Ask Chelsea: “Dear Moving On” and “Dear Spotify Customer”

by April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am 0


Chelsea Rinnig is one of Borderstan writers. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Looking for advice on how to accomplish your goals and make changes in 2013? Email Chelsea at askchelsea[AT]

Dear Chelsea, My current living situation is a bit expensive for my taste, and I’d like to arrange a group housing situation in DC with some friends. However, I’m not sure how to broach moving out to my current roommate, and I’m not even sure how to collect the right group of friends for the group house. Do you have any advice for how to arrange a group house here in DC, and how to navigate my current roommate situation?

Thank you! – Moving-On Molly

Dear Moving-On – Molly housing in DC is a total catch-22. While the greatest selection comes available during popular moving seasons at the beginning and end of the summer, the increased demand manifests in a noticeably higher price tag for rent. How nobody has invented a tech company to expand outside craigslist and revolutionize the real estate industry is beyond me.

First, the most important thing is to sit down and have a conversation with your roommate, which you should do as soon as possible. For all we know, she may have similar thoughts about moving out and living with someone else. But should she not, out of fairness to her you should give her significant time to either find a roommate to replace you or to find a new home of her own.

I would suggest an open conversation that does not begin with “I want to move out and live with someone else,” but rather with “What are your plans? What have you been thinking?” You can move on to tell her that while you are unsure of your timeline, you would like to find less expensive housing, possibly in a group house. It may make both of you feel awkward, but it is honest.

Second, there are many routes to finding housing. The most comprehensive “database” (if you can even call it that) for openings is craigslist. Other means for finding housing that I have tried, and sometimes succeeded with, are as follows:

  • an email to the listserv or human resources at your office
  • calling local management companies in the area to ask of upcoming rentals for their properties
  • post to Facebook (or look out for friends’ posts)

As for finding the right group house dynamic, that is entirely personal. While some can fortuitously find an available group of friends who live in close quarters amicably, others prefer a cohort of relative strangers that can more individualistically coexist.

Consider these factors though: what do you value most in a living situation? What can you live with, what can you be flexible on, and what are your non-negotiables?

Most of all, I would caution against jumping into anything too quickly; the key is to remain patient even when you feel most desperate. Your dream team and house will surface, and casually begin to put the word out there to your friends. If it does not work out, the next step would include considering other options (joining an existing group house, downsizing to just a two-bedroom with the perfect roommate, etc.).

Readers with other suggestions, I invite you to comment below and contribute! What are your suggestions for finding housing in DC?

Good luck! Always, Chelsea

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Dear Chelsea,  Should I get Spotify Premium?

Dear Spotify Customer – After reading reviews, it seems much of that depends on how much you care. Do you care about the 160kb versus 320kb improvement in sound? Do you listen to a lot of music? Do you need to download or use the app to play it from a smartphone or tablet? And lastly, do you have a limited data plan.

If you answered yes these questions, then the investment seems well worth it. I cannot as an advice columnist promote one product over another, however, Spotify has pretty good reviews and appears to be a program catered to this kind of consumer.

Always, Chelsea.

Note to readers: Under DC Law, Chelsea Rinnig is not licensed to practice, and does not represent that she practices: psychiatry, psychology, social work or professional counseling of any kind. This column is written for entertainment purposes only. 

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