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Should You Live Alone Or With Roommates?

Blog

2023-03-10

Living alone or with housemates is a common dilemma faced by many people. While some prefer the peace and solitude of living alone, others enjoy the company and social connection that comes with living with roommates. In this post, we will explore the pros and cons of both options and provide some guidance on making the right choice for you.

Jump to Section#

Pros and Cons of Living Alone#

Pros#

  • Increased privacy: Living alone means you have complete control over your living space, and you don't have to worry about sharing common areas or dealing with other people's mess.
  • Greater control over your living space: You can decorate your home to your liking and customise your living space without having to consult with anyone else.
  • Fewer distractions: Living alone can help you focus on your work and personal goals without distractions from others.

Cons#

  • Higher costs: Living alone is typically more expensive than sharing a living space with others. You have to pay for rent, utilities, and other expenses all by yourself and front the cost of any furniture and appliances.
  • Increased loneliness and boredom: Studies show that those who live alone have a higher level of boredom and unhappiness, as well as decreased social connection. According to a study from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Living alone is associated with lower levels of social support and social contact, which may have implications for wellbeing (source).
  • Decreased social connection: Living alone can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of social connection, which can be detrimental to mental health.

Pros and Cons of Living with Roommates#

Pros#

  • Lower costs: Sharing a living space with others can significantly reduce your living expenses, including rent, utilities, and other household expenses.
  • Increased social connection: Living with housemates provides an opportunity to build friendships and social connections, which can be beneficial for mental health.
  • Shared responsibilities: Sharing household chores and responsibilities can reduce the workload and stress of maintaining a home.
  • Spontaneity: Living with roommates means that there is always someone around to hang out with or do something fun with on the spur of the moment.

Cons#

  • Decreased privacy and control over your living space: Living with housemates means you have to compromise on your personal space and living preferences to accommodate others.
  • Potential conflicts with housemates: Living with others can lead to conflicts and disagreements about household chores, finances, and other issues.

Frequently Asked Questions#

Is it more expensive to live alone?#

Yes, it is generally more expensive to live alone than in a shared living arrangement. We looked at median rental prices for popular Melbourne suburbs and found the percentage discount (when adjusted per-bedroom) to range between 15-40%.

The table below shows the median rent for one-bedroom flats and three-bedroom houses in some popular suburbs in Melbourne (alongside the relative percentage discount).


Suburb1 Bed Flat3 Bed HousePercentage Discount
Richmond-Burnley$390$26731.79%
Collingwood-Abbotsford$400$26733.25%
South Yarra$379$31716.36%
East Melbourne$400$4000.00%
South Melbourne$395$28527.85%
Brighton$400$31720.75%
Fitzroy$400$29326.75%
Port Melbourne$435$26738.62%

As you can see, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is significantly higher than renting a room in a shared three-bedroom house. In fact, the most expensive apartments to rent are typically one-bedroom apartments, with each additional bedroom offering cost-savings when split between the residents. There are also a number of other splitting cost benefits which you can read about in our blog post here.

How do I find compatible housemates?#

Finding compatible housemates can be a challenge, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right match. First, be clear about your expectations and preferences when looking for a roommate.


Use Sharehouse's guide to ask potential roommates essential questions that can help determine if you are a good match. Additionally, use online platforms like Sharehouse to connect with potential roommates who share your interests, lifestyle, and preferences.


Another option is to join a "Teamup". A teamup is a group of people who are looking for a share house together. By joining a teamup, you can connect with like-minded people who share your interests, lifestyle, and preferences. This can be a great way to find compatible housemates who are also looking for a new living arrangement. Check out our explainer page to learn more about how teamups work and the benefits of joining one.

How do I handle conflicts with my housemates?#

Conflict is inevitable when living with others, but there are ways to manage it effectively. First, communicate openly and honestly with your housemates about your concerns, and be willing to listen to their perspectives as well. Establish clear guidelines for household chores, finances, and other responsibilities to avoid misunderstandings. If conflicts persist , consider involving a neutral third party, such as a mediator or landlord, to help resolve the issues.

How can I maintain my privacy and personal space while living with housemates?#

Establish clear boundaries and expectations with your housemates from the beginning, and communicate openly about your needs and preferences regarding personal space and privacy. Use Sharehouse's tips to create a comfortable and private living space, such as using room dividers, wearing headphones, and setting specific times for alone time.

Conclusion#

Deciding whether to live alone or with housemates ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. While living alone provides increased privacy and control over your living space, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and decreased social connection. On the other hand, living with housemates can be more affordable and provide opportunities for social connection, but it also means compromising on personal space and dealing with potential conflicts. Consider weighing the pros and cons carefully and use the advice provided to make the right decision for you.


For more information on sharehousing and related topics, check out Sharehouse's blog.


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