I never once thought in a million years I would find myself living in a shared house at the age of almost forty years of age but here I am, living in a HMO (house of multiple occupancy), four years ago I had a nice house with rooms, not needing to share a bathroom and worrying about your loo paper going missing (or chocolate bars!) but I find myself doing just that and do you know what? I wouldn’t fucking change it, everyone asks me (I don’t know about the husband) what’s it like? Don’t you want a place of your own? Well to answer those questions for you…
Do I mind living in a shared house: nope because this is the most ‘home’ I have felt in almost four years and this is the longest I’ve lived in one place for four of those years too, we’ve been here for a year and a half, before we moved here we briefly lived in a house but the wanky landlord wanted it back and besides, we couldn’t really afford it as I wasn’t working at the time, we lived in this very same house before we moved and we were lucky enough to get our very same room back (although we now live downstairs), the husband lived here prior to me moving in with him for about ten months, so it’s the most ‘home’ to him too, our safety net if you like, I’ve moved a total of nine times in four years so this is a nice change to be settled.
What’s it like living in a shared house? We are very lucky to live in a shared house that we don’t really see the other tenants and there is never any arguments about the oven or the bathroom usage, there has been tenants that lived here that have been right idiots and because shared housing attracts the kind of people that are ‘roamers’ etc we have lived with some savoury characters in the past, we’ve lived with some people that do drugs regularly which having kids here isn’t ideal but thankfully they seemed to stay away at weekends knowing kids were here, I don’t know if that was coincidence but they have, we do have a problem with some tenants smoking weed but again after we spoke to them (it’s not we are against people doing what they want but when your washing is right outside their room and they don’t close the door, it becomes an issue) they hardly do it, I would say that’s the only downside of shared housing you never know who the next tenants are going to be, we’ve had some incidents where we’ve had food go missing but those kinds of people don’t stay long, all in all this house is a nice place to live, we have access to the garden from our room and our own private toilet (well shared with next door but he hardly uses it), sharing a bathroom isn’t for everyone but you learn the times of when the other tenants go in for a shower, Adam and I tend to shower late at night as we don’t really go to bed until around midnight, remembering to take your loo roll for the first few weeks was a bit of a pain but now we have our own toilet we can leave everything in there, sharing the kitchen is fine too; tenants that used to live here in our room we are in now used to take over the kitchen from early morning as they were Romanian and would cook all their fatty meats etc (my god they could eat but never put weight on! That’s another great thing about living here, we’ve tried food from other countries!) and would be in there until late, sitting in there with their chairs chatting away in their language, that period was a bit uncomfortable as I felt like an outsider (Adam on the other hand didn’t give a fuck and would just come down in his pants and carry on as normal!) but they left and now it’s a nice balance, apart from a doctor upstairs who cooks every night we are the only ones that use the kitchen and we have lots of our own things in there like our slow cooker and scales that anyone is welcome to use providing they clean it, just like our tumble dryer. We don’t have a lounge just a room but it’s large enough for us and the kids (not all the kids at once, we tried it when they were a lot smaller once and we could never do it down as my boys just don’t stop growing!) and sometimes it can get depressing but I just think ‘I have a home, I have a home paid for by us and it’s our home’.
Would I want to live in a house? Of course I would, who wouldn’t but Adam and I are quite happy as we are at the moment, we are paying our debts off (shared housing you pay for the room and that’s it, all your bills are in with your rent) and it allows us to save up, the only downside of room living is you get used to not paying bills, when we do finally move as I don’t want to be here when grandchildren arrive is that we will be paying double what we are now plus bills and I do worry where that money will come from as we find life hard as it is money wise but slowly but surly we are sorting stuff like that out. Also I think we are both a little scared of moving to another house in fear of it being taken away again as we have both been burned in the past with our living arrangements.
Would I recommend share housing to others: absolutely yes but search around first because some landlord take the piss with how much they charge, make sure the room is clean before you go in, make sure you have keys for all the doors you are going to use, keep on at your landlord if something needs fixing and make sure you have a contract. Shared housing does help if you can’t get on any kind of property ladder if it be renting or buying but it’s like having s credit card I guess, once you get into it, it’s hard to get out of, you become accustomed to paying the minimum and never really make a dent the overall debt if you can understand that, once you are in a shared house, unless you suddenly have a windfall of money come your way it’s very very hard to get out of unless you restrict yourself, like us and save that bit every month to get out of cycle but if you don’t mind living like this long term then it’s perfect.