Roommates

I’m sure I complain about roommates too much. I’m sorry. I can’t promise that it’s going to stop any time soon. This is an open letter to the Internet, but mainly it’s for any person/married couple/homeowners out there considering taking on roommates.

Really think about it. Reaaaaaally hard. Reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally harrrrrrrrrrrrd.

Mr. T and I bought this house…just over a year ago. It’s a big house, for a married couple with no kids. We have a master bedroom with it’s own bathroom, a laundry room, a two-car garage, a living room, a kitchen/dining room, a half-bath, two bedrooms upstairs, a great room, and a full bathroom upstairs. In case you wanted to know that. You probably don’t care. TOO BAD. Anyway – we wanted a house to grow into. I didn’t want to buy a house that fit us now and then wake up with 3 kids and go “Well, this is too small.”

If you do something like that you may think “Why don’t I take on some roommates to help pay the mortgage?” Let me present to you TWO scenarios that I have faced in the past year that will hopefully be enough to dissuade you from ever doing such a crazy thing:

ONE
The first people you may think about are your own friends. “Oh, so-and-so is moving into town and looking for an apartment – why don’t we let them stay with us until they find a place of their own!” Now, here is the issue with that. It may or may not be on purpose, but your friends will quite possibly take advantage of you. In the spirit of being generous and trusting….we’re just going to assume they failed to prioritize and didn’t actually go “Well I’m going to take advantage of them because I can.” When you have a friend/family member as a landlord and know they aren’t going to kick you out, you may not put rent at the top of your list of things to pay for. You may instead rank booze or organic foodstuffs higher. And then it’s time for rent and you go “Whoops! I don’t have any money in my bank account!” And it’s very upsetting to be the homeowner to discover that, after they move out of your house and into an apartment where they will be evicted, they can suddenly pay rent again. On time. Every month. I mean…you’re my friend so “Yay for getting your life together.” but “wtf – why couldn’t you pay me? Your rent here was less than there and you could never pay me?!” The one good thing to note during this entire process is that you can cover your mortgage without anyone’s help. Even when you have the utility usage of a six-person family. Yes, six people. Three dogs. Two cats. And various reptiles.

TWO
After two failed attempts at living with friends you may swear off friends forever. You may even start dropping the ‘f’ word like it’s some sort of swear (“friend” that is, not “f*ck”). So the next time you try roommates you go “No more friends! We’re going to take on people who are mere acquaintances and have them sign a roommate agreement so they know we will kick them out if they don’t pay rent! Well. That’s all well and good, but now you’re living in a house with people who aren’t your friends. No, not just “a house” – YOUR house. And you suddenly think “wtf am I doing? This is my house! I don’t want these strangers in here!” And you’ve having to deal with all the BS of sharing TV time, making small talk, getting chastised for the kitchen not being clean enough… Suddenly your refrigerator is divided and you’re having to write your name on your milk like you haven’t had to do since you 19, living in a college apartment. You may even look back at the times with your – pardon my French – friends and suddenly that doesn’t sound so bad. Because at least then when you were writing a blog post and heard one moving around upstairs you didn’t run and hide in your bedroom because you didn’t want to have to talk to them. Well, that is until they owed you over $1,000 and all you wanted to do was turn them upside down and shake them until the money fell out of their pockets…

Bottom line: DO NOT HAVE ROOMMATES WHEN YOU’RE A GROWN-A** WOMAN (or man). The money you may or may not save isn’t worth the hatred you’ll have in your soul. The good news is, this time next year we’ll be roommate-free! Each of our current roommates have a one-year-or-less policy on their leases.


2 thoughts on “Roommates

  1. And people asked why I swore off roommates and decided to work my ass off instead of relying on anyone–friend or just roommate–for anything. We are grown, and my decision is to be fully on my own. People are unreliable and dramatic.

    Conclusion: roommates are for college age people.

    • Very true. I would probably have resorted to a studio apartment or something if I hadn’t gotten married when I did. I was getting burnt out on roommates even back then. I’m not sure what possessed us to try it again. I guess we thought living with friends would be fun? I have no idea why we decided to live with near-strangers. The few weeks we lived alone between waves of misery was so nice. I can’t wait until next October!!

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