Whilst I was more than ready to live alone before moving abroad, I decided to live in a flat share to meet people and make friends. Whilst it wasn’t always a smooth experience, moving to a new city that you are not familiar with and where you don’t know anyone can be lonely. My original plan was to live in a flat share for a year, and then move in on my own. The one year quickly became two years before I realised I just wanted my own space, but I did make one very good friend, so despite the ups and downs, I’d say it’s worth it. The below pros and cons are based on my personal experience, so let’s start with the negative so that we end on a positive note 🙂
- OCD or just plain messy?
What you call cleanliness is not necessary cleanliness to someone else. If you can’t handle mess then you’ll need to make sure there’s a cleaning schedule before you move in.
- Housemates vs friends
The term ‘Zweck-WG’ pops up in many flat share ads. It’s literal translation is ‘purpose flat share’ which means you only live together for the sake of reducing rent, bills etc. These people are not out to make friends. If like me, you are after friendships, I’d ask if the current flat mates eat together or hang out on the evenings/ weekends etc to find out what the dynamics are like before you commit to anything.
- Personal space & noise
If you’re looking for a room in a shared flat then you’ll need to consider that your room is going to be the only space that is solely yours. It’s all well and good having a living room to hang out in until you fancy a quiet night in but your flat mate has planned a party.
- Friendship vs company
Living with other people can be a great opportunity to make friends and you’ll often meet other people through your flatmates too. It’s also possible that you’ll get on with your flatmates but won’t necessarily become friends-friends, which is also OK because the company can be important too.
- Save or spend?
Living in a flat share does allow for a bit of extra saving… or spending, whatever your preference may be. After two years of living in a flat share, I was happy to spend a bit extra in order to have my own place, but the financial benefits were pretty sweet.
- No more shared cleaning
If you do have a cleaning rota then you’ll save a lot of time on dusting, hoovering, cleaning and taking out the rubbish in your home. This is the only thing that annoys me about living alone. I feel that I am forever cleaning!
So there it is, my flat sharing pros and cons. I flat shared with the intention of making friends, and although it can be a bit hit and miss, I can’t imagine life in Frankfurt without my old housemate!
We decided to live with a flatmate (also a friend), and it was great for the first few months. Then she brought her boyfriend to live in with us. I’ve since learnt that two couples is way too much in one household -_-
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