I once lived in a sharehouse with three other girls. I moved in at the height of their conflict, and would wake to find post-it notes scribbled with obscenities stuck to the kitchen counter.
Another time I shared a house with a guy named Danny, who once texted me from his bedroom to ask if he could borrow $5 for petrol to drive to the bank to get a loan.
We’ve all heard the horror stories, but what about the positives? Do they even exist? You betcha. Because those same three girls who loved to fight also loved peanut butter, and that broke guy Danny owned a way better hair straightener than me that he always left in our bathroom. When you are sharing a house with someone, everything is communal – what’s theirs becomes yours. So, during my stay at both those places, I ate about four jars of peanut butter for free, and my hair always looked great.
But aside from always being able to borrow stuff in your new barter-abode, what are the other upsides of living in a sharehouse?
Most obviously, it’s cheap
If you’ve begun the unenviable task of house hunting yet, my condolences. It’s a jungle out there, and you will learn real quick that everything in Sydney is overpriced and underwhelming. Trying to find a one-bedroom flat so you can live alone and eat nachos in your birthday suit has fast become a grown-up fantasy that you will have to revisit in a decade. The only way to get a decent spot with rooms big enough to fit a double bed is to go in on a place with three or more people.
You will inherit cool stuff
Once you find a place, you will very quickly realise that you actually don’t own much practical stuff, like furniture. And of the furniture you do own, none of it is cool. Luckily for you, your new roommate Jacinta also happens to be a budding interior designer, and when she’s not home you can totally pretend the Eames chair is yours.
You now have 24/7 wingmen and women
Once you have flatmates, you can wave goodbye to the days of looking for something to do or for someone to do it with. You now have around-the-clock access to people who are down to hang. This also means that you never have to worry about no one turning up to a party you throw. There will always be at least two or three other people there, because that is where they live, but don’t let the truth get in the way of a good party.
Finally, you’ll learn how to fix things
Sorry, this doesn’t include your personal life. Living in a sharehouse will not improve your lousy relationship skills, but it will improve your competence as a handyman. Things will break, and your landlord won’t want to fix them. You and your housemates will have to get creative. From personal experience, WD-40 and duct tape will fix everything. If they don’t, you’re doing it wrong.