Moving in Together: How to Compromise and Find an Apartment

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Moving in together can cause a lot of disagreement. When it comes to sharing your life with someone new, no matter how involved you are with one another (whether this is just a roommate or your significant other), you must learn to compromise.

List What You Both Want

When you decide that you’re going to be moving in together, you need to have an open discussion about what both of you are looking for in an apartment. Understand that you’re going to be compromising in the end, but at this beginning stage, you should both be honest about what you’d ideally have in an apartment.

Both of you should sit down at a table and write down all of the apartment amenities and features you would like to have. Once you’ve written your list, write it out one more time in order of importance to you. For example, if you’d love an apartment with a great view of the beach but it’s more important that you have an in-unit laundry (or vice versa), rank the in-unit laundry higher.

Decide What You Can Both Pay

Next, both of you need to take a close look at your finances. If you’re going to be moving in together, you need to be sure that you can both afford it. You should both calculate your income for a month as well as personal expenses, a certain amount set aside for savings/emergencies, a little to spend on entertainment, and possible household contributions, such as groceries and utilities (although some apartments will include utilities).

What you’re left with is how much you’re able to contribute to rent and when you combine both totals, you’ll know what range of apartment monthly rates you should be looking for.

The two of you need not have equal amounts to contribute to rent if the person who is paying less isn’t paying an unreasonable amount less and is willing to compromise in some way, such as having a smaller bedroom or if you’re a couple who plans on sharing a bedroom, a willingness to take on more household duties.

Compromise on Amenities

Once you’ve both listed what you’d like in an apartment and you’ve agreed on your monthly price range, you should compare lists. Any amenity that ranks high on both of your lists is something you should include on your “must-have” list when moving in together, as long as it fits into your price range. For amenities that are high on one of your lists and low on the other’s, include those as secondary features that you’d like to find in an apartment but are not essential to your decision. For amenities that are on one person’s list and not at all on the other, you should both be willing to give up one to two of your own in exchange for putting one of your high-ranked amenities that the other person ranks more lowly on the “must have” list.

Two people are unlikely to agree completely on what they want in an apartment. Going into the discussion with a willingness to compromise will make moving in together a much easier and more pleasant experience.

3 Responses to “Moving in Together: How to Compromise and Find an Apartment”

  1. November 01, 2010 at 1:14 pm, Ryan VanDenabeele said:

    This is always a touchy issue when in comes to finding a new roommate or living with someone new for the first time. Some people are compatible and some just aren’t. I have never had any problem in the past, but just remember everything is a compromise and be sure to carry your weight.



  2. April 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm, Julia Ostrovsky said:

    Are you suggesting me, 66 y.o. women, CITIZEN of USA who became disable and unable to work anymore in 2008 and can not afford mortgage (6,375%) anymore and there is no bank, who can help me to reduce my payments ( I have already tried). The “Homeward residential” is a real criminal bank, that “Tried to help me” with “MODIFICATION Mortgage since October 2012 and I get nothing , but torchering from them and they know and I know that all of this is a low game and I will never get my Mortgage “modified”.
    , even this bank by itself offered me this program, stating that I was qualified.
    You suggesting me move out and have a roommate?
    I am legal citizen of USA, working class, never been on “Welfer and I have to end my life with roommate, while illigales, or never working people get free apartments, free life in USA?
    So, I did not deserve , I have not paid my taxes to spend my old years distantly??? , But those people have?
    I think our government should stop their EMPTY promises regarding lower mortgage payments and making them look good as well as another empty promises. Does not look good at all!
    They know as well I do now this is never going to happen with people who worked and payed taxes. This programs for another category, but they should mention this before they make people to go thru this night mare of mortgage modification process, this low game which may be(doubt it) successful for CERTAIN group of people, but NOT for working americans.
    So, should I really think about spending my senior years with a roommate?. Very nice advice. Thank you.
    Dr. Julia Ostrovsky


  3. April 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm, Julia Ostrovsky said:

    I just gave my comments, but it is dissapeared.
    How convinient!
    Those long comments would not be very pleasant to read and answer.
    Thank you for nothing and … suggestion for 66 yo WORKING women, CITIZEN of USA, who work and pay taxes to spend my senior years with a roommate.
    I hope, you are not serious.
    Thank you, government, for empty promises, including lower mortgage payments (I have 6,375% interest
    and no way to refinance and I have tried all programs that Mr. Obama suggested, but I realized, they don’t exist, at least not for USA citizens and not for working class , senior citizens who can not afford their mortgages anymore.) May be those exist, but not for working class.
    Just guessing : for whom? Or these programs exist at all?
    But offering these”programs” make government to look better. I understand.
    I would not be surprised if these my comments will disappear again.
    Thank you.
    I don’t think I will ever live with a roommate. I would rather to go to some other place in the world.


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