Does hearing the word “roommate” remind you of your college days? Do you cringe at the thought of having a roommate at your age? Or perhaps you feel like you’re “past that stage?” Well, if you want to move to Los Angeles, you might have to rethink your notions about the so-called “roommate situation.”
As much as it sounds awesome to move into a brand new one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, that isn’t necessarily the best option for most people moving to LA. This is especially true for those looking to pursue a career in acting, music, or pretty much any field in entertainment. When it comes to chasing your dreams in LA, you’re actually never too old to have a roommate, and here’s why:
1) California has some of the highest rent prices in the country
Did you know that California is the 5th most expensive state in the country? In Los Angeles, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,898. Yikes! Almost $2000 a month and you haven’t even eaten yet! Then add utilities and other living expenses, and suddenly the thought of having a roommate doesn’t seem so bad, does it? In fact, unless you’re coming to LA with a boatload of savings or with a job already lined up, you probably can’t afford that!
2) Opportunities for savings
If you dream of producing your own pilot or short film, launching a small business, or even creating your own fashion line, then living with a roommate is a great opportunity to create savings. Trust me, you’ll need it with how high production and business costs are currently. Living with a roommate can shave off anywhere from $500 to $1,000 off your rent per month. Can you imagine what you could use that extra cash for? I can…you can use it to invest in your dreams!
3) It’s a great way to make a new BFF
When I first moved to LA, I didn’t know a single soul. Yup, not even a friend of a friend, or a distant cousin. If I didn’t live with roommates, I would have definitely been one lonely camper in an incredibly large city. Also, I would have missed out on so many amazing experiences and events, the type that made me want to move to LA in the first place. Concerts, parties, happy hours, networking opportunities…most of these invites came from my roommates initially. Thank goodness I had them!
4) Convenient advice in the next room
It really is convenient to wonder where the closest pharmacy or grocery store is, and to simply walk in the next room and ask for suggestions. When I first moved to LA, I hadn’t even heard of Trader Joe’s (THE most popular grocery store for LA’ers). Had it not been for my roommate telling me to go there, I would have spent way more money at an expensive grocery store that shall not be named. Even better, if you have a roommate who is in the same industry as you, they can give you tips on how to network, and land gigs!
5) It’s “normal” in LA!
Believe it or not, it really is normal in LA to live with roommates at any age. Yes, any age. I’ve seen people in their 50s and 60s posting ads for roommates. Truthfully, LA is probably one of the few places you can escape the stigma of “still living with a roommate” at an older age. In fact, you’ll probably meet tons of people who all live with roommates, to the point where you would be the minority for NOT having a roommate (especially if you’re an aspiring actor). So really…it’s okay!
At this point, you might be thinking, “Okay fine, I guess I should live with a roommate, but how do I find a good one??” Well, don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
Here are some quick tips on how to avoid a bad roommate:
- Meet the person for coffee or talk to them on the phone for at least an hour or more before committing. That way you’ll really get to know if you’re a good match.
- Check out their social media profiles first, as this will give you an idea if you have similar interests.
- Use tools like Roomster.com or Westsiderentals.com to find a roommate, as sites that cost money usually weed out any weirdos looking to make you their next victim.
Happy roommate hunting!