Living with a Sibling: Yay or Nay?

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When growing up in a home with siblings, it’s quite natural to want to branch out on your own once you are officially an adult. Then reality hits. Rent accounts for almost all of the money you make each month. The desire–or need–to live with your brother or sister again may kick in. Here are some things to consider when signing a lease with your sibling becomes a very real possibility.

Are you even friends, bro?
Just because you share DNA does not automatically mean that you and your sibling get along and should live under the same roof. Think back to what it was like growing up with them. Did you guys argue and fight a lot? Could you see yourself losing it if he or she didn't do the dishes or pitch in around the house regularly? If you already foresee you and your sibling bumping heads a lot, then maybe moving in isn't such a great idea–even if it will save you a ton of cash. Your peace of mind is worth much more.

Chances are, you already grew up under the same roof. You know each others’ habits–good, bad, and annoying. Neither of you will have to worry about the awkwardness of getting to know a complete stranger. This also means that personal space may not be as big of an issue like it would be with an unrelated roommate. You two will always have each other to hang out with. Cook together. Eat together. Binge watch reality TV together. If you two are really close, you might even consider sharing a room and saving the cash you would have spent on a 2-bedroom place.

What’s yours is ours
With siblings, there could also be an upside when it comes to sharing things. When you buy organic tomatoes, you might not mind if your sibling indulges in them, too, whereas you might not appreciate another roommate doing that. The same goes with pretty much anything around the house. Toothpaste. Almond milk. Body wash. Cereal. You name it.

It’s time to start adulting
Over the years, when your sibling did something you did not like, it was probably common to enlist mom and/or dad to settle the conflict or disagreement. Now that you are both adults, that should not be happening anymore. Does your sibling invite friends over at odd hours of the night? Did he or she skip out on paying their half of the electric bill last month? It’s OK to have a chat with your sibling to set boundaries and expectations if you are not comfortable with what they are doing (or not doing), but don’t go calling the ‘rents. Handle your issues internally like adults and keep it moving. Remember that the living arrangement is not only mutually beneficial, but it’s most likely also temporary.

Be realistic
Know that in the end, your sibling is still a roommate and the two of you are conducting a business transaction by living together. So if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out, one of you breaking the lease could put the other in a huge bind. Would you be able to finish out the lease alone if your sibling bails? Will you have the option–and responsibility–to find another roommate?

Have you ever rented an apartment with a sibling? How was the experience for you?

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