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Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsOther - Family & Relationships · 2 months ago

Rules for Roommates??

My sister and I, along with 2 of our friends and their 2-year old daughter are buying a house and will be living together in 4 months. 

I feel like we need to set ground rules and don't know where to start.

12 Answers

  • a
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Big house? I predict disaster. I also predict if it takes *this many* of you to scrape together enough for a house, you're not going to qualify for a mortgage. But I'll play your silly game.

    If one or two of you qualify for a mortgage on the basis of the other people being paying rent (thus increasing the income you put on the application) that means you're *not* all equal owners in the property. Someone will own it, and someone will be tenants.

    You, your sister, Couple, and child will each have a bedroom?

    What if the couple has more children, a boy for instance. They will eventually want the siblings to not share a room. What then?

    Can you bring dates home? How will this be explained to the child? And BTW, how cool with the parents be with virtual strangers sleeping in the same house as their child? 

    What if you or your sister marry and have children? Where will YOUR children sleep?

    Do you think a spouse or spousal equivalent will be happy living like this?

    What if one party or another gets tired of communal living? How will the rest of you buy someone out? According to equity paid in? According to market value of the house? According to market value of the rooms they occupied?

    Water, sewage, electric bills: Split three ways, or four? A two-year-old doesn't use much in the way of resources. When she's 12-13-14 years old she may be taking 30 minute showers and blow-drying her hair twice a day for date nights. How will the hot water and electric bill be divided then?

    How many refrigerators, cupboards are going to be in the kitchen? Or will you label all the food?

    My first room mate situation entailed some pretty common-sense rules, and it worked pretty well, until it didn't. Roomie started to mis-manage money and didn't have rent. That's a problem. The third roommate was trying to reconcile with her ex-husband, and thought since she wasn't there much, she didn't need to pay any expenses. Problem, because we couldn't rent out her room to someone else. 

    One of my colleagues lived in a situation like that. They had a chore chart and all - except when someone didn't do something they were supposed to, nothing happened. If Joe didn't do dishes or make dinner, it's not like they went hungry or ate off dirty dishes. And it was always the same people who ended up doing his chores for him, and feeling resentful

  • 2 months ago

    This can only end in HORROR!!

  • 2 months ago

    My suggestion is don't do this. You are asking for trouble. Renting is one thing; even with a lease, if things don't work out, you can leave. But if you buy property together, you are in it for the long haul. And although you know your sister, you didn't say anything about how well you know the others. Also, living with a two year old child will be a huge change.  

    If you really want to do this, I would recommend renting together first, because you are bound to discover all sorts of things living together that will be challenging, possibly displeasing, or problematic.

    If you are still determined to forge ahead, you could meet well in advance and cover the "ground rules" until you agree on them, and then put it in writing, with each person signing a copy for everyone else.  Include how you will handle finances and expenses; cleaning and maintaining the property; who will do what chores; who will be doing parenting and disciplining of the child. Include how you will agree on having visitors, e.g., will they be able to stay overnight? How long? Who?  What about purchases for your home?  Will you have meetings on a regular basis to discuss how things are going?  What are the habits of each person and their life styles and how will it be likely to impact on the others? 

    Boy oh boy, I think you are walking into a hornet's nest, despite the best intentions of everyone concerned. Good luck!  And listen to what Foofa suggested, you're going to need her advice too.

  • 2 months ago

    You are purchasing a home with 3 other adults and a toddler?  WOW! That's kinda crazy. Well, please speak to an attorney about division of ownership and what to do in the very likely event that not all of you will want to live together in another few years. Or sooner than that. How THAT, the legalities of ownership, will be divvied up and solved/sold/absorbed needs to be the FIRST THING to be handled before the final purchase papers are signed. FIRST THING. 

    You can find all sorts of roommate agreements on line. 

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You'll definitely need to set some ground rules for what happens when there's an argument and someone wants out of the deal. I'd be working with an attorney on this because investing in real estate with people you're not married to (and therefore hold joint assets with) can be a minefield. 

  • Alan H
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You start by the four of you discussing it seriously: each offering their ideas, and coming to a compromise where you do not fully agree.

    Make allowances for the child 

  • Audrey
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Start by not doing it. You will deeply regret buying a house that way.

  • martin
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Be noise considerate.  Respect hours and schedules.  Be prompt with payments for rent and utilities.

  • Susie
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You are all buying the house together????  Make sure all things are agreed upon and put in writing. I’m sure you will need that down the road.  Like what happens if one or two moves out, and how the bills will be split by “bedroom” or by person? How you will pay for upkeep and remodeling???  How will furniture be divided if you split???  Write  down all questions and agree to solutions that are then put in writing and legally signed by all.  

  • 2 months ago

    I think you are headed down a troubled future.  Without one person in charge with the final say so, you all will be at odds on everything.  What if someone wants to bail out?  My female cousin and her co-worker female best friend bought a house together.  My cousin loved the place.  The best friend eventually fell in love, got married and pulled out of the deal.  My cousin was deeply crushed.  We never talk about it.

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