You and your best friend both need a new place to live, but before you call the moving company and pack the moving boxes, the both of you need to think ahead. Moving in with a buddy can work beautifully as long as you remember the following key points:

Vow to keep an open dialogue
It may seem difficult to bring up issues that bother you about your friend, but rest assured--it is better to address uncomfortable situations now rather than letting them fester.

Money matters
It can be touchy to discuss finances with a close friend, but you need to make decisions together as to how you will split the rent and utility bills. It is also important that you discuss your own budgets before even looking for a place to live together, so that you are sure to choose a residence you can both afford.

To share or not to share
As friends, you may decide you want to share food and other household items, but make sure you share the purchasing of these goods as well. If one roommate does the lion’s share of buying, it is sure to cause problems later. Also, don’t forget renters insurance: The two of you should purchase the insurance together and split the payments.

Respect each other’s privacy
Even though you may be the best of friends, you don’t have to reveal absolutely everything to each other. Though honesty is extremely important, especially among friends and roommates, it is okay to keep certain things to yourself.

Take a break
As much as you love spending time together, it is important to spend some time apart too. You both had other friends before you decided to become roommates, and it is absolutely okay and even crucial that you keep up these friendships. On the flip side, you may want to set aside time every week to spend together doing something fun, even if it’s just hanging out at home and watching television.

One of the many benefits of living with a close friend is that you get to share fun things like clothing and jewelry--it can be like having two wardrobes. Just make sure not to borrow anything without asking your roommate’s permission first.

Decorating your new pad
You and your roomie can have fun figuring out what furniture, appliances and accessories will go with the layout of your new home. Decide what items fit in nicely, what you might still need that you can shop for together, and what you can get rid of or put into storage.

Moving is a very exciting time, but any major change can be stressful. Going through this experience with a good friend can make the transition smoother. Just remember to keep an open line of communication and respect for each other. Like any great relationship, being roommates takes some work, but in the end it can be a wonderful experience resulting in a lifelong friendship.

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