans or items on the to-do list. If you wanted to take this conversation a step further, it can be fun to take a personality test together and talk about the results and how they might affect living together. The 16 Personalities Test is free and has a great results section with different focuses!

How do you want to divide the housework?

Whether you tend to be a go-with-the-flow type person or a list maker, make sure that you and your future roommates are on the same page. If one of you hates doing the dishes and one likes to, then great! But if little chores keep getting neglected or if one person starts to feel like the work is being unequally shared, it can be hard to address. A good discussion on subjects like this before moving in together can do a lot to preemptively address possible issues and hopefully keep things running smoothly.

Hopefully asking your possible roommate these questions helps you both gain some clarity. Unfortunately, if you and your friend aren’t a great rooming match, it is better to know sooner rather than later. Having honest discussions about your habits, preferences, needs, and plans will help both of you find the best fit for living next year. Once you’ve found your great match, you can go back to the fun of planning with the assurance you’ve picked the right person!

Jasmine Janisch

Cal Poly '23

Hello! I'm a first-year biomedical engineering student at Cal Poly. Although I'm in a STEM field, I still love to write which is why Her Campus is a great place for me!
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