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To consider house sharing after living by myself?

(24 Posts)
BibiBlocksberg Sat 27-Apr-13 21:54:54

Short background - since splitting with ex partner 2.5 years ago I've stayed on in the house we used to share by myself.

Talking to a friend about her monthly outgoings and general lifestyle tonight (she lives in a house share) I feel as if I've had a bit of an epiphany.

Much as I love my independence I suddenly realised how much pride I have tied up in 'making it on my own'

The reality is that yes, I am coping on my own but all I do is work to cover the bills (current bank balance until payday on tuesday is a grand forty one pence which is what it is most months)

Now that I've found out that there are kind souls out there who will consider sharing their home with me and my beloved cat I am seriously thinking about ending the pointless struggle, moving into a house share and actually having some spare funds to enjoy life.

Since this is my trusted 'go to' site for all major life decisions, what say you MN? Am I mad/overlooking some completely obvious pitfalls and likely to end up making me and puss cat terribly unhappy or is it a valid consideration?

Anyone else done this?

UserError Sat 27-Apr-13 21:58:44

I've not done it but if I ended up living on my own and just working to pay bills, I would definitely consider it.

Callycat Sat 27-Apr-13 21:59:37

I had to for a while, for financial reasons.

Will you move in with strangers or people you already know? Your personality type will determine which setup you prefer. You could also try lodging, but I found it a difficult dynamic being in someone else's territory. House-sharing felt more neutral, but was more crowded.

I woud recommend you don't share with more than two other people. More than three in a house tends to cause queues for bathrooms, cookers, washing machines, and so on.

You could try it for six months initially - it will at least help you save up some money. Then you can decide if it's for you long term.

likeitorlumpit Sat 27-Apr-13 22:02:31

cant you rent out a room in the house you are living in now to ease the money situation .

BibiBlocksberg Sat 27-Apr-13 22:28:47

Thank you all - Callycat - strangers don't bother me but my ideal scenario would be to share with 1 or two people max (which seems to be not unrealistic from the research I've done tonight)

Good idea about 6 months initially too though I worry about the upheaval to Tigger's life (silly I know as sure he would be happy anywhere that had a garden, me and an abundant bird population he can terrorize lol)

likeitorlumpit - sorry for drip feed but I live in a one bedroom house (rented) atm so no scope for taking in lodgers.

Can't believe I've never considered this before at the moment since literally all of my funds have been going into making sure me and the cats survive for another month. Much as I end up thanking the universe for keeping a roof over our heads and food in our bellies it's not a rounded life really, is it?

I'll list the pro's and con's as they exist in my head and see what you think:


Would have to re-home second cat - sounds callous but she is a little nomad who moved in with me part time four years ago because horrible neighbours left her behind. I love her but only see her once a day around 2am when she wants food and a place to rest. Aside from that tigger does not get on with her and they fight. She wouldn't settle in a new and shared house as so tied to this neighbourhood (she has converted most of the neighbours houses into her sleeping/play placed.

Feel like a total cow even typing that sad

Tigger sprays when he's stressed, can I really expect someone else to put up with that (much as I detect and clean it up either the minute it happens or after some time playing 'cat piss detective' on my hands & knees sniffing like a demented terrier.

Inflicting my intermittent violin practice on someone else

Potentially having to listen to another person's sex life (am vair victorian and get terribly embarrassed smile)


After covering my bills for the month, even if I spent money like a drunken WAG I would still come out of it with spare to put into savings

Another person around the place (not overly clingy or determined to invade someone's space, just mean it'd be nice to have another person around generally (also, tigger quite enjoys not being the only creature in charge of entertaining me lol)

Any and all benefits arising from point 1 of the pros (i.e able to have a holiday, buy new clothes, nice food, go out occasionally without having to panic over the budget for the rest of the month etc etc etc)

likeitorlumpit Sat 27-Apr-13 22:59:13

oh if you cant rent a room out where you are then you would be mad staying. i dont blame you if all you do is work to pay bills and struggle . big plus to go and house share and have a life instead of an existence .

BibiBlocksberg Sat 27-Apr-13 23:07:32

lol @ existence likeitorlumpit - that's exactly what I used to say to the ex 'were not living, just existing' - seems I've continued that mindset without consciously realising it until now. Time to resurrect my dreams of travel it seems smile

Laquila Sat 27-Apr-13 23:09:51

I used to love house-sharing both at uni and after, when living in London as a skint graduate in my first proper job. I moved in with a friend of a friend, and some of her friends, and then we gradually lost and acquired a seemingly endless stream of other housemates (some more successful than others).

My only advice and be a) don't live with a couple, and b) be overly clear in the beginning about what your house rules are - nowt to be lost by all being on the same page.

Awwww I'm a bit jealous!

Trill Sat 27-Apr-13 23:10:11

YANBU to consider it.

I would hate it, but it depends on how much you value your alone time vs how much you feel "lonely" if alone.

likeitorlumpit Sat 27-Apr-13 23:18:43

lol thats what life seems like sometimes isnt it. hope it gets better for you enjoy your travels smile

BibiBlocksberg Sat 27-Apr-13 23:30:08

Laquita - that's good advice <puts big line through couple occupied places>

Trill - I do cope extremely well with the lonely v alone situation. Am quite a private self contained character happy by myself in general ( with the odd friend visit thrown in lol) From that point of view I should make a pretty unobtrusive house mate (not likely to clog up anyone's personal space for any length of time, can't say the same for the cat though, little attention tart that he is smile)

And I realise money isn't everything but when there is literally none for general enjoyment of life I suddenly wonder 'what if'

publicserviceannouncement Sat 27-Apr-13 23:40:32

DP, DS and I have lived in a house share for the last 4 years. We were subletting the rooms (with the landlord's permission).

Now we've bought a house here, we have a lodger.

It's worked really well for us. When we first moved here, we could have just afforded a pokey 2 bed, but we would have been totally skint. Instead we shared, saved money and lived in a large, lovely house.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it worked for us.

ssmile Sat 27-Apr-13 23:43:26

I hated house sharing so took a weekend job in a local sports club bar to earn extra money to help fund my 1bed heavenly place of my own and "socialise" at the same time as I mostly worked around rugby games so was finished by 8pm

WafflyVersatile Sat 27-Apr-13 23:47:17

Sounds like cat2 will find her own way into another home.

Feliway should help settle cat1 in a new home.

Houseshare have good and bad points and there can be good ones and hellish ones. Hellish ones are hellish because it's your home, it's meant to be your haven so when that is where the problems are it is very difficult to keep your pecker up.

I'm an owner who has had lodgers on and off and I agree that it can be a difficult dynamic. I've always tried not to be too precious and set out my houserules such as they are before they move in but then be tolerant of them not doing things the exact same way I do.

they still seem to think I should do all the cleaning. angry

Lighthousekeeping Sat 27-Apr-13 23:53:26

Go for it! Are you in London? There's loads of good websites with people looking for flatmates. If you move in with other professionals and not students it can work really well. Just make sure you have your own telly for your room I'm anti social

BibiBlocksberg Sat 27-Apr-13 23:56:15

That's exactly what I'm thinking publicserviceannouncement, being able to afford a place much nicer than I am able to by myself and enjoying the fringe benefits of being able to have a life at the same time.

And then another voice immediately went 'get a weekend job' after what you said ssmile. Mind you, I did that last summer and all extra funds were eaten up by a broken car and emergency vet visit (nearly to the penny of my earnings, thanks universe smile) leaving me knackered and no better off.

To complicate the story (more drip feeding, apologies) I have a friend who is in the same position right now and looking to share accomodation, trouble is she really isn't good with animals of any kind (despite protestations to the contrary) so not sure whether to subject lovely puss cat to a life of feeling uncomfortable in his own home.

Plus, she seems obsessed with 'snaring' a full-time love interest so could find myself either in an unwanted couple situation or left in the lurch when she decides to move in with her latest love interest.

Wittering now I know, thank you all so much for your input, a good sleep on the matter will bring new answers I think.

BibiBlocksberg Sun 28-Apr-13 00:03:27

x-posted with wafflyversatile & lighthousekeeping - thanks for opinions, hope dc2 will find her way, she was my first cat 'acquisition' before tigger so lots of guilt attached to her beautiful cheeky self.

Cleaning - that's another reason I don't want more than one or two other sharers - imagine less arguments that way (deluded??) smile

And I gave up watching tv a year ago so no fights over that in the general living room.

Think I'll just put an ad on myself 'practically perfect housemate seeks same' grin

expatinscotland Sun 28-Apr-13 00:03:30

Unless absolutely necessary there is no fucking way I would ever house or flat share again. I adored living alone, with my cat.

Lighthousekeeping Sun 28-Apr-13 00:11:44

Just remember you will afford to have a cleaner once a week if you all chip in. Sharing is a necessity in London if you aren't coupled up. I don't know how people afford to live on their own.

BibiBlocksberg Sun 28-Apr-13 00:16:27

Ah, just the person - thanks expat - I generally love my independence with my cats and usually feel lucky to be able to have that.

Life is not going to get cheaper however and after scrabbling all my two and one pence pieces together for tonight's dinner I suddenly thought 'hang on a minute' where is this going to end? Am I living the best life I could?

This is what happens when the budget restricts Saturday night wine smile

dontyouwantmebaby Sun 28-Apr-13 00:16:35

bibi - i had the best time ever house-sharing in my twenties it was just what i needed, this was after being dumped by (abusive, controlling) long-term partner I'd lived with since my teens. it really was the best thing I could do. but I can see its not for everyone. It really depends on you and your pets, do what's right for you, don't let someone move in that won't work for your situation and if that means you+your pets then fine. there are plenty people who would adore a pet being there.

am much older now and don't think I could go back to it but my friend is same age and she rents out one of her spare rooms, it works fine for her as she has someone renting midweek only (she's in London, her flatmate rents the room Mon-Wed/Thu obvs cheaper rent) and she gets her place to herself at weekends. She says she couldn't afford to have a social life on her salary so rent really helps and during week its not too much of a hardship. (She used to rent the room out on a monthly basis and had varying degrees of success with flatmates) Good luck!

BibiBlocksberg Sun 28-Apr-13 00:20:32

Not in London area Lighthouse but still expensive area (south coast)

Cleaner is a good idea and something I've been told that's becoming more and more common in shared houses for communal areas to avoid arguments re common areas.

What price independence eh?

BibiBlocksberg Sun 28-Apr-13 00:32:10

Yes, that's another consideration in all of this dontyouwantmebaby - whether it would do me good to put an end to my hermit like existence for a while I mean.

Then again, sharing and consideration for others are my middle names (pretty sure they're on my birth certificate grin)

Thanks again for all your input oh wise ones, off to examine this conundrum from the inside of my eyelids now.

wisheshappentobehorsestoday Sun 28-Apr-13 01:06:08

I share and love it. I don't go home to an empty house and a huge chuck of my income is freed up. I have my own room and bathroom which is plenty of 'me' space and we can afford a cleaner (paying 1/3each) which means less work. Also cooking is shared occasionally.

Life is good smileyou do have to pick the right housemates though

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