Sharing an Apartment: The Pros and Cons of Married RoommatesJuly 29th, 2009 by Staff Writer
When you’re looking to cut back on your rental costs, married roommates might provide you with the opportunity to save quite a bit on your monthly costs. However, you should carefully consider the pros and cons of cohabitation with a married couple before you post that ad or consider your married friends’ offer.
Pro 1. Split Costs Three Ways
Just because the married couple is a family unit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re only responsible for half of the rent. You can work out an agreement with married roommates to split the costs of rent and utilities three ways, or some way that’s fair to all based on the space shared. It will certainly cost you less to rent with two roommates than one.
Pro 2. Don’t Need More than Two Bedrooms
You can even share a two-bedroom apartment with married roommates (one room for you and one for the married couple). You’d be hard-pressed to find two other roommates, even friends, who would be willing to share a room!
Pro 3. More Likely to Be Responsible
There’s a reason why car insurance is cheaper for young adults who are married; statistics show that, in general, marriage makes a person more responsible. It is a big commitment that requires maturity. You probably will be able to count on the married couple making payments on time and not holding all-night parties when you’ve got work the next day.
Con 1. Feeling Awkward
Although this may not turn out to be the case, chances are you’ll feel more awkward around married roommates than you would around a fellow single person. The married couple is a family and you’re sort of like a fifth wheel. This won’t necessarily be a problem if you all value each other’s privacy and have your own interests and lives.
Con 2. Witnessing Fights
If the married couple argues, it will be hard for you to avoid the drama. You can retreat to your room or leave the apartment, but you shouldn’t have to regularly alter your activities and locations in order to avoid uncomfortable situations. You definitely don’t want to let the couple force you to “take sides,” either. Some married couples are more volatile than others.
Con 3. Potential Conflict
If you often have a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend visit and spend the night with you, you may find yourself confronted by the married couple for inviting a fourth person to “practically live” in the apartment free of charge. If the married couple is paying for two-thirds of the costs of the apartment and you only pay a third despite having someone visit frequently, you can see how this could be unfair. Be sure to have an understanding on what constitutes “practically living” there, and plan any accommodations (you paying some extra towards rent) to balance out any inconveniences. A fellow single roommate will be more likely to understand and may invite his or her own friend(s) overnight frequently as well.
Having married roommates can be both a positive and a negative experience. Cohabitation with married people can save you a lot of money and stress, but it can also be awkward. A lot depends on the maturity of and your relationship with the married couple, so evaluate the couple carefully before you make your decision.