Study shows: living with roommates is a path to huge savings and fun

HomeShare surveyed 300 people and found that most people underestimate the savings that can be had by living with roommates and think that finding good roommates is much harder than it actually is.

We’ve all been there: the home we want is a little too pricey, or we wish we had a little extra cash each month. Living with roommates may seem daunting: what if they use all the water and run up the bill? What if you can’t find anyone fun and are stuck with someone who is not a good fit? The truth of the matter is that the cost savings of living with roommates are much higher than most people think, and finding the perfect one may be much easier than you would suppose.

If you are attempting to rent an apartment, you often have to perform a complex calculation: you can afford a better location and perhaps a nicer overall apartment if you live with roommates, or you can choose a less ideal location, size, or quality of the apartment and live on your own. You may have the feeling that living with roommates is a temporary choice that you only make until you can afford a reasonable place by yourself, but the trend, especially in large cities, is toward more and more roommate living.

While people don’t always notice it at the moment, having roommates makes the living space more fun: there are more opportunities for fun activities at home. Your roommates also expand your social network: you may meet interesting new people through your roommates, or be invited to events you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Furthermore, most people could use a little extra money, whether it be to pay off loans, save for retirement, or simply prepare an emergency fund for a future move. Having roommates saves money on both rent and utilities while usually still affording a higher quality of life; an apartment with excellent amenities and luxury touches that would be out of the question without roommates could become an option.

The HomeShare Study: Key Insights

We wanted to understand how these benefits are perceived by different segments of the population, so we surveyed 300 people to better understand people’s attitudes towards the issue. The survey analysis determined that people can actually find fun roommates, save money and experience a much higher quality of life with roommates. However, most people underestimate just how positive the experience can be, and the magnitude of savings that can be had.

72% of people surveyed think that they can save less than $750 a month when living with roommates, while in actuality HomeShare residents save $1500 a month on average. This gap means that people are missing out on savings due to a faulty perception.

42% of respondents also stated that they don’t think they would find good roommates with whom they feel compatible, and this is the main reason why they don’t move in with roommates. HomeShare understands this pain point, and have created the perfect method for finding qualified candidates for roommates and matching them with each other.

HomeShare also helps people maximize the advantages of living with roommates. Most people (53%) choose to live with roommates because it saves money, while 32% see having roommates as more fun than living alone. 15% have a related pricing concern, namely that they can afford a nicer place or a more enviable location. HomeShare curates high-value locations, brings people together to save money, and makes sure roommates are optimally compatible for the fun of joint living.

One interesting finding was that people who have lived with roommates in the past see the fun aspects of the experience as the main benefit. 74% of people who have lived with roommates at any point in the past, mentioned that fun aspects (companionship, experiences, meeting new friends) were what they love most about the experience. People who had never lived with a roommate were actually 50% less likely to point to fun and companionship as something they would love about living with roommates, compared to people who had lived with roommates in the past. Ultimately, those who’ve tried roommate living find it incredibly fulfilling.

Age Breakdown and Reasonings

Young people in the 18–34 age bracket mentioned that living in a better location was their main reason to live with roommates. However, people aged 35–44 focus on the fact that living with others is more fun than living alone, indicating that there are large benefits to roommate living that extend beyond price concerns. For the 45–54 age bracket, the discussion turns to how you can get better amenities at your apartment with a roommate than if you don’t have one, and for the 55 and older group, saving money becomes the main driver for living with roommates.

Solving the Roommate Matching Problem

While many respondents recognize the benefits of having a roommate, those who lived with roommates did mention how it can be hard to find that perfect person; those who’ve never lived with roommates are slightly more optimistic than those who have lived with roommates about finding the right fit, and people who have lived with roommates in the past are more aware of this fact.

68% of people with past roommate experience don’t think they will find roommates that are a good fit, while only 32% of newcomers to the roommate living world think this will be a problem. That’s where HomeShare’s matching algorithm, top locations & amenities and flexibility make sure that you get the reliability, companionship, and fun that come from a healthy and pleasant roommate relationship, without the hassle.

The reasons to move in with roommates differ from person to person. For instance, 69% of people surveyed would move in with roommates to get a better location and amenities. 31% said they’ll move if they find nice people who are fun to live with. 43% of people who wanted to move to be with fun people were older (65+) or quite young (18–24), while the middle age brackets tended to see the real benefit as being a nicer spot with awesome amenities.

The pain points of roommate living can be mitigated with a little planning

You might ask: why do so few people persistently live with roommates when the advantages are so pronounced? What it boils down to is the fear of sharing a space with someone you don’t want to spend time with. This is only a disadvantage if you don’t think ahead about what you need in a roommate, or are under time pressure to find a solution. If you know, especially from past roommate experiences, what makes for a satisfactory living experience, chatting with a potential roommate becomes easy; talk to them about how much time they will spend in the apartment, what they like to do in their free time and their level of cleanliness.

What may be a red flag for you may not be a red flag for someone else. If you prefer a spotless kitchen, be honest about that from the start, and if you plan to host pizza and movie nights every Friday until midnight, clue them in on that too. Your roommate will be a better roommate if they are choosing you too, with full knowledge of your needs. If you have strict sleeping noise needs, make sure to agree on when your “quiet hours” will be. These conversations may seem silly at first, but they make a quick corrective chat so much easier later on if your roommate starts acting in a way that is bothersome to you.

Living with roommates is better than most people think when done correctly

The average HomeShare resident saves $1,500 a month ($18,000 a year) by living with roommates; that is a lot of extra money that you can reinvest and grow; if you kept saving it in a 10% yield account for 10 years, you’d have $330,000! Our survey shows that most people will significantly underestimate this amount.

Ultimately, people who have lived with roommates report that they really derive joy from roommates, especially when they match your personality well and when there is a seamless way to get someone new into the apartment if your roommate leaves. HomeShare, in particular, fills the gap when what you need is an excellent roommate experience. Take it from the 300 folks we surveyed: roommate living is the path to fun companionship and excellent savings.

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