We’re getting a human!!!

You all know in mid December Girl Ninja and I will be adding a puppy to the household, but we just found out last Thursday we will also be adding a human to the mix!!! No, no. Not a baby.

A roommate.

We were at a Young Life meeting (a high school outreach we are a part of) last week and one of our fellow adult friends mentioned she was moving out of her current apartment. I jokingly said, “Want to live with us?”.

To which she responded something like “Wait, are you serious?”.

I looked at Girl Ninja, and we did that thing married couples do where we have a whole conversation with our eyes without saying any words, and responded “Yeah, why not!” 

She came over last Friday and looked at the place and she’s all for it. She’ll be joining the family Mid October. Seeing that we want to be the coolest landlords to have ever existed, Girl Ninja and I made a “list of demands” that our new roommate must meet if she wants to stay in our home. Those demands are as follows…

  1. She has to live WITH us. She can’t be all awkward and isolate herself from us. She isn’t renting a room in our house, she’s renting the whole thing. She has just as much of a right to the living room, piano, bathroom, and kitchen as we do. She can come and go as she pleases, and she doesn’t need to check in with us if she wants to have people over.
  2. She can’t sign a lease. We aren’t just renting a room in our house to a random person, we’ve served in ministry with this girl for over a year now and want to keep things friendly. She’ll move in Mid October and she can move out a week, a month, or a year later for all we care. She told us she was thinking she’d crash for about six months.
  3. We will collect rent. We are thinking probably $400/month -all utilities included- would be a good “friend deal”. She is currently paying about $700/month, and while we could definitely charge close to that for our place, we don’t need to. She’s pumped because she gets to save $300 a month. We’re pumped because we get to help a friend save some money. Oh, and we told her that we plan to use her “rent” money for the good of the house. We’ll be reinvesting all of her payments directly back in to making our living space more comfortable. Maybe that means upgrading the dishwasher, adding in some canned lighting, or changing out carpet.

The best part about this whole thing is that she is moving in Mid October, and if you recall, I am leaving for The Netherlands, for six weeks, starting November 1st. That means, Girl Ninja wont have to be home alone while I’m gone! Instead she’ll be making orange mocha frappuccinos, painting her nails, and listening to Celine Dion with one of her good friends. That is what girls do in their free time right? 

So yeah, we are getting a human. We’ve always flirted with the idea of “communal” living and talked about which of our friends we would be cool living with. Now we get to give it a shot.

Would you ever rent a room in your house out? 

28 thoughts on “We’re getting a human!!!”

  1. I think this is very cool. As long as there is trust and respect it should go swimmingly 🙂

    As for my wife and I, it would be pretty much impossible because we are way too particular to get along with. We barely get along with each other for that matter 😛

  2. Honestly, I would never in a million years do this now that I’m married. Also, no matter how good of “friends” you are you really should have something in writing – you could include a note saying the lease isn’t for a particular time period and she has the right to leave at anytime – but it protects both of you. I’m saying this as someone who twice in my life have rented out rooms to friends (one I had known for over a decade) only to have them go completely south when said friend decided that she didn’t have to pay rent anymore and couldn’t I “just help her out one more time and let her float till next month”. At least get something in writing saying how much she is supposed to be paying and when.

  3. If we had a proper in-law suite with separate entrance/kitchen/bathroom/living quarters, we’d rent to a friend in a heartbeat (if fact, my husband’s bestie is needing to find a place to rent, and if our townhouse met the criteria, we wouldn’t think twice). We do have a spare bedroom, but I’m not prepared to share the kitchen/bathroom/living area, especially given that Hubby works afternoons every 2nd week.

    I’d still get something in writing, but that’s just my opinion… good luck!!

  4. I really hope this works out for you, but would spend time reconsidering it before she moves in. I would have trouble coming to your conclusion for even the best of friends.

  5. I would never, ever, EVER let a friend move in with me. I am not even sure that I would let a family member move in with me unless I was their ONLY option.

    You never really know someone until you live with them, and that is the truth. I really hope this works out for you and that it is everything you hoped for and more. I would just never be able to do it. I enjoy my privacy too much.

  6. Please discuss toilet cleaning. I had a roommate once before the children came and she would sweep and dust and tidy and take the garbage out but there was a big piece of porcelain that she never cleaned. There was only one bathroom and we were sharing.

    I tried a student tenant. I really needed the rent money but I could not stand the lack of privacy. You will be giving up a lot of your privacy.

  7. I would have no problem with renting out a room to a friend or family in the future. I have a close friend of mine who always rented out a room in their basement to local grad-students and they never had a problem. Even when the student started out as a stranger. I love your idea of using the rent money for things for the house! What a great way to get the upgrades you want but don’t necessarily have the money in your normal budget to get right away.

  8. I would never unless it was a separate apartment with, kitchen, bath etc. We have 3 children so sharing our space would not work for us. I like the fact that you know the roomie, and you will be helping her save money, but I thing you should have some ground rules up front if it doesn’t work out, like terms on moving out. Good luck. I’m sure this will make for some interesting future posts.

  9. I hope it works out better for you than it has for us in the past. We’ve had absolutely terrible luck with roommates. I concur that something in writing would just make it more formal and get everyone on the same page. Great timing though-I’m sure the girls will be cranking the Celine the entire time you’re gone 🙂

  10. I’ve been in your friend’s position twice and 2 different sets of friends were kind enough to house me for about 6 months (no lease, make yourself at home, stay as long as you want). It worked great and I was really appreciative.

    There were times I couldn’t wait to have my own space again, as I’m sure there were times they wished I wan’t there anymore, but overall it worked well. I hope you have the same success as I did.

    Although I refuse to live in any house that plays Celine Dion. I draw the line at that! 😉

  11. We’ve rented out our two bedrooms since we bought our house over two years ago – I love our roommates. Plus, you now have a live in pet sitter for when you go out of town!

  12. I understand why there are so many people who are saying not to do it, but I don’t think every situation is alike. I’m sure you’ve thought through what kind of adjustment this would be. As long as you accept that your home life is going to be a little different, I’m sure it will work out great.

    I think that is AWESOME that you’re able to open your home to a friend. If I had a home with the space, I wouldn’t think twice about doing the same thing. I also really like that you are making a point to make sure she feels like she has free reign to do what she wants, but also that she should be a part of the Ninja family. That is one pet peeve I have about my roommate and her boyfriend (who is long-distance, so will occasionally stay with us for weekends/longer visits) – I feel like a major third wheel when they don’t acknowledge my presence and include me in their activities/dinner plans/etcetera. Good luck!

  13. We couldn’t do that now, because we don’t have an extra room, but I have lived with roommates in the past. I’m surprised you don’t want a lease, though. That’s something to help both parties manage expectations of living there and when she moves out (either because you ask her to or she decides to on her own). But, if you’re not depending on the income then I think it’s less of a big deal. I had one roommate situation blow up in my face, but it translated to money out of my pocket (and into the landlord’s), so that’s what stung the most.

  14. I did it and it worked out really well! I was the single person with the house and I rented to a couple. I did not want a lease. They paid every month and we are friends to this day! In fact, we were almost neighbors after the fact but I backed out of a home build to move across the country. If it feels right, go for it. I also used the cash to do upgrades.

  15. I would have loved to do something like this if our house was a true mother daughter. The Wife and the boy is home all day so wouldn’t feel comfortable if it wasn’t a real buddy like you seem to have. All of it is a pipe dream anyway, The Wife has made it clear that it would never happen LOL

  16. I’ve always wondered about doing this if/when I get married, but wasn’t sure how the BF thinks about it. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for your updates as to how you guys handle this. Communal living is pretty cool, but I wonder how you guys will deal with privacy.

  17. In July, a guy who works for the same company I do but in the next state over was forced to relocate to my area. I had only talked to him on the phone and on instant messenger at work, but I let him live with me for 2.5 weeks when he first got here. Even though we’d never met, I considered him one of my best work friends and felt like I knew him pretty well. I didn’t charge him any rent because he’d been laid off for four months before he moved, and he was (and still is) trying to sell his current house. I told him he could stay as long as he needed because I knew he was actively looking for a place to rent so he wasn’t going to try to stay forever. At first, it was weird to live with someone after living alone for almost three years, but we got along great and had some fun–like midnight trips to get burgers and milkshakes. After he left, my house seemed really lonely, but now it feels normal again. I think it was a good experience. My one regret is that I never told anyone “I got a human.” Haha.

  18. My husband and I considered taking on a roommate or two a few months ago and decided against it for the time being, although we might revisit the issue in the future (http://www.evolvingpf.com/2013/04/married-with-roommates/). I’m more open to the idea than my husband. I’m more concerned about the loss of privacy; I think he’s more concerned about having to keep the common area cleanliness up to a higher standard. For us it’s more of a need issue during transitions than a generosity opportunity.

    I totally get why you would want the roommate to feel like a full partner in the house. That was a big concern of mine in thinking about how to choose a roommate, and we’re renters! But I do think you should have a lease – for the roommates protection as much as your own.

  19. I would seriously get some basics in writing. I let a friend move into my home a long time ago, and I doubt I’d do it again. We didn’t formalize any arrangements, and generally speaking, she was good with paying the rent (thought often it was late), but she didn’t EVER clean, and she would leave the kitchen messy after entertaining friends, and she would eat food in the fridge without replacing it or asking. She didn’t often buy any groceries and it really left a sour taste in my mouth. She stayed with me for about 6 months, and we were not friends for long after she moved out. It really wasn’t a good experience for me.

  20. As a landlord, I agree, something in writing for all the reasons listed above. It also protects her. As someone who lived in a few share households, including with a married couple, it was a great experience. Learning how to share your living space is an important part of life. I think sharing everything is the only way to do it. I’ve never moved in with a friend – just answered a house share ads. Living with friends comes with too many expectations. Mind you most people became my friends.

    a friend of mine – who in his fifties, is still single, so it is different – has built up a very significant property portfolio though house sharing. He would buy a place, get house mates in, they covered the mortgage, he got another house. He is really social so this really works for him. I think half of Melbourne has shared a house with him at some stage.

  21. I would agree with all those who suggest either a lease, or at least some form of written agreement signed by all parties so your tenant knows her rights and obligations. Otherwise the next TV show we’ll see you on will be Judge Judy.

  22. I am new to your blog stumbled on it by just googling debt. I love your posts and what I really love is the people that comment. I am from a different culture and religion from many of you but you people are so awesome!!

  23. Wow! My husband and I could never do it. We love our personal space. I guess maybe if we had a bigger home it might be a little different, but I just don’t know that I could do it. I hope it is great for all involved.

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