clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How much money do Seattleites save by getting a roommate?

The difference between a one and two bedroom is significant

Two apartment buildings with downtown in the background Mary Knox Merrill/Getty Images

Getting a roommate is a common rent-saving, loneliness-busting tactic. 12.5 percent of Seattle adults have roommates, and it’s economic necessity for many.

But in the thick of an apartment search—and with two-bedrooms subject to the same rent increases as everywhere else—it can be hard to know the the exact size of the payoff. How much money do you actually save when you share your space?

Rental and real estate listing site Trulia did some number crunching, and it turns out that compared to a one bedroom, the savings are pretty hefty: 34.9 percent for the typical roomie in a two bedroom home, or $541 every month. Splitting a three bedroom home, if you can find one, would make the savings jump up to $664 compared to a one bedroom.

There’s a noticeable omission in this dataset: Studio apartments, which also cost significantly less than a one bedroom.

Curbed Seattle asked Trulia about the difference between a studio and a two-bedroom, and were told that comparison was a little more difficult. The study was done for several U.S. cities, and many of them only have studio apartments concentrated in the city core, without a big enough dataset for a meaningful comparison. (A Trulia search for studio apartments in Seattle returned more than 300 results from West Seattle to Greenwood.)

While it can be difficult to quantify privacy, according to Trulia’s data one person living in a one bedroom apartment typically has 695 square feet of space to call their own, which drops to 518 square feet per person once two people are sharing two bedrooms. Although with some micro studios in Seattle running as small as 130 square feet, maybe the square footage would be an incentive for some.

People who can track down an elusive three bedroom get a little more, with 533 square feet per person—maybe because at that point, the rental could be a house or a duplex.