I know what you’re thinking: “yeah right dude, there’s no way in HELL I’d live with my brother again after 15+ years of being under each others’ toes!” Or maybe you and your brother have a fantastic relationship and have actually achieved that elusive ‘my sibling’s my best friend’ title. In which case, this post isn’t going to be very interesting for you.
But if you’re like the rest of us, and grew up thinking that their brother was annoying/mean/smelly/ignorant/a general pain in the ass, then the initial response to moving back in together after you’ve both left home would generally be something along the lines of “over my dead body!” But hey, hear me out!
When I first properly moved out of home I was a month out from turning 18, and moved in with my gran. I’m the eldest kid in our tribe, and my family was actually moving at the time, so it was either stay or move for my gap year. I naively chose to stay.
Fast forward a year later: I was moving to Brisbane for uni and knew no one there, so a share house was the only way I was going to afford rent. Because I was searching for share houses through realestate.com, each room was classified as a private rent space (i.e. the inspections were solely based on the property, not who else was living there). Looking back, I definitely wish I found a room privately; either through Gumtree or flyers at the uni, so that way I could’ve met my housemates and saw if we gelled BEFORE signing a 6 month lease.
Long story short: in that 6 months 2 out of the 4 housemates were absolutely crazy. One was kicked out by the real estate and the other left because she was an asshole and didn’t like us calling her out on it. Oh, what a dramatic time.
I then moved back home to live with my boyfriend and his parents (DO NOT EVER DO IT. EVER) and after that whole shit fight ended I had a brief stint back at my parents’ before getting a unit with my younger brother, Ethan.
We’ve been living together for 1 year and 9 months, and neither of us has been seriously injured, or, uh, murdered. So that in itself is a major win! We definitely had a rocky start, and Ethan took a while to adjust to the whole ‘adult housemate’ role he was now in so soon after finishing school.
Granted, I’m rarely home on my days off and our rosters often put us on opposite working days, but that’s a good thing. We both pitch in when it comes to washing and housework (although since Ethan cleans for fun he often gets to it a lot quicker than I do), buy our own groceries and split the bills down the middle. And it works.
Of course, every sibling-to-sibling dynamic is going to be different, but it’s soooooooo good not having to walk on eggshells in my own house. If something’s pissed us off, we tell each other. And yes, we still fight, because we are related and that’s generally what happens after a while, but it’s not ‘holy shit, I need to move out of this house’ huge, more like ‘such and such is being an asshole and I wish Kylie or Dad was here to tell them to shut up’ level.
So yeah, if you can choose, definitely choose to live with your sibling/family over some sketchy share house where you’ve never met the other tenants. Obviously not everyone has bad share house experiences; hell, some people even end up with great friends out of it, but right now, it’s not for me. Especially because I am super into interior decoration and design and art, and would probably cry if someone strolled in and asked me to take all of my beautiful prints down (“over my dead body” would be an appropriate response here). But that’s just me 😛
I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly strange, opinionated piece and it’s at least made you consider the sibling-share option when it comes to renting in the big, bad world.
Till next time,