Is homeownership out of reach? One way to make it more affordable is by renting out one or more rooms. This is a growing trend among homeowners, and one that even married couples are exploring in order to afford a home (or more of a home), travel, and accelerate their investment strategies.
Defraying the cost of a mortgage is great, and, in some cases, taking in tenants can be lucrative, more than covering your entire payment and putting money in your pocket every month. But, inviting roommates into your home also comes with its share of potential downsides. Here are a few things you may want to weigh before you hand over the keys.
Say goodbye to your privacy
Having someone else in your home probably means you can’t walk around naked (unless you’re in that type of thing). It also may mean there will be people making noise in the living room when you want peace and quiet or making a mess in the kitchen when you just want to make a sandwich.
About that mess…
Speaking of messes, how another person lives should be a consideration before you invite them to live in your home. Have you seen their current place? Did it look…normal?
If you’re a neat freak and your potential roommate like to leave behind items of clothing like breadcrumbs, you could have an Odd Couple situation. On the other hand, if you’re a little more casual about how you keep the house and your potential roommate likes things just so, you might end up feeling out of place in your own home.
Someone else’s romantic life
Aren’t you a little old to be living by the “sock on the door” rule? Bringing in a roommate may mean compromising your privacy in even more egregious ways, or having to tiptoe around in order to avoid an uncomfortable run-in.
Ultimately, it’s your finances and credit at risk no matter who you invite into your home because it’s your name on the mortgage. If you’re taking in a roommate to help make your mortgage payment, you need to know you can depend on this person to pay his or her share. No matter how well you think you know this potential roommate, it’s imperative that you do a background check and check their credit. What you don’t know could hurt you.