I’ve agreed to move into a place with my current roommate at the end of the month. We haven’t found an apartment yet, but we’ve been looking at places together. Now I’m starting to see open rooms that are way cheaper than we’ve been able to find and in much more desirable areas.
Would it be a total dick move to say, “sorry, I found a place on my own” this late in the game? I don’t want to screw over the guy but paying $200 less per month to live in a good area is mighty attractive. Should I use the reality of NYC real estate to justify seriously inconveniencing someone else?
I admire your consideration of the roommate’s feelings; you’re obviously a good person, or at least not a completely shitty person. NYC real estate is the devil, and in many ways nabbing a decently affordable place to live feels like selling one’s soul. Apartment hunts always come right down to the wire; as there are still two weeks left in the month, it would be fine to tell your roommate that you’ll continue to look at places together, but you’re also checking out options that wouldn’t include him.
If you are friends outside of being roommates, he should understand, and also realize that it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the money. If you aren’t friends outside of being roommates, then it really doesn’t matter what he thinks of your decision anyway; you’ve already considered his feelings and decided you need to do what is in your own best interest. Break the news gently and explain why you need to look at other available rooms. An extra $200 in your pocket a month is legit, especially considering you’d have an extra $2,400 a year! Moving into a room in an existing apartment also saves some move-in costs like broker fees and the hassle of getting started with new furniture. Unless you’re a couple, finding your own two-bedroom apartment together can be quite the expensive undertaking.
It’s never cool to, as you say, “seriously inconvenience someone else,” but I don’t feel like branching out on your own is a serious inconvenience. It just means he has to look for something different from what he was previously looking for. And the fact that you’re not making the decision on March 31 is major, too. If you were to tell him less than a week before you’d be moving into a new place, that would be in very, very bad taste. Moving apartments in Brooklyn is essentially a one-month-of-terror panic process, so most people don’t finalize decisions until late in the month.
Apartment hunting in Brooklyn got me… pic.twitter.com/fSXkSthF6x
— Bianca Clendenin (@bdclendenin) January 26, 2016
If you are still finding multiple rooms that are cheaper than the two person living arrangements you’re looking for together, share the intel with your roommate. If he is also able to take advantage of one of those deals and save a couple hundred a month, he will most likely be very thankful. I would consider that conveniencing him.
Because you take others’ feelings into account, you’re probably a pretty decent human. I bet you pay your share of rent on time, wash your dishes promptly, and refrain from sticking your gum under the coffee table. Whomever your roommate(s) end up being, they’ll be pretty lucky to have you around. Just don’t forget to put the toilet seat down.
Readers, weigh in: how have you dealt with this situation? Share your advice in the comments.
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