Sure, you’ve probably heard all these horror stories about a messy, inconsiderate, and weird roommate. But hey, we all need someone to share moments with, or in the case of a roommate, the last pizza slice in the fridge.
There are people who can’t find it in themselves to share spaces. That’s totally acceptable. However, there are people who are comfortable with late-night banters, taking turns to use the bathroom, and allowing another person control the TV remote. And most definitely, some people do not mind splitting the rent and the bills.
A 2015 survey of US Millennials found that 58% agreed to have a roommate for financial convenience. In the Philippines, it is also not out of the ordinary to find two or more people sharing a condo. Condos for rent typically cost more because of their proximity to business districts and public transportation, security, and amenities. Condo sharing has become a popular option for young professionals, office friends, and even complete strangers who look for roommates via referrals and online advertisements.
At first, it may seem like having a condo roommate is all about paying your share of the rent on time. But living with someone is far more complicated and you would have to sort things out along the way. A large part of discussions will definitely boil down to sharing. What are the things you’ll share? What are the things you can’t share? How often or how much?
In this blog, we’ll talk about the condo essentials that are okay to share with others. So if you have a roomie or are planning to get one, be sure to read on.
Food and beverage
Based on the survey mentioned above, food and beverage expenses are the most commonly shared between and among roommates. This is rather expected because aside from rent, food gets a big chunk of a renter’s budget.
But what if one likes bacon and the other likes pancakes for breakfast? Okay, for as long as no one is allergic and both have no problem with these kinds of food, then there should be no problem. Make a list of food items you will buy in the grocery. Better if you make a menu. If you have the same work schedule (as in you share the same mealtimes at home), the easier it will be.
It must be clear that all the items will be shared and consumed by both. If one can’t live without morning caffeine mix and the other doesn’t drink coffee, the purchase should be made separately. If the other roommate is on a strict diet, maybe it is best not to share food expenses at all.
Gas, not the car
It is common for officemates to share a condo. If one roommate has a car, you can talk about the possibility of carpooling and sharing gas expenses. Remember, you are only splitting gas expenses and not the car. Only the car owner can decide whether the car can be used for other purposes.
Appliances and furniture
First of all, if you are planning to get a condo roommate, it is better to choose a furnished condo for rent and no longer discuss who should buy the appliances and who gets to take them once the contract is over.
That said, it is better to share condo essentials such as refrigerator, oven, TV, and couch. Having two of each in a tight condo space is crazy. You just have to agree that appliances need to be handled carefully.
Now, if you would have to buy appliances, you may split the cost, sell it when contract is over, and divide the sale between yourselves. If a roommate insists on buying or lending her own things, then the other roommate must concede to the fact that she may not be able to use everything and must ask for permission.
Kitchen appliances and dinnerware
It’s cool if you want to have your own mug. But the rest of kitchen appliances, cookware, and utensils may be shared. You can’t afford to have separate racks for plates and cups, after all. The key here is courtesy. If you used a plate and a spoon, make sure to wash it and not leave a mess. If washing dishes is not your thing, let it be known that you’d rather use paper plates.
Entertainment and media systems
Who gets to control the remote? Who gets to decide what to watch?
Okay, this can be a problem. But imagine two or three television sets in the condo unit. That’s an absolute space dilemma. The important thing here is you agree and discuss. Don’t forget to ask whether everyone’s in the mood to watch the news or get some UFC action.
Are all of you hooked on Netflix? It would be practical to share subscriptions such as cable, Internet, or Netflix. This can form part of dues and utilities. At the end of the day, you don’t only get to bond as roomies, you also have more reasons to stay home instead of splurging in malls on weekends. Binge-watching is also a good way to welcome a new condo roommate.
Desktop and laptop computers
For working roommates, a computer is a condo essential. It is practical for roommates to share a desktop computer. However, proper courtesy must be extended to whoever owns it. Laptops may also be shared but limits must be set.
Cleaning materials are among the things you should share with your condo roommate. First of all, it’s important that everyone agrees that condos need to be cleaned up. Second, it is important that everyone does their share in the chores. It is practical to share cleaning supplies because you would be cleaning the same space anyway and everyone benefits from it. Devise a cleaning schedule and agree on taking equal responsibilities.
Theme and decorations
Unless you want your condo to look like a warzone, agree on style and decorations in the condo. There is no point in renting one condo but wanting the place to look like three different spaces. Anything that is being mounted on the wall, spread on the floor, and hung on the ceiling must earn every roommate’s consent.
Share the mirror
Mirror stands can be bulky. Assuming that everyone is working and need to check themselves before heading outside, it would be practical to share a mirror. Place the mirror in a common area so that no personal space is being violated.
Sharing is a wonderful thing. But in the case of roommates, boundaries must always be set. It is only when roommates find the balance between being close for comfort and respect for each other’s personal space can a genuine friendship truly start.