New York real estate market is fierce. And if you are living in Manhattan, you already know this oh too well. With rental prices of studio apartments ranging between 2500 and 3300, it’s no wonder many people are choosing to share their apartment with a roommate. For some, it’s not even a matter of choice, but a necessity. Be that as it may, life with roommates has its advantages. Especially for newcomers to the city. Having a roommate means alleviating the costs of living, but also having an instant social circle. Regardless of your reasons for sharing your living space, there are a few rules to be followed when sharing a Manhattan apartment.
There are many websites where one can find a New York roommate. You can use ever popular craigslist or urbanliving.net or spareroom.com. And once you have found a roommate or two, you can start looking for an apartment in one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan. Or even better yet, your new roommate has already rented an apartment, and all you need to do is move in.
Have an honest talk before moving in
Even though the first thing you want to do when you move to New York is go out and have a crazy Saturday night in Manhattan, you should put it off. At least until you have an honest talk with your new roommate. During this initial conversation, you should set some ground rules for happy co-habitation. When sharing a Manhattan apartment, space is probably going to be limited. Living with a stranger in a small space requires you both to be tolerant and considerate. You should both, or all of you, be clear up front about the things that bug you. If you are not a morning person, say that right away and avoid future morning fights. You can agree on the level of tidiness you want to maintain in the apartment. If you’re both slobs, or nitpicks, you’ll do just fine. But if someone is more neat that the other one, then this needs to be stated as soon as possible.
Clean up after yourself when sharing an apartment
When you are living on your own, you have the utmost freedom to clean up when ever you feel like it. Or not. But when you are sharing a Manhattan apartment, you should make the effort of cleaning up after yourself right away. Don’t leave hair in the bathtub or piles of clothes in the living room or dirty dishes in the kitchen. Have the discipline to leave the common areas such as kitchen, bathroom and living room clean after using them. This is the recipe for long and harmonious apartment sharing.
Share the cost everyday supplies
When roommates are really compatible and lead a similar lifestyle they can share most of the living expenses. But even if this isn’t your case, you can always share the following items:
- laundry detergent
- fabric softener
- trash bags
- dishwasher tablets
Make a cleaning schedule
Making and then sticking to a cleaning schedule is vital to having a clean place and a good relationship with your roommate. For example, chores like vacuuming, taking out the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry ect. need to be split between the roommates. Otherwise, one of you will feel like they are carrying all the weight, and that is not fair. Even though you might not feel like doing those chores, do it for the sake of your tiny community.
Have team buildings
If you are sharing a Manhattan apartment with more than one person and you have different schedules, this is a smart move. It doesn’t have too be anything expensive or too frequent. But a nice shared dinner, at home or in a restaurant, or a movie night at home will get you a chance to bond. If you know each other well and care for each other you’ll be more considerate.
Respect your roommate’s privacy when sharing an apartment
It’s nice too bond with your roommate, but privacy is important too. Don’t be overly talkative when your roommate has had a bad day at work. Avoid having big gatherings the night before their big exam or presentation. If you are respectful, you can ask the same in return. Simple as that!
Announce family visits when sharing a Manhattan apartment
When a relative is coming to visit and is staying over for a few days, it’s important to give a heads up to your roommate. Again, the sizes of New York apartments are limited, so having to put up with extra people needs to be communicated in advance.
Divide the fridge and cupboards clearly
If you are not into sharing food, or if you and your roommate simply have different eating habits, it’s wise to divide the shelves in your fridge and cupboards. That way no one will eat your last piece of pie or that leftovers sandwich you were looking for. On the other hand, it’s great if you and your roommate have similar tastes and enjoy sharing food. That way you can cook for each other and enjoy a healthier diet.
Ask before you borrow something
After living together for a while, people start to feel comfortable. Maybe a little too comfortable. Although, you’ve become close, it doesn’t mean you can borrow their clothes or jewelery without asking first. The same applies to them. You should always ask before taking something that doesn’t belong to you.
Keep an open mind
When you are sharing an apartment in an international city such as New York, you are highly likely to get in contact with people from other countries through your roommate. This is a great upside of living in Manhattan. So be respectful and enjoy it!