A few years back after a bit of a rough break up, I moved back into my parents home and spent one too many nights on their sofa. After a few months I knew that in order to get my life back on track I needed to find somewhere to live (a house share), but there was no way I could afford to rent anywhere by myself. So I jumped on to Spare Room and after a lot of sorting through, I managed to find a house share in a local town that 3 other girls were living in!
I went for a look around and almost like a mini interview with the girls who already lived there, and only an hour after I’d left did I hear back from them saying they wanted me to have the room! I was so excited, and even though I only lived there for 4-5 months, it was such a different experience to anything I’d ever had (I never went to university so never experienced living with people other than my family or boyfriends). There’s definitely a lot of pros and cons to it, so I thought I’d do a post for anyone that might be considering it.
Pro: You can make friends for life.
I was lucky enough that the 3 girls I lived with where absolute diamonds. We were all different ages and backgrounds, but we all just worked so well together. One of the girls I still see on a regular basis and was actually invited to our wedding! When we lived together we didn’t spend all of our time together, but we’d arrange to have dinners together and catch ups each week.
We had a lovely house Christmas together where we cooked an amazing Christmas dinner and decorated the house, we went on nights out (it was actually thanks to these girls I experienced my first Monday night drinking and hang over at work.) At a really difficult time in my life, they really helped me through it.
Con: If you don’t get on, things can be awkward.
We were really lucky that we all got on so well, but not everyone is that fortunate. You aren’t always going to get on with everyone you meet in life, and that’s okay BUT if you’re living together and you don’t see eye to eye then this can obviously cause a lot of tension and difficulties.
If you are considering doing a house share, it’s really important to try and meet the people you’ll be living with before you agree to anything. That way you’ll know whether you’ll have a positive experience whilst living there, or whether it will turn out to be really difficult for everyone living there.
Pro: financially, it’s beneficial.
At the time of house sharing, I was paying rent for another property at the same time and so I had to save money wherever possible. Doing a house share means that you pay 1 set amount each month, and all your bills are included, which does take some of the pressure off as it means you know it’s unlikely to change (at least that’s how it worked at the house I was at).
So if your financially in a bit of a hard place, then it’s definitely a good option to consider.
Cons: you get what you pay for.
This isn’t the same with all house shares of course, but you do find the people renting out the house (whether they own it or the renting is done through a third party company) that they want to try and keep the costs of things down their end.
One example of this in the house I lived in, was that we couldn’t control the heating in the house (I remember Mark thinking I was joking when I told him the thermostat was locked behind a box and we couldn’t get in). So because the house was so old, and always very cold we all had problems with mold in our room, I also spent the month of January sleeping in my dressing down when Mark wasn’t over. So that definitely wasn’t the best.
It’s definitely a situation where you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the particular situation you’re in, or the situation of the person considering a house share – for me at the time, it was the perfect opportunity. If you’ve done a house share, let us know below! Check out our other lifestyle posts here, too.