Splitting the cost of rent with a roommate allows you to afford a larger, more luxurious apartment than you could on your own. And if your alarm doesn’t go off and you oversleep? A good roommate wakes you up so you aren’t late to work. (Ahhhh!) But even the best of friends can get on one another’s nerves when sharing a living space without the right features. Here are a few things to consider when searching for a new apartment with a roommate.
From bikes to blankets, roommates have twice as much of everything. Living in an apartment overflowing with stuff—especially when it’s not yours—is more frustrating than Netflix buffering during the climax of your favorite movie. You may want to limit your search to apartments with:
- Walk-in closets in bedrooms
- Cleaning and or linen closets in common spaces
- Large pantry cabinet in kitchen
- Built-in shelving throughout
- Ground-level bike lockups
While décor trends may come and go, having adequate storage space never goes out of style.
You can save more money by renting an apartment with eco-friendly appliances. A washing machine with the Energy Star label, for example, can save anywhere from $70 to $135 a year on utility costs. Combine those savings with those from the dishwasher, dryer and refrigerator and you’ll have enough to pay for that new couch you’ve been pining for. Be sure to ask about other eco-friendly features such as shower heads and recycling programs during your search.
Paying attention to the size and placement of windows for more amicable apartment living. Apartments on higher levels tend to get more natural light and don’t require as much electricity. Even apartments on the ground level may get quite a bit of light with a south-facing sliding patio door. Sunlight improves your overall well-being, not to mention your mood. (Translation: You won’t be quite as cranky if someone drinks the last of your milk and forgets to replace it.)
Beyond a private deck or balcony—both of which are huge perks!—does the apartment community have comfortable outdoor areas? Whether it’s a pool where you can hang out at while your roommate has a lunch date, a grill area where you can co-host a BBQ in the summer, or a fire pit where you can gather with neighbors year-round, outdoor space should be a consideration.
What features and amenities to you find most desirable for shared apartment living? Let us know in the comments below.