Pros and Cons of Shared Living: Should you live alone or live with others?

I recently found myself looking for new housing after having a terrible experience living with three other housemates in a shared house. I found it difficult to maintain cleanliness, I found it hard to keep noise levels down, and most importantly I found it impossible to make my home feel like a home. Now that I am looking for housing again, I am noticing that there is a tradeoff of living alone versus living with others. Both options have their benefits and both options have their drawbacks. I remain committed to shared housing but I think it is important to know what you are getting yourself into. If you are considering living in a shared home, I think it is essential to consider the following.

First off, the benefits of shared housing are significant. Whether it is an improvement of quality of living or saving money the benefits go far in improving your day to day. The three main benefits of shared living are: saving money, saving time, and most importantly a greater sense of community and belonging. 

Saving money on rent  According to rentjungle.com, “The average price of a one bedroom in San Diego is $1947”. Regardless of how much money you are making, shared housing can save you thousands of dollars every year. A nice private room in a shared home in a great part of San Diego can rent anywhere from $900 to $1200 a month. These savings can go a long way.

Saving time on chores. House chores can vary in each home but no matter what, chores are done quicker and easier when shared with others. For example, if you are looking at a task like doing dishes, having someone unload the dishwasher while you load it can save time. There are numerous other tasks that can be done quicker with others. You can use this saved time to do whatever you want. 

Sense of community This is the greatest benefit of living with others. If you are working a 9 to 5 or in school for many hours a week coming home is your only downtime. Instead of spending most of your weeks alone, your downtime could be spent with others. Your housemates may not become your friends for life but at the very least they can be people you look forward to seeing every day. 

Living with others is not all roses and dandelions. There are some disadvantages that come from sharing a home. The main issues are: less privacy, more noise, and potentially a dirtier home. 

Less privacy. Sometimes you may want to be alone. When sharing a home, you can’t expect to get the privacy you want unless you lock yourself in your home. If you are looking for privacy, you may avoid shared areas of the home. Make your room a place you can relax in this way you can always escape to the privacy you desire. 

More noise. More people usually results in more noise. There may be 3-4 laptops playing Netlifx at the same time. A housemate may invite their friends over for Sunday football. To mitigate this you can enforce quiet hours or simply just ask your housemates to quiet down. 

Dirtier Home – More dishes being used, more meals at the dining table, and more showers in the bathroom. More people sharing a home means the place gets messier quicker. Shared chores can make this easier and less stressful. In addition, consider hiring a cleaning crew and splitting the costs to make sure the shared areas are clean. 

Before I wrote this article, I was not sure if I should go live on my own or share a home with others. After thinking long and hard about the benefits of sharing a home, I find it hard to convince myself that is worth it to live alone. Shared living, also known as co-housing is a growing trend. “Humans thrive in such an environment,” says Alice Alexander, executive director of the Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US). “Cohousing allows us to support each other in sharing life’s challenges and also allows us to celebrate together the joys of life.” I recommend you take on the more adventurous route and live with others. Sharing a home can improve your life beyond the walls you share. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about sharing a home feel free to reach out to us via email at: info@saba-housing.com 

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