Moving out of home and taking your first step towards independence can be exciting but also a bit of a minefield. It is important to thread carefully if you want to make accommodation sharing work. Here are HomeHaks top tips to help you in choosing your housemates at Irish University.
Make poor choices and you could find yourself falling out over dirty bins and dishes. Pick well and you will have so much fun and make lifelong friends. Don’t know how to go about picking housemates?
Know the sort of people you think you will get on with
Looking for housemates is a bit like online dating. You need to go into it knowing what you’re looking for and make that clear from the get-go. If you think you’ve found a potential match, ask your prospective house-sharer some questions. This is to see just how compatible you might be. Don’t make them feel it’s an interrogation. You just need to get a feel for what they’re going to be like once you’ve moved in together.
People can be very different once the front door is shut. Get to know them better before you agree to go house-hunting. This could spare you a lot of grief further down the line. Here are 30 questions to ask a roommate before moving in together.
Get ahead of the competition
Don’t put off until tomorrow something you could do today. There’s always fierce competition for the best houses and apartments in university cities. If you want to stand a chance of finding nice housemates and a nice place to live, then it’s never too early to start.
You’d be amazed how many people leave it until the very last minute to decide on who they’re sharing with and where they’re going to look for houses. If you want to end up living in housemate heaven rather than housemate hell, you need to start broaching the subject with people as early in the spring term. This is so you can start arranging to view a few properties together. This article gives some more tips on starting your search early.
Choosing your housemates – Same course or different?
Sometimes living with the people you ‘work’ with isn’t always the best move. You’re probably most familiar and friendly with the people doing the same course or modules as you but remember that everyone needs some space now and then. If you’re living with the same people you’re in seminars with day in, day out, you might get sick of each other’s company very quickly.
Try to have a mix in your house if you can – not only does it widen your social circle but it can broaden your mind. If people are studying different courses to you, you’ll each learn something about the other’s subjects. You’ll also be forced to find other things you can bond over, such as societies, hobbies or even your shared love of obscure foreign language films…
Set house rules from the start
Almost all household disagreements are avoidable in some way. You need to set out a few ground rules right at the beginning. Before you agree to move in with other people, you need to make sure they’re the sort of housemates you can trust.
Chat with them and decide how to carve out who will organise things like paying the bills and how the rent will be managed. Pencilling a schedule for cleaning and cooking before you move in together will give you a good idea of whether or not they’re likely to pull their weight. If they look like they’re shirking responsibility, then maybe you need to look for someone else.
The following article is designed to help you and your roommate(s) establish guidelines for while you are living together.
If a house share is going to be a success you need to know you’ll all get along and it’s not going to descend into chaos. Try to spend as much time as possible getting to know each other before you commit to moving in together. House sharing is a nightmare when it doesn’t work out but choose your housemates carefully and you could have a fantastic couple of years.