Here's How Much Money You Can Save If You Get a Roommate in L.A.
Los Angeles is one of the most expensive rental cities in America; about 60 percent of renters are paying too much of their income for leases. One obvious solution: Get a roommate (or two).
A new analysis from real estate listings site Trulia found that renters willing to split a three-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles County save an average $683 per month versus going it alone with a one-bedroom unit. For a two-bedroom sharing arrangement, the average savings is $580 in the L.A. market, the site found. The site used its own listings data to calculate median apartment rents in L.A. for one-, two- and three-bed units in 2016.
"In L.A., if renters switch from renting a one-bedroom to renting a two-bedroom with a roommate, they save 35 percent, or nearly 12 percent of their income," Andrea McDonald, a Trulia spokeswoman, said via email.
Of course, the savings come with a cost. Coordinating a lease with one or two other people, who might have varying degrees of credit worthiness, can be complicated.
The analysis also found that millennials spend a greater share of their income on rent in L.A. County (nearly 40 percent of their cash goes to secure one-bedroom units) than in any other metro area except one: Miami (where more than 50 percent of income goes to one-bedroom leases).
Spending more than 30 percent of income on rent is considered "cost-burdened" by the federal government; McDonald calls it the "threshold of affordability." In L.A. the percentage of income spent on apartments by millennials drops below 30 percent when they share a two-bedroom unit, according to Trulia.
Orange County data was analyzed separately. The savings were greater down south: Splitting a three-bedroom unit three ways could save renters $820 each month, the analysis found. A two-way split could net $656 per month.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.