You’ve got to give a little, take a little, sometimes your heart has to break a little, but that’s just the nature of living with another person. If this is your initial experience sharing a place with a roommate, you’re about to learn this lesson firsthand. In most cases, one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom apartment is going to be bigger than the other one. It’s likely to have an en suite bathroom too. So, who gets it? Well, here comes your first lesson in the art of compromise—how to decide who gets the big bedroom.
The easiest way is to let your money decide. It can be reasonably argued that the bigger bedroom costs more, so whichever roommate is willing to pay more for it can have it. That’s all well and good you say, but how do you calculate a reasonable premium for the space? The easiest way is to take the total square footage of the apartment, figure out what percentage is consumed by the larger bedroom and assign a commensurate price to it.
To keep the math easy, let’s say the apartment is 1,000 square feet and the rent is $1,000 monthly. The big bedroom, plus the bathroom, comes to 200 square feet. The smaller bedroom totals 150 square feet. This means $350 of the monthly rent pays for the bedrooms and the $650 balance covers the rest of the apartment. Dividing the $650 by two to split it evenly between you comes to $325 each. The person with the master bedroom then pays $525 monthly, while the person with the smaller bedroom pays $475 monthly.
Problem solved. If you think you are done here, then move on to the other common roommate dispute you should avoid.
But wait you say, the apartment comes with one covered parking space and we both have cars. In that case, you can choose to split the rent evenly and the person with the smaller bedroom gets the covered parking space. If your car means more to you than having a larger bedroom, let your priorities dictate the decision.
Another method, albeit considerably more trouble, is to share the master suite. And no, we don’t mean it’s time to get into a romantic relationship with your roommate — unless, of course, you’re so inclined. Be sure to read these six things every first time renter should know to prepare yourself.
After all, there can be benefits there as well.
But we digress.