- Share house living can be a great way to save money on home costs.
- Pros of share house life include saving money on rent and getting to choose who you live with.
- Cons of moving into a share house include stealing food and losing your privacy.
Are you thinking of moving into a share house?
Living in major cities is really expensive. A major benefit of share house living is you’ll cut your household bills in half. You can also discount your rent or get help to pay off your mortgage. If you plan it properly, you’ll also get to live with your friends and recreate the Joey and Chandler roommate dynamic in FRIENDS.
However, living in a share house with other people 24/7 has its drawbacks.
Just because someone is your best friend, that doesn’t mean you will enjoy living together. It’s important to think first about whether you’re ready for a shared living arrangement and what’s needed to sustain domestic harmony. So before you co-sign on the lease agreement, you need to consider if share house living is right for you.
Here are the pros and cons of share house life:
1. PRO: Save a bunch of money on rent
The immediate benefit of share house life is saving money. Houses with more bedrooms typically have more communal living space, while splitting the rent between multiple people. That means you often get more living space while paying less rent or subside your mortgage by having housemates.
2. PRO: Save money on energy bills
Splitting the cost of your living space also means splitting the cost of bills to maintain the space. This means dividing up your electricity, gas, and water bills between your housemates. Just make sure that you don’t live with someone who leaves the heating all day.
3. PRO: You don’t need to buy all the furniture
The best thing about living in a share house is that you all bring different furniture with you. That means you don’t need to buy everything, saving money on your furniture budget. You can also take turns in buying must-have furniture that you don’t have in the house yet. For example, one of you could buy the fridge and someone could buy the couch. Make sure you individually buy things so that you can take them with you if you leave the share house.
4. PRO: You can choose who you live with
If you’ve been living with your family until recently, choosing who you live with is novel. Make sure you live with people who share a similar lifestyle to you. Otherwise, you could end up being kept up all night when you’ve got work the next day.
5. PRO: You’ll have contacts in a new city
If you’re new to a city, a share house can be a great way to meet people. You might not end up being best friends with those you live with, but they’ll at least know where the good coffee is in town.
But share house living does also come with downsides…
6. CON: They might steal your food
We’ve all thought about stealing food in the fridge that might not belong to us. Your housemates are no different. Expect that sometimes they will ‘borrow’ your milk or eat that cake you’ve been craving all day. Upfront conversations on this topic are key.
7. CON: You never know someone until you live with them
You might love your friends when you see them on a night out or on brunch dates. But you’ve barely scratched the surface. Living with someone means you’ll see all their bad traits up close. Try and know as much about your housemates as possible before you sign the lease.
8. CON: Say goodbye to your privacy
Share house living means sharing communal spaces like your kitchen, lounge, and bathroom. Your housemates will know everything about you by living with you. Make sure you establish boundaries upfront.
9. CON: When housemates don’t pay their bills
While you can save money on rent and bills, that saving gets wiped out if housemates don’t pay their share of the bills. Pick housemates who are organised and have their financial life together. That way, you don’t end up subsidising their rent.
10. CON: When you need to end the lease early
Unless you plan to retire in a share house, your lease must end one day. Housemates have different life plans, including moving in the future for jobs or to study overseas. If one of you needs to terminate the lease early, be aware that you’re all on the hook for the rent. Be aware too that if one of your damages the house in your end of lease report, you’re all liable to pay the repair bill.
Share house living can be a great way to save money.
Rent money or mortgage repayments can be one of your biggest expenses, so cutting this cost enables you to maximise your savings. Just make sure that you fully consider the pros and cons of share house life so that you create a space where you enjoy coming home at the end of each day.