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Before You Choose to Live With Roommates

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Living in an apartment with a roommate is the perfect option for many renters, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice for you. Before you jump on the roommate bandwagon, make sure it's what you want.

Here are three situations in which people choose to live with roommates that too often lead to trouble. If you find yourself in any of these situations, take a step back, review the reasons for and against living with a roommate, and then make an honest decision.

Logic ("It Just Makes Sense!")

You and a friend are both moving to a new town for the same reason, such as to attend school or start a new job. Because you're in such a similar situation or have the same background, you assume it makes sense that you room together.

Don't let the issue of whether to live with a roommate or live alone get decided for you based on external factors or what may appear to make sense objectively. Remember that it's a subjective choice that's only yours to make!

Habit ("It's What I've Been Doing!")

You've always had a roommate, so when your roommate tells you she won't renew the lease or that she'll leave early, you automatically start looking for a replacement.

Always take the time at each new opportunity to think about whether having a roommate is what you want. What worked before isn't necessarily the best solution now.

Pressure ("How Could I Not Have a Roommate?")

You feel pressured to rent an apartment with roommates. If everyone you know seems to be living with a roommate, you might be afraid you'll come across as a loner. Or, you might think it's the responsible thing to do in this difficult economy, given the savings.

Don't choose to live with a roommate just because you feel pressured. If the pressure comes from financial concerns and you really want to live alone, adjust your budget to make it work.

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