A Dozen Questions About Housemate Compatibility
A house doesn't feel like home unless people are comfortable. Bob and Cynthia Laux, authors of Your Place or Mine: A Handbook for Home Ownership, have developed a dozen questions that housemates ought to answer to get a better sense of whether they'd be comfortable together.
- What do you have in common - music, sports, foods, etc.? In what ways do you differ - smoking, drinking, sleeping habits?
- Have you talked about your differences and how you'll deal with them?
- Have you spent enough time together doing a variety of things - trips, movies, concerts, etc. - to know each other?
- Have you discussed meals and meal planning, especially if you have different tastes in food or dietary needs?
- Do you trust each other? Do you feel you and your possessions will be safe?
- Have you talked about sharing responsibilities - who cleans the bathroom, cooks, does dishes or laundry?
- Did you talk about visitors? What happens when one of you wants to invite others over?
- Have you talked about the potential need or desire for other housemates? How will differences be resolved? What happens when one of you wants to move?
- Have you worked out an arrangement about furnishings? Who owns the furniture? Will you buy or own some things together?
- Have you discussed sexual issues? Will there be potential problems with companions?
- How will you deal with privacy? Will you have private as well as common spaces?
- Have you talked about how potential conflicts will be resolved? Do you know someone who can help to resolve differences when they arise?
Reprinted with permission from Your Place or Mine: A Handbook for Home Ownership, Illinois Developmental Disabilities Council.