By Allison Bisbey Colter
Special to NYMovers.com
Congratulations on your decision to move to New York. The city that never sleeps certainly has a lot to offer - ranging from exciting cultural attractions to gorgeous parks, shopping and everything in-between. But to have all of these amenities so close by means that apartments in New York don't come cheap. One way to split the costs is to have a roommate. But roommates, like looking for New York movers, takes time patience and a lot of interviews so that you don't end up living with someone that you can't stand.
The best way to avoid getting stuck with an awful roommate in New York City is to ask some tough, honest questions up front. "It's not enough to say, 'do you have a microwave, great, I have a couch,'" says Susan Fee, a Licensed Professional Counselor and the author of “My Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy.”
The most important questions concern lifestyles, Fee says. Do they get up early? If so, when? If you're sharing a bathroom, those types of logistical issues are key.
Some things, like smoking and pets, are obvious concerns. How does your roommate wants to share the expenses? If you're splitting the grocery bill, what exactly does that mean? It's best to spell it out and draft a contract of who is responsible for what and
If your prospective roommate is dating, will that person be over all the time? Will they be eating your food, using your communal TV, etc? "One of the biggest complaints I get is about intimate relationships - sex in the room," Fee says. "You can imagine how uncomfortable that can be in a dorm room, but it is a small New York City apartment as well."
The roommate might also be planning to have friends over all the time. Broach the issue casually. How do you like to socialize? Do you like to party? Do you like to have friends over or do you go out to meet? Honest questions asked upfront are likely to avoid problems after moving day.
Women, in particular, may see their roommates as a kind of social crutch. They think, 'If you're going to be my roommate, you're going to hang out with me." Talking about it beforehand can set realistic expectations.
Men, on the other hand, must figure out what "clean" means to each of them or if they want someone to 'buddy' around with or someone who is there to simply pay the bills on time.
Although you can't anticipate every potential problem up front, it's also important to talk prospective roommates about their lifestyle, financial history/employment as well as some personal questions. Since you will be living with this person, you will want to know upfront as much about them. If you don't, you may discover shortly after the moving truck leaves the true colors of your new housemate.