Buying a condo to live in while you go to school in the city can be a good investment. Sharing it is a great plan for saving money. Here are the 10 commandments you should follow to ensure roommate harmony.
Thou shalt communicate
Getting along with roommates isn’t rocket science, but it does involve being able to talk to each other. A little « hi », a little « bye » -- may not seem like much, but it goes a long way in creating a friendly vibe. And yes, it is possible to be polite with everybody, even if you have nothing in common, and it sure makes chatting easier.
Respect thy neighbour
Living together doesn’t mean doing everything together. It’s important to respect the privacy and the schedule (especially sleeping needs) of others. Do not make noise until the wee hours if you want to keep that good group feeling. You’re a night hawk? Get a cat. It might not pay the rent, but it will give you somebody to talk to all night if you want.
Thou shalt not kill
When humans are packed into tight quarters with other humans 24/7, conflicts are bound to flare up. Who left his socks in the fridge? Who hung the cat in the Christmas tree? Do not start brooding; do not stop talking. Remember, communication is key to avoiding problems. BUT if the conflict is none of your business, then don’t get involved. You’d be better off talking to your cat.
Honour thy differences
One of the keys to happy roommate-ness is being open-minded, within reason of course. It’s cool to live with people from a variety of cultures and beliefs, but it means that everybody will probably have a different idea of community living. Be tolerant, or you might find yourself on the outside faster than you think.
Thou shalt do thy share of the work
Who likes chores? Nobody. But alas, they have to be done. Cleaning, doing dishes, taking out the garbage … get organized right from the start. If you set up a schedule of the jobs to be done you could avoid some major problems. And if you’re thinking you can train your cat to do your share, forget it. Won’t work. I already tried.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Admit it, living in a clean and tidy home feels good. It’s everybody’s job to clean up after themselves, to not leave slushy boots in the living room, or empty pizza boxes lying all over the place. If you want your room to look like a battlefield after a nuclear disaster, that’s your problem. But keep your cockroaches to yourself.
Thou shalt not commit indiscretions
Which brings us to the topic of personal items. Your condo is a share living space where people are not necessarily interested in the colour of each other’s boxers. Do not impose your personal life or effects on others.
Thou shalt not cheat
Sharing your condo allows you to live in a larger space for less money, but that doesn’t get you a free ride. There are costs that will be shared by everybody, including condo fees, food, and internet. Be sure to pay up at the time and price that was agreed upon, or else you will penalize your roommates.
Thou shalt practice moderation
Your condo is your home and you want people to feel welcome. But be careful! Welcome does not mean it becomes the neighbourhood club or the place where all your friends crash. Remember to respect the space and schedule of your roomies and get their okay before you organize the party of the year … every night!
Remember the roommate dinner, and do it often
After all of this, if you still need some help getting along with your roommates, try organizing a dinner – a sure-fire way to create some chemistry. On the other hand, if your pasta sticks to the ceiling or your steaks are more like shoe leather, you could end up in your room in a pity party with your cat. If that’s the case, you’d be better off ordering in some St-Hubert.
Now you have everything you need to be the perfect roommate. All that’s left is to find a little nest, and a few friends to share it with you.