Why Living with Roommates is Smart and Practical

There are a lot of perks when you choose to live with roommates, not the least of which is building awesome friendships. But, if you are looking for some less obvious, more practical reasons, here’s a bunch to get you excited about living with a roommate or two.

Save Money

Splitting the cost of a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom apartment will make it more cost effective than living in a studio or convertible by yourself. Things like internet, cable and streaming services (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and more) are all the same price whether there are one or three of you, so you might as well shack up and split the savings.

Utilities can be a little trickier, especially if you have one person who likes it super warm or cool in the apartment, but my advice – don’t sweat it. I live with roommates and everyone uses a little more of one thing and a little less of another. Sharing really is caring.

A Better Apartment

Spa at Parc Huron Apartments

A 2 bedroom with a roommate at $2,800 is going to give you more quality finishes and nicer amenities than a convertible or 1 bedroom at $1,500. Likely, it will mean stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and an in-unit washer and dryer. It could even be better sound insulation and great water pressure.

An on-site spa and media/game room wouldn’t be surprising either.

Game Room at Lofts at River East

Location of Your Choice

Having a roommate allows you to expand your search to other neighborhoods. Live where you want to live, not where you can afford to live.

In my experience, renters often forget the rule of “location, location, location.” Being in a neighborhood you love, or a short commute to work, might rank higher on the happiness meter than you think!

More Space

Since you’ll be living in a larger apartment than you would be if you were alone, you’re going to get a larger family room, kitchen and dining area. It also will translate into things like more closets and a balcony (or larger balcony).

Fact: Most downtown apartment buildings put the larger units towards the corners of the buildings, with the smaller units lining the middle. A bigger apartment probably affords you way better views. I’ll bet you weren’t thinking of that!

1401 S. State Street Apartments. Dark grey unit is a 2 bedroom. Red units are 1 bedrooms.

Friend Time & Alone Time

Whether you are old friends or new ones, you will want to ask questions about each other’s schedules. Depending on whether you’re looking for someone to hang out with regularly, or someone who is hardly around – the options are there.

Friendly advice: Be clear to yourself, and your roommates, what is important to you in terms of group time and alone time.

I wanted roommates who had active work schedules and busy personal lives. One of my roommates frequently travels home on the weekends, while the other travels every other week for work. I travel a lot too, so everybody gets their “me-time.”

Share Your Skills and Talents

My roommates aren’t the best cooks, but I really enjoy cooking. Once a week, if they are in town, I’ll cook a meal for all of us. It’s actually nice cooking for someone other than just myself.

On the other hand, I’m a terrible decorator. Thankfully, one of my roommates is a self-made interior designer, while the other is super handy around the house.

Living with roommates is a great decision for my lifestyle, and I still find more and more reasons why it’s beneficial to have one or more roommates. If you and a roommate need help finding a downtown Chicago apartment, send me a note at shannon@hotspotstage.wpengine.com, or reach out to us at hotspotrentals.com. We’re a free service and glad to help with your apartment search. Finding the roommates is up to you!