Living in New York offers countless perks: you have access to some of the world’s best restaurants, cultural attractions and job opportunities right at your doorstep. However, living in New York also presents its share of challenges, one of which is finding housing that is affordable. The housing market in New York is highly competitive and notoriously expensive, so one of the best ways for first-time New Yorkers to find a home they can afford is to live with roommates. Whether you end up living with friends or finding a housing situation via a platform like Craigslist, there are simple things you should keep in mind to make sure your living situation ends up working as smoothly as possible. The following five tips will help make living with roommates easy and enjoyable while you get your footing in NYC.
1. Discuss the Division of Finances from the Get-Go
When you first move in with roommates, it’s important to immediately decide how you will split up costs. You’ll need to determine who is going to pay for things such as the rent, electricity bill, gas bill, cable bill and internet, as well as any maintenance fees, groceries, etc. You might choose to split the costs evenly or have each person cover certain bills — there’s no one right way to do it. However, setting up financial rules from the beginning (in writing) ensures there will be no confusion or arguing about who is paying for what.
2. Set Household Goals and Values
It may sound corny, but when you first move in, it can be helpful to talk to your roommates about common household values and goals. Is it important for you to live in a space that is clean? Is quiet in the evenings important because you have work early in the morning? Lay these things out on the table, so you can make sure everyone in the space is on the same page about what is important for a happy household.
3. Keep Common Areas Clean
You may live like a tornado swept through your closet — but you should keep your mess confined to your room. Don’t leave personal belongings out in common spaces like the living room or kitchen, since it’s easy for shared spaces to get cluttered very easily. Doing your part to keep the common areas clean will encourage your roommates to do so as well — that way, the space you all spend time in together always feels nice and calming.
4. Learn Their Schedules
Most people in New York are constantly busy, pursuing work goals, artistic pursuits and enjoying time with friends. Try to learn your roommates’ schedules and be considerate of their needs. Make note of what time they tend to wake up or leave for work, when they cook breakfast and dinner, and what time they like take showers. Then you can adapt your schedule around theirs (and they to yours), and you’ll all enjoy convenient and easy access to what you need in the apartment.
5. Delineate Chores
Apartments need regular maintenance on a regular basis– the trash must be taken out, the shower cleaned and the floors swept (among other things). All these tasks should not fall to one roommate. Instead, make sure chores are delegated in a way that everyone has equal responsibility for the space. You can either assign one task to one person (for example, you take out the recycling and trash, and your roommate washes the dishes), or you can create a calendar with rotating tasks so one person isn’t stuck with cleaning the toilet bowl week after week.
Once you know WHO you’re going to live with and HOW things are going to work, it’s time to figure out WHERE you’re going to live and NoFee Rentals is the best place to start – and end – your search.