Moving out, need help determining who to live with...
July 25, 2007 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Help me determine which roommates to reply to and where I should live??

My boyfriend and I have recently decided to part ways. Incidentally, I am moving and would like to find someone that needs a roommate. I can not afford to live alone, nor do I wish to, and am looking for those in need of a potential roommate. Here is where I am unsure...

My options thus far are living in the downtown area (which is really a wonderful area with many things to do) and with people that are my age (25) or younger and also in school...

Or, living in a number of other locations, not necessarily near work but with people slightly older than myself and not in school.

I am bringing my cat with me, wherever I go... I'm very busy (work full time and school). I need peacefulness for studying and reflection but wouldn't mind new people and friends.

Should I move in with more than one person? Is that too hectic? (I've never lived with more than one female at a time...maybe it would be good for me?) Should I move downtown or try for closer to work, school, and family (FYI-downtown is only 20min away regardless)?

There are some males seeking roommates as well...I am female, should I move in with a male or is that potential problem?

Really, I am feeling a bit sad and am not sure that I know which decision is best.
posted by NotInTheBox to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your concerns are: 1. cat (does s/he get along with other animals?) 2. affordability 3. quiet for studying

Check out Craig's List. Personally I've never liked living with men, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't.

Also make an ad for Craig's List:"I'm a 25/f professional and night student, as such I need a quiet setting with other professionals. I'm considering neighborhoods X, Y, and Z."

This isn't as strange as you think!
posted by k8t at 6:20 AM on July 25, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you. I should have said that the majority of the ads that I am checking out are from Craig's List. Cat is friendly, likes dogs and other cats (I think).

Also, I was wary of making the ad for myself...didn't know if that would really work or if I would get the "I'm a X yr. old male, you can come stay with me anytime" reply.
posted by NotInTheBox at 6:29 AM on July 25, 2007

Personally, I feel like more than 2 roommates can often become difficult to manage. It is hard to get everyone in a group to agree on things (responsibilities, utilities, etc), and the more people, the more difficult it becomes. 1-2 roommates that you feel comfortable with seems like it would be ideal, especially if you need to establish some boundaries with regards to having a quiet setting, etc.

As far as living downtown, I think that's a great idea. You've got some healing to do from your breakup, and you're also a busy young woman - while work & school are important, so is being able to easily have some fun. Living in an area where it's convenient to meet up with someone for a drink or coffee, or that's just interesting to wander around, is probably going to be much better for you than living in a less interesting area. 20 minutes is far enough to let you make excuses not to meet someone for a little bit, so make it easy on yourself to say yes to fun.

I wouldn't rule out responding to guys' ads either. One of my best friends (female) lived with a guy & another girl (none of them in relationships with each other) and they all really loved the situation and shared their apartment for 4 years.

I also would feel strange about posting an ad to Craig's List for the reason you mention - I'd just stick to replying to ones already posted. Also check bulletin boards around your college and keep an eye out for grad students looking for roommates.
posted by tastybrains at 6:43 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

You may get a few of those, but ignore the smarmy replies.
FWIW, I lived in various rental situations for many years, and found it far easier to live with male roommates. Less drama (maybe because I never dated any of them). At any rate, keep an open mind and choose a situation that feels right for you.
posted by nkknkk at 6:45 AM on July 25, 2007

Call everywhere that looks vaguely suitable and within your price range and tell them you have a cat. This will cut down that list quite a bit within a thirty-second call or initial email.

The magic words in the adverts are likely to be 'quiet' and 'mature student/grad student'). Here in the UK there are exemptions from local property tax (Council Tax) when all residents of a property are students; if anything like that applies to you, you'll need to take it into account when considering your budget/who to live with.

August is university/college summer holiday where you are, right? So there are likely to be less people looking for rooms now, which could well be a good thing.

Multiple people does not necessarily mean noise and chaos, female people can be at least as messy and dirty as male ones, and most male people are not creepy. People and their apartments should thus always be considered on an individual basis, which will mean a couple of weeks of hectic apartment-visiting, unless you get lucky. I found my current place by sending a dozen emails and picking the second one I visited, because it seems all the landlords round here are weirdoes and this place is marginally less weird; the last place I rented, I spent three weeks unsuccessfully hunting and ended up moving into a friend-of-a-friend's place sight unseen, which turned out to be a fantastic deal. Good luck!
posted by Lebannen at 6:47 AM on July 25, 2007

I'd go downtown. And I've lived with multiple people in a big house and it's been fine. Tight quarters could make this tougher.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2007

My 2 cents:

--two or more roommates is much more complicated than one in terms of interpersonal issues. There are 7 combinations of relationships with 2 roommates (you and A, you and B, you and A & B together, A and B, etc.) vs. 1 combination with 1.

--keep an eye out for people that desperately need a roommate for financial reasons and are willing to misrepresent themselves or the place to get someone in the door. They don't realize what a bad idea this is at first. I unintentionally did this once and it didn't work out.

--go with your gut, don't talk yourself into a place with a person you are hesitant about, and don't feel bad about cutting a conversation short if it becomes clear that you aren't a good match.

--talk to someone on the phone for a little while first before spending the time going over there.

--think about whether you are the kind of person that would rather minimize the chance of a bad roommate or would rather take a shot at a roommate who might improve your social life. They are not necessarily exclusive, but based on your wants, seems like they might be.

--I have found the most helpful question to ask someone is to give a specific example of a conflict they have had with a previous roommate and how they dealt with it. If they say that they have never had a conflict, run. If they answer, I found that this quickly gave me a LOT of information that helped me make a good judgment. Once I talked with a guy for a long while before asking this. His answer was 'my last roommate sometimes gave me a hard time about every little thing, like leaving the dishes in the sink. Who cares? I don't want that sort of drama.' This is exactly what I didn't want, but it wasn't clear until then because we otherwise had lots of common interests.

--ask lifestyle questions. If you can't study with the TV on, it's pretty important to find out how much TV is watched in the main room. If you are a light sleeper, matching schedules may be important. Don't be shy about this--you're going to be there with that person for a good while.

--I have never had a problem with mixed-gender situations. They've actually worked out better sometimes.
posted by underwater at 10:00 AM on July 25, 2007

Where in Michigan are you? Craigslist is a bit thin on the ground there (I know because I just moved), but if you're in Ann Arbor, you'll have much better luck with the U of M housing list. You can get it at Kinko's for the cost of a copy.
posted by klangklangston at 11:21 AM on July 25, 2007

Response by poster: I'm in the Grand Rapids area. It is a bit thin... But there are still some listings nonetheless.
posted by NotInTheBox at 11:24 AM on July 25, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all for your advice. This was extremely helpful.
posted by NotInTheBox at 12:20 PM on July 25, 2007

I have lived with both men and woman and while everyone is different I have discovered that on average: Men are messier but woman are fussier. Woman like everything arranged and done just so, men don't normally care but it will show in the house.

As far as living near people your age, I would definitly go for that. If you live too far away from work, family, and friends you will feel very isolated and be less motivated to go out and do things! You should live where meeting people and having fun is easier.

Hope to have helped!
posted by thebrokenmuse at 6:04 PM on July 25, 2007

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