A new apartment with new roommates, what to expect?

If you’re planning to move into a new apartment with new roommates, there is a high possibility that you are already going through a myriad of questions about what to expect regarding when living with new people in a new environment. Sharing an apartment with a roommate is a huge deal as it forces you to step out of your comfort zone and live with someone else beyond your family members. It’s a huge step towards independence as well as being able to resolve issues and arguments between each other amicably. Perhaps the best way to find out if you’re suited for living with new roommates is to first understand the expectations of living with them.

Understand Your Potential Roommate
The primary step of moving into a new apartment with roommates is to understand them, their hobbies, interests, personalities, and habits. This helps you to gauge if you would be able to live with them in the future. Living with a roommate with completely different values and habits can be a huge nightmare. Cue unwashed dishes at the sink, or loud music emanating from your roommate’s room while you’re trying to do your things. Believe us, you wouldn’t enjoy the company of such a roommate. That’s why you should definitely try to learn as much as possible about the person who you’re considering as a roommate.

Do you clean and how often?
Majority of renters are concerned about the cleanliness of the apartment and the cleaning habits of their roommates. Keeping the entire apartment clean takes two hands to clap. It requires collaborative effort and consistent commitment to keep the common areas of the apartment clean and tidy at all times. Keep in mind that different people have different levels of tolerance towards cleanliness and tidiness in their homes. Avoid having a conflict with your roommate by first setting the ground rules with regards to keeping the house clean. If it helps, you could even develop a rotational duty roster on cleaning the common spaces with your roommate. An alternative is to engage professional home cleaning services and split the costs between yourselves.

Are you OK with having guests over in the apartment?
There may be some occasions when we would be inviting our friends over to the apartment to hang out, but it’s definitely not on a frequent basis or every night. You wouldn’t want your apartment to be suddenly home to different strangers or have an additional “roommate” whom you’ve never met before, and then having to witness your utility bills increasing because of an extra person using the electrical appliances and gas. You also wouldn’t want to hear loud noises in the middle of the night while you’re trying to get some rest. To avoid an awkward confrontation with your roommate when such a situation occurs, you might want to consider setting a rule to limit the number of guests that each of you can bring into the apartment, or make it clear that no guests should be allowed to stay over, especially after a certain timing at night.

Do you smoke?
Having a roommate who smokes can be annoying to some, which is why you should find out if your roommate is someone who smokes (cigarettes or pot) and whether you’re completely fine with tolerating second-hand smoke. Many New York residential buildings have adopted 100% no-smoking rules. You may find a list of smoke-free buildings here. In addition, make sure to check your lease if smoking in the premises of the building is allowed. If your roommate claims that he smokes very occasional, you might want to further clarify how occasional he smokes and ask him if it’s possible to smoke in the open areas outside the building (not at the balcony or windows).

What time do you go to bed?
Consider this: one of you might be an early riser and the other one might be a night owl. Usually, the early riser wishes to be in bed by about 12 pm. The night owl might be still enjoying the “young night” and blasting some music from his laptop or TV in his room next door whereas the early riser struggles to get his snooze amid all the ruckus. This can be a very frustrating moment for the early riser. Instead of resolving this only when it happens, perhaps both you and your roommate might want to discuss each other’s sleeping time and come to a consensus to keep the volume down when one of you tries to go to bed early.

Are you planning on getting a pet?
Is your roommate a pet lover? Is he planning to get a pet anytime soon? Does he already have a pet? These are the questions you might want to consider asking your roommate before moving in with him. It’s even more important to clarify this especially if you are prone to developing pet allergies. It’s part of you and your roommate’s responsibility to communicate with each other before one of you starts bringing a pet into the apartment.

What are your working hours?
Having a clear idea about the working hours of your roommate can save you both from coming into heaps of inconvenience. Not only does it allow you and your roommate to have some “alone time” to fully be alone at home, both of you can also determine the morning bathroom schedule situation and avoid competing for that single bathroom in the apartment.

Do you cook frequently?
You definitely wouldn’t want to compete with your roommate for the kitchen area either. Just imagine that it’s dinner time and you’re both already starving, but one of you has to give in to the other to cook his meal first in the limited kitchen space. Another possible scenario is witnessing stacks of unwashed dishes in the sink the next day and then end up having to constantly put up with that by either washing them yourself or stashing some clean dishes away solely for yourself.

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