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Why I Decided To Get a Roommate

June 29, 2016

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I decided to get a roommate to help with financial costs, but a roommate can provide other benefits as well.I’ve always wanted to rent out a room in my home to earn some extra money and help offset the cost of my mortgage. But I’ve always been hesitant to do so because I really value my privacy, especially now that I work from home so I’m here ALL.THE.TIME!

That said, I nearly took in a renter last summer, but it didn’t end up working out.

As the year progressed I  began to think more and more about starting to look for a different house in my area to move into. I love my house and I finally have it almost the way I want it when it comes to personalization and improvements, but it’s way bigger than what I need. I don’t really need a 4 bedroom house while living alone. In fact, I hardly ever use my basement. I wouldn’t go down there at all except my washer and dryer are down there.

When I mentioned this to my friends and family, they agreed that it might make sense to start watching the market to find a house better suited to my needs, especially since this time around there would  be no urgency to my need to move, so I could choose a home that really fit everything I need and want. But instead of doing that, I decided to get a roommate.

Like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, I decided to get a roommate because my roommate is my sibling.

Why I Decided to Get a Roommate

I know, I know. Sometimes having your sibling as a roommate can be a disaster, however my brother and I get along very well and we’ve had no problems working side-by-side on my business everyday over the past few months.

Plus since my home is quite large, we will have plenty of our own spaces. My basement is almost an apartment already, all it’s lacking is a full kitchen. It has a kitchenette/wet bar with a mini-fridge, microwave, and several cabinets, etc.

There are several reasons why I decided to get a roommate, but the fact is that I thought long and hard about it before deciding.

Financial Benefits

Both my brother and I will see financial benefits of living together. He will be paying me rent and helping with the utilities, which should help my budget and his. (His rent before moving in with me was more expensive.)

We’ll also be able to save on food costs per person (but it will be more expensive overall) because we plan to take turns cooking. We will be able to help each other avoid eating out when we are “too busy” or “too tired” to cook.

Other Benefits

I haven’t really talked about this much before, but my brother has a chronic medical condition that he has had since he was 4 years old. It’s manageable, but not curable. He always does better with managing it and taking care of himself when he lives with other people instead of on his own.

Another benefit of having a roommate will be having someone here when I’m traveling. As I mentioned earlier this year, I plan to do more traveling this year and in future years. If my brother doesn’t go along for my trips then he’ll be able to take care of things at the house while I’m gone, like taking care of my dogs, getting the mail, etc. He doesn’t really mind because he loves my pets like they were his own anyway. 🙂

Having my brother be my roommate will also save me time on yard work. I still plan to do some things in my yard myself, but he will be doing the regular maintenance like mowing, trimming, etc. This should also help my allergies somewhat too.

Overall I think getting a roommate in this case will work out well for both of us. We’ll see several benefits from living together, including financial benefits and other benefits too. I did weigh the risks and “cons” to make sure it was a good decision first before getting a roommate.

Have you ever rented out a room in your home for extra money? Have you ever had a bad experience with taking on a roommate?

I decided to get a roommate to help with financial costs, but a roommate can provide other benefits as well.

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10 responses to “Why I Decided To Get a Roommate

  1. I think getting a roommate is a terrific idea for saving when you are single. Help with upkeep, utilities, etc can help cut a lot of room into your time and financial budgets.

    The thing about siblings is you know all their quirks ahead of time so you know if you’ll mesh or not.
    My brothers and I do better from a distance. One needs his space like I do, the other is just too messy and social. They lived roomed together briefly and it didn’t turn out well, I got to see what didn’t work.

    1. Yes. I already knew going into it that my brother can be kind of a slob. lol! I love him, but that’s the thing that probably drives me the most crazy about him. 🙂

    1. I don’t think I would have taken in a renter if I didn’t already know them. I love my personal space and privacy and I would be worried about having an unknown person in my home with all of my stuff.

  2. I had two different roommates when I lived in my townhouse before meeting my husband. Both were my friends before moving in, but not my closest friends, so it was easier to be roommates… if that makes any sense? It allowed us to live separate lives while living together, which gave us space. I really enjoyed the experience, so I don’t really have anything bad to say… I hope it all works out with your brother as your roommate. Sounds like it will. 🙂

    1. I think it will. We have our own separate spaces in the house as there is a living room upstairs that I use and a living room area downstairs that he can use, so it’s nice for us to have some separate places to hang out.

  3. I think this could be very beneficial for both of you in many ways! And looking back I would have loved a time where my brother and I could have been roomies, even if for just a year. I think it would have been fun!

    1. It has been fun so far. He’s been here for a couple of weeks now and I’m finally starting to get back into a routine again. 🙂

  4. I’ve often thought that someday it’d be nice to own a home with a rent-able space. I love the idea that the home “pays for” part of itself. It’s nice too that it is your brother and not a perfect stranger.

    Saving money on mortgage/rent expenses and utilities can really help a budget and really help you get debt free or save toward financial goals much more quickly.

    My husband and I decided to live in a very small apartment shortly after we got married. This has allowed us to pay of $23,500 this year on our school debt and become debt-free. It’s SO worth it. Who cares if we both don’t really fit in the bathroom at the same time!

    I applaud you for making a smart choice, even when it’s a bit counter-cultural!

    1. Thanks Kristen! It’s been a bit of an adjustment after living by myself for about 5.5-6 years and then having a roommate again, but it is nice to get that rent money to help pay for part of the mortgage. 🙂

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