Our first apartment budgeting boot camp continues with a roommates edition. Today we show you how much you’ll save living with roommates vs. getting your own place. What do you save getting a 2BR with one roommate vs. a 3BR with two roommates? Luckily for us, the real estate site Trulia.com has collected information about the 25 top U.S. rental markets that helped us answer those two questions. See the market-by-market chart below.
In a nutshell, the average you’ll save living with one roommate in a 2BR apartment vs. living solo in 1BR is 37%, with a range from 31% to 40%, depending on market. The average you’ll save if you get a 3BR apartment with two friends is 45%, with a range from 40% to 52%. If you want to remember the savings in rough numbers, think in terms of saving about third with one roommate and close to half with two, without having to share bedrooms.
Here’s another interesting nugget from the Trulia study, “An astonishing 60% of millennials in America now either live with parents, siblings, other relatives or roommates, also an 115-year high.” So, if you are still living with your parents don’t panic, you belong in the majority.
(Note: Trulia’s rent levels for New York City appear to be far too low across the board, but the percentage savings are probably in the ballpark. If you are heading to NYC, budget closer to San Francisco level rents.)
Example on how to read the chart:
- If you rent a one bedroom apartment in Atlanta, it will cost you $1,300 a month in rent on an average.
- If you rent a two bedroom in Atlanta and split it with one roommate, each will pay $805, or 38% less than living solo in one bedroom unit.
- If you rent a three bedroom in Atlanta and split with two roommates, each will pay $658, or 49% savings over living solo in one bedroom unit.
Also check out this article in the New York Times that estimates what percentage of your pretax income goes towards rent in six selected markets.
Please share in the comments below how this chart compares to your actual experience.