House sharing is a very popular option for newcomers to London especially if you’re single and don’t know many people. This post takes a walk down memory lane on my house sharing experience.
When I first arrived on my own in the UK almost 9 years ago I moved into a 5 bedroom house share. It was a great option as I already knew one person in the house and wasn’t too keen to live on my own. As I had only experienced a very brief stint in a house share previously in South Africa this was still a fairly new experience for me. Living in a house share had it’s pros and cons, and some memorable moments too…
The great things about living in a house share
- It’s an opportunity to meet other people
- It’s less lonely than living on your own
- There were always people around keen to have a braai(barbeque)
- It gives you an opportunity to save some money as your expenses would be less than staying in your own place
The not so great things about living in a house share
- Learning to live in a house with many people can take some adapting to. If you’re someone that is a loner and don’t really like being around other people this might not be the right setup for you.
- Living in a house share can mean working with, adapting to and fitting into different peoples schedules so there may be some clashes with using the bathroom and kitchen
- People have different definitions of cleanliness meaning for some living in a clean and tidy house is less of an issue as it is to others
Funny and memorable house sharing moments
- The only time one of my housemates cleaned his bedroom was when somebody was coming over… He would spend the entire day washing his linen, vacuuming, dusting, polishing and tidying 😉
- One morning I walked to the bathroom half asleep and was jolted awake when I bumped into a strange naked lady barely covered with a small hand towel!
- The day I was asked how many squares of toilet paper do I use… as the toilet paper seemed to be used up quite quickly in the house. A friend told me about a similar house sharing incident but was also asked to do their business at work if possible?!
How to improve the house sharing experience
- Choose a house share with people of similar ages, backgrounds or professions
- If possible, choose a smaller house share
- If possible, choose a house with more bathrooms/toilets
- Lay down some ground rules such as house chores and guests visiting so that everyone has an understanding of their housemates expectations
- Be considerate of others
A while later, my boyfriend(now hubby) joined me and we continued to live in the house for almost 3 years. Through no fault of ours it ended sooner than we expected as the landlord decided to “kick us all out” so that his son and friends could move in to the house. This of course turned out to be a good thing as it forced us to move on to the next stage of our lives.
Living in a house share has it’s pros and cons and has been part of my experience of living in the UK. It also gave me the opportunity to save some money and visit some amazing places. If you’re new to the UK and are wondering whether to consider this option then weigh up the positives and negatives. Hopefully this post has now given you some insight on what it’s like to live in a house share.
What are your thoughts on living in a house share? I’d love to hear in the comments below.