You may dream of having a home of your own, but the higher your weekly rental payments, the more likely you will need housemates to cover costs.
In some states, such as New South Wales, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory, higher median rents may even require a trio of fellow dwellers to balance the books.
A recent rent survey by realestate.com.au and Pedestrian.TV, which delved into the rental experience of Australian renters aged 18-39, found over 40% of respondents based in these states live with three or more housemates.
Sharing is caring, right?
With house sharing, comes a whole array of challenges, and friendships – new and old – are often tested to the max.
Most of us would choose to move in with a friend; 44% of the survey’s respondents moved in with someone they already knew.
This isn’t always a recipe for success however, with close to 40% seeing their friendship suffer after living together.
Money is often a source of contention in share houses, which is hardly surprising considering that close to 40% of respondents reported experiencing rental stress.
So what is the key to a harmonious, happy share house when it comes to splitting the costs? Easy: keep it fair.
Rent: In a perfect house sharing world, everyone would have the same sized bedroom, an ensuite and balcony to boot. Of course, it doesn’t work like that, someone will always have the bigger room – and that someone won’t always be you.
The person with the largest room should pay the most rent, while the person with the smallest room should pay the least. Those in similar medium-sized rooms should pay the same as each other, a middling figure that correlates with the highest and lowest rental payments.
Food: For basics such as milk, olive oil and cleaning products it can be easier to buy in bulk and split the costs. Alternatively, you could take it in turns, keeping tabs with a roster.
Handy apps like Splitwise are great for sharing bills and IOUs, plus keeps a running total over time, so you can pay each other back in one big payment, instead of a bunch of small ones.
The average Aussie renter is predominately female, aged 25-29, with an annual income of $50,000. They mainly live in Sydney (32.8%) and Melbourne (31.1%).
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