One of the initial decisions you need to make is how many homemates you want to live with. There are a few things to consider before you firmly settle on a number, so let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Show me the money…..
Shared living should be more economical than living alone, so let’s look at how the number of people you live with can affect your costs.
Naturally, one of the major influences on the cost of a housing unit are where it is located. The larger centers like Toronto and Ottawa tend to have higher cost houses and apartments. Even within an area, the cost of housing can depend on the popularity of a specific neighbourhood.
Nevertheless, the number of people sharing the rent always makes a difference too. When the rent is split in half or in thirds or in fourths, the cost per person naturally goes down.
So, here are a few tips to help you decide how many homemates will work out best for you financially.
- Be clear on how much you are able to pay for rent and utilities such that you are still able to have money for other things. The gold standard for this comes from the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC). They say that we should be paying no more than 30% of our before-tax income for our housing to be considered affordable. Make a note of how much you can afford to pay at no more than 40% of your before-tax income.
- Check the costs of renting in your chosen area or areas on various rental sites. Let’s say you see a housing unit that is currently renting for $2500 per month. Then, divide this by 2, 3, 4 etc. to see how much your rent would be depending on how many homemates you have.
Doing this is just an estimate, of course, because rents often go up and down over time and depending on what is available when you and your homemates are looking. But it will help you have a better idea of how many homemates you need to consider upfront.
Odds or evens…..
Another factor to consider is whether you are more comfortable with an odd or an even number of homemates.
Some people prefer an even number, like 2 or 4; some prefer an odd number, like 3 or 5 for various reasons. Sometimes, one person feels left out in a threesome, whereas when there are 5 people or more this isn’t usually an issue.
It’s a personal choice and it might not matter to you at all. It’s just something to consider.
The more, the merrier……
One of our Facebook group members had this to say about sharing with 4 or more homemates.
“If you want to do something, you’re likely to find someone else who’s interested. If you don’t want to do something on offer, there is someone else to companion the homemate looking for someone to join them. There are more varieties of relationship and no one homemate needs to provide anything they’re not good at. Someone might be a lot of fun to cook with, but doesn’t care to garden with you. It is also easier to accommodate the normal range of human emotion in a group. If you feel like being alone and reading or creating undisturbed for a week, you don’t have to worry about a homemate feeling unloved or bored. Someone is feeling grumpy… well, you are not living alone with that person. You can hang out with someone else. Also, someone in the house is likely to be good at cheering grumpy people up. That same cheerful person may be a bit much all the time, but again, you’re not living alone with them. Someone is bound to need good cheer when 4 or 5 people live together.”
The more homemates you choose to live with, the more likely it is that you will be sharing a bathroom with at least one other person.
For some, sharing a bathroom may not be acceptable; for others, it’s not a problem. There is no right or wrong way to look at this. You need to choose for yourself.
Noise and confusion…..
For some, the thought of living with more than one other person is overwhelming. They worry about the noise and/or the confusion of too many voices, too many opinions and not enough privacy.
Keep in mind that you and your homemates will make shared decisions when you co-create your Homemate Agreement. You may decide to have a quiet time from 9 PM to morning. You might decide that everyone needs to use headsets for their TV and computer. There are numerous ways to decrease the noise and confusion through your homemate agreement.
Creating a homemate group……
Members who want to live with more than one person, should start searching for just one other that is a good match. Once you find her, the two of you can look for another who is compatible. And then the three of you can search for a 4th and so on.
In order to communicate together, you can create your own private group to chat and share ideas and concerns. Simply go to the Group Directory and click on “Create a group”. Then follow the prompts to make it private and invite other members to join you.
To get started looking for compatible homemates,
go HERE to become a member.