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Hi I'm Shazie, a mindset + self-love coach ♥ I'm a West Coast-turned-East Coast girl, so naturally I'm conflicted between Dunkin vs Starbs. Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you stick around♥
5 Tips on Setting Boundaries (& Why It's Important!)
(photos in this post are by: picjumbo)
Two years ago, I moved out of my mom’s to move to the other side of the country. I had zero idea about housing and was lucky enough to be moving for school, so I could just find two people on the BU facebook group to live with. One of my roommate’s mom handled everything (i.e. talking to the broker) and viola, we got ourselves an apartment in the heart of Allston!
Fast forward to now after graduation, everyone’s leases are almost up and job opportunities begin to arise all over the country. Mine is up on August 31st, so immediately I knew I had to start looking! Here are some tips and tricks on how to decide on a roommate and what amenities to look for in an apartment.
Do you want to live alone? If so, where do you live? Factor in the average costs of a studio/1bd in your city and weigh it against your salary. Is it something you can/want to afford? If you find that you are able to pay a bit more to have your own space, I highly recommend! If not, roommates are just as great!
Being in Boston, living alone isn’t exactly an option for me just yet if I’m trying to stay in the city. It’d be nice to have my own space since who knows if I’ll ever get that opportunity again, but I’m also not willing to sacrifice an arm and a leg just to live solo.
When deciding on roommates, establish how many you’d like. For me, the most I’ve ever lived with is 2 other roommates. Depending on the space (i.e. house or apartment), perhaps you could go for more (3 additional people) or just one other person. It all depends on what you’re looking for and whether those roommates are actually your friends/people you know or simply strangers from facebook housing groups.
Personally, I’ve had several offers where rent would be cheaper, but this means living with 3 other random people and I just could not justify living in that space. It’s basically what you value more. I know strangers can turn into friends, no doubt, but I didn’t have the mental capacity to make new friends while adjusting to a new place.
For example, I recently went to a viewing for house in my current neighborhood where it’d be me and 3 other people. While I was all for its amenities (backyard, free laundry, renovated kitchen), the current tenant mentioned that she didn’t just want her roommates to come home and be in their rooms. She wanted to be social, which I’m all for, but it can be hard to show you’re not being anti-social when all you want to do is just chill after a long day of work. I didn’t feel like I had the energy to try and explain that.
What amenities are you looking for? Central air, in-unit laundry, security, pets, grocery store vicinity, public transportation, etc. This makes the apartment / roommate search that much easier with a clear cut vision! I made an Excel sheet highlighting neighborhoods I was interested in, the price, what T stop was accessible, etc. Having everything laid out for me was easier mainly bc I’m such a visual-oriented person. I also hyperlinked the apartment listings and included what upfront fees were necessary. Typically in Boston (unsure about other areas), it’s first/last month, security deposit, and brokers fee. That’s FOUR months rent upfront!!
It’s also crucial to establish your lifestyles beforehand. Do you prefer a quiet or social household? Some people just want to come home and de-stress while others want to be friends with the people they’re living with. I find that being transparent with your lifestyle is KEY to finding roommates that align with your vision. It definitely eliminates any potential tension. So when finding roommates, ask questions surrounding their lifestyles as well.
The list goes on and on! Essentially, it’s important to list out what you want and then match most of them with your potential roommates! For example, what if you like to decompress with some alone time, but your roommates are more into socializing 24/7? This makes everything so much smoother.
If you decide to live with roommates, I’d like to stress the importance of being upfront from the beginning. In my first year living with roommates, I was completely unsure on how to address certain issues without looking like the mom. How do I bring up a chore chart mid-way through the year? I didn’t want to be the only one taking out the trash or cleaning the apartment, but I wasn’t completely sure on how to bring it up.
Now, I’m definitely more vocal — although it’s still a work in progress. Just like any other relationship in life, communication is key.
Alright, that’s it! I hope this helps! What are some of your tips and tricks to finding roommates/the ideal apartment? Happy searching/moving!