Food Etiquette

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It’s best to discuss etiquette before you begin living with someone so you know what is and what is not acceptable in regards to food. Some houses utilise a complete share system (one person shops one week and the food is free reign- one person shops the next and so on and so forth). Other houses utilise the common items and personal items rule (salt, pepper, milk, butter, bread, flour etc. are shared food- dinner items, fruit, vegetables, pizzas, alcohol are personal). Other houses use the all items are personal rule.

To varying degrees- They all work. Some more effectively than others.

All items are shared– With this method it’s a free for all. Any food you want, you had better eat quick because you can’t claim dibs in a free for all environment. You also run into the problem of selfish housemates. If on your week you go out and really stock the entire place, the next the housemate (instead of throwing you some cash for your massive effort) might just buy a small shopping load and claim that the house didn’t really need that much food. This has the foundations of a massive argument.

Some share, some personal- This is probably the best method in my experience. Milk, pepper, bread, salt, flour, butter etc are all shared as it makes no sense to have three pepper shakers, three open cartons of milk, three containers of butter etc. Not only will you be able to fit minimal items into your fridge/pantry, you’ll find you waste double the amount of food. With this method you still get your personal self bought items such as pizzas or doughnuts, but you’re still contributing to the house.

All personal- Probably best to try to avoid this method. You’ll triple up on anything and everything in the house and wars will break out when a personal item is used. It’s just a scary situation- Avoid at all costs. It’s for selfish uncooperative houses.

It’s definitely best to find out what kind of house you’re moving in too.

In any case, always share so that when you need something you won’t feel bad for asking. Always ask before taking, and always ensure that everyone around you is as happy as you can make them without over stepping your limits. A full bellied house hold is a happy house hold!


“Housemate Types” The Extrovert

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The Extrovert

Habitat Habits: The Extrovert can vary incredibly. This type has a large potential to actually hit “The Keeper” status. Extroverts can be noisy, social and sometimes a pain in the butt due to their loud nature- But they can just as easily be clean, tidy and help around the house. It all depends on the level of personality (or lack thereof) that the Extrovert displays.

When to run: This one is easy. You’ll know-without a doubt. You will be kept up until 2-3 a.m. most nights by loud music, loud people in your living room, loud phone conversations in the house mates bedroom, and your house will be party central. This may actually be the perfect place for you, however, if you are a heavy party goer yourself. If so, live it up, if not, get out!

How to deal with them: You will need to determine if you loathe or love the new social world that has opened up around you. If you loathe it you will need to sit your housemate down and discuss options or possibilities for a slightly quieter house, maybe have a equal nights on/nights off of socialising. If you love it, then you deal with it by partying it up every night with them.

How to learn to love them: Love the fact that your social circle has just expanded exponentially! You now have access to a larger circle of friends, varied locations to head out, and a wide variety of personalities to get to know.

How to get rid of them: It is normally contained within your lease that you must aim to keep your neighbours happy by abiding by satisfactory noise levels. If you really want to get rid of the social noisy butterfly, let your real estate agent know that they are disturbing the peace of your neighbours (and regularly) this shouldn’t be hard due to the multiple noise complaints I’m sure you’ve had.

Final note: The extrovert can do wonders for your social circle, your networks, and your nightlife. If you want to get out there and get more into the party scene, latch yourself to the Extrovert. For the most part they’re mainly only annoying if you’re a student who needs to study due to how loud they are. The only time when you really need to worry is when the Extrovert turns into the Druggie, the Sex Fiend or the Sleaze.

Share ads to avoid


You’ve most likely seen them but not even realised what they were.

Here are two examples:

Two full time employed males, 24, looking for a single white female. Fun loving house, very social, clean freaks need not apply.”

Full time employed IT technician, looking for quiet, peaceful house mate. Must have own broadband connection, must be used to giving up periods of internet time, must be clean and tidy as well.

The first sounded like a pretty fun place to live until you notice two particular points. The two men are looking for a single white female. What bearing does ones relationship status have on two guys looking for a house mate? Absolutely none when it is the right kind of house. The fact that this is two young men looking for single women sets all kind of blaring warning signs off. Secondly, clean freaks need not apply. They are helpfully telling you that you are moving into a house that is rarely, if ever, cleaned. Run away from ads like this.

The second screams World of Warcraft nerd. Must have own broadband connection? Must be used to sharing said connection? So basically he’s going to piggy back your internet connection for higher game speed. Neat and tidy? Either he’s expecting you to pick up after his mess (coke bottles and chip packets) or he’s genuinely a tidy guy. Whilst not as bad as the first, this is still one to watch out for. It has all the warning signs of a bad housemate drama story written on it.

Let’s take another two into consideration.

Two girls, aged 23 and 19 looking for a fun, exciting room mate. Must be okay with a little noise and a few late nights, no busy bodies or librarians should apply! Looking for a friendly, bubbly personality

Older male (48) looking for young, vibrant, female co-tenant to share smaller apartment in Eastern *********, apartment is furnished, bedroom included, just bring yourself and a happy personality

The first is fine if you are a constant partier. The girls, by saying a “few” late nights, mean most weeknights and every weekend. The “No busy bodies or librarians” statement indicates that they will be doing things they know will be questionable, and will be loud about their other activities. Again, great if you are a partier, run away if you are a quiet student.

The second….Well: Run. Now. Pervert Alert. Fully furnished bedroom? A mid life older male looking for a young female? Sure gramps, once you remove the hidden cameras and install a lock on the door. Just. Run.

House, Villa Unit or Apartment?

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It is a solid idea to plan before you move out. Probably one of the biggest decisions you will make (next to how much to pay for rent) is whether you want an apartment, a unit or a house.

All three have major ups and downs.



  • Cheap- apartments generally run between 100-350 a week for a standard to good apartment. More modern, designer architecture filled ones can run upwards of 1000 a week-Avoid.
  • Secure, if a thief has a choice between a house where it’s residents are out, or an apartment where 10 other close by tenants might hear him even if the occupants are out- The safest choice would be the house.
  • Easy to keep clean. Apartments generally contain between 3-5 rooms, and small ones at that. They are no bother to tidy.
  • You can make great friends with your neighbours, some neighbours are genuinely fantastic people. It’s a good way to increase your social circle.
  • No garden/lawn upkeep.
  • Low energy costs. A few rooms mean a few lights and less power/heating used.


  • Space. If there are more than one or two people then you’re going to find apartments more than cramped. Apartments are generally aimed at the singles/couple market.
  • Pets. You most likely don’t get to have one.
  • Noise. You need to be careful of making too much noise. Due to being in such close proximity to your neighbours you will generally find that noise will be a commonly occuring issue.
  • Bad neighbours. You don’t have a fence seperating you, so you might find neighbours getting to you quickly if they are; Annoying, noisy, nosey, bitchy, arrogant, deceitful, violent or aggressive.
  • Light. With few windows comes little light. Good luck at finding a bright and sunny apartment.
  • Hot/cold. If you are on the top floor you will find it extremely hard to stay cool- extremely hard. Top floors get extremely warm in summer and there’s very little you can do to counteract it. However in winter, even a small heater can warm a small apartment.
  • No garden.
  • Parking. There’s usually very little- if any.
  • Shared water costs. This may or may not occur in your property, but sometimes water usage is distributed evenly between apartments.
  • Generally not kid friendly.
  • Not good for share accomodation- Little to no privacy

Villa Unit


  • The advantages of an apartment with more space and no neighbours directly adjoined.
  • You might have a backyard.
  • You might be allowed to get a pet.
  • You will have between one to four neighbours.
  • Noise is less of a problem.
  • Upkeep. Sometimes upkeep around the yard/gardens will be completed by the groundskeeper.
  • Parking- You might have access to a garage or at least a car space.
  • More kid friendly than apartments.
  • Better for share accomodation (1-2 people)


  • Space. Whilst there is generally more in villa units, you might still find space to be a little bit of a problem.
  • Yard. You might have to upkeep the yard yourself, keeping in standard with the surrounding villa units.
  • Security. Villa units are usually located on a block of 2-5, but are seperate enough from each other to have yards and thus access points unseen from neighbours. This may be moot if you have a security gate/fence around the perimeter.
  • Cost- The cost of a villa unit compared to an apartment is higher due to extra space, a yard, a car space etc.



  • Lots of space. If you’ve ever moved from an apartment to a house- you may of noticed that you didn’t have anywhere near enough belongings to fill the house. This being said, you can also get tiny houses.
  • Your own yard. If you are in a house the chances are high that you will have a sizeable yard.
  • Garage. You’ll most likely have one, if not a double one on a house property- failing this you will have a driveway or parking space.
  • Shed. You might even have access to one of these. Great if you are a handy man and own a bunch of tools/house improvement belongings.
  • Pets. Sometimes allowed, sometimes not, but more often than not allowed- at least compared to apartments.
  • Only two neighbours. One to either side!
  • Noise. It is a lot less of a problem compared to villa units and apartments.
  • Kids. Houses have plenty of room for little terrors to run amock.
  • Seclusion. You can have your own privacy in a house, normally not available in an apartment or villa unit.
  • Share accomodation friendly, which generally negates the cost.


  • Cost. Houses run your budget into the ground a lot faster than apartments or villa units.
  • Need a rather large amount of furniture to make a house look good.
  • Power use will generally be a lot higher than for an apartment or villa unit.
  • Easier target for crime.
  • Yard upkeep will definitely be yours to maintain.
  • Bond is a hefty “first time renter” hit to take in a house due to large rent PCM cycles.

It is generally a good idea to way up the pros and cons, weigh the balance of rent in the favour of either a house, unit or apartment, decide who you will be sharing with and for how long, then create a major budget and see which will be the more sensible option.

Don’t forget, you are in this house for a year unless you incur some major costs. Make the smart decision before you go!