“Say yes more” is my life motto. It hasn’t always served me well, but it has resulted in cherished and memorable experiences about 99% of the time. Even though I had my hesitation about share houses—the rite of passage that falls somewhere on the spectrum between summer camp and family beach house—I had to say yes when asked if I wanted to join in on a summer rental with some friends (and friends of friends).
I only knew a few of the residents prior to the start of summer, so planned meet-and-greets and happy-hour drinks for to-be roommates helped. I attended most of them—after all, I wanted to know who I was going to share a toothbrush holder with. Thankfully, everyone was surprisingly normal, even kind of great. Share houses get a bad rep—Jersey Shore come to mind. But with the right people and a bit of organization, you can turn a scary summer rental into a summer enclave you’ll look back on fondly. It all comes down to what you want out of your warm-weather weekends—and finding the right people to join in on renting a beautiful big house with a pool that would otherwise set you back a full mortgage deposit.
As I write this, we are one weekend into our summer house—shared with eight smart and successful women, plus one very brave man who also defaults as grill master, spider killer, and relationship counselor. I can confidently say that I probably stumbled upon the best share house on the Long Island South Fork, and that I will cherish some of these newfound friendships for decades to come. I also learned to navigate the share house sea pretty quickly. Before you start browsing Airbnb, here are some things you might want to consider to make sure your share house sails smoothly.