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Significantly older roommate?

llthzellthze Posts: 12Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in College Life
Hello CC-ers! I'm currently a first-year at college and need to start looking for off-campus housing for my second year.

I found this lovely Victorian house that's just at the edge of campus, close enough to my classes, right in the middle of the park, located near all the shops and the downtown ... it's perfect. And the rent is roughly a third of any other options I've seen.

However, the live-in landlord is in his middle forties. He is an alum of the college which I am attending. I'm seventeen (will be eighteen by next year) and female and look and act at least mature enough that a lady going on eighty asked if I was a very young-looking thirty. So I'm not too worried there.

I don't party excessively, drink, or smoke. I'm quiet and respectful of others. To this end, I feel I could get along with the man, so I sent him a request to meet to get to know each other better.

Do you think this is unwise? Parents, how would you feel about this situation? My parents are the ones who need the most convincing, as they are paying for everything. I feel like I would in fact prefer an older roommate so I could rely on them to have regular hours and not go wild with the partying, which I got out of my system back in high school. How should I go about talking about this with my parents?

Thank you for your input!
Post edited by llthze on
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Replies to: Significantly older roommate?

  • asianamericansonasianamericanson Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
    That actually sounds like a very nice arrangement. I'm sure the other tenants will be mostly quiet and not rowdy. And since college is mostly young folks, interacting with some older people might be a welcome change sometimes from always talking with teenagers and people in their early 20s. Not to mention that a Victorian houses are neat places to live (although the novelty might wear off after a little while).
  • llthzellthze Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    I would actually be the only tenant, other than the landlord. Not sure if that's a positive or a negative.
  • ExaltedAlmightyExaltedAlmighty Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    That actually sounds pretty creepy and uncomfortable to me. Are you sure you want to live with a single man in his forties that you've never met before? I know I probably sound paranoid to you, but it seems pretty naive to me. At best, there's going to be sexual tension, whether you realize it or not. At worst, he can slip something in your drink or install a hidden camera in the bathroom/bedroom and you'd never realize anything happened. These things happen every day, and I've personally known victims to this stuff.

    If it was an older woman or you were a dude, I'd say go for it. Even if the guy was closer to your age, it would be a much less creepy and tempting situation. I know it's an awesome place, but I'd keep looking in your situation. At the very least, invest in a serious weapon (not just pepper spray or a stun gun). That's my two cents worth anyway. Good luck.
  • cortana431cortana431 Posts: 5,015- Senior Member
    I know I probably sound paranoid to you, but it seems pretty naive to me

    You sound very paranoid.
  • ExaltedAlmightyExaltedAlmighty Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    You sound very paranoid.

    I know. But I'm telling you, it happens a lot.
  • llthzellthze Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Hence the meeting. I will be bringing a friend, we will be meeting in a public place during the day, and all of that. More to the point, are there any specific things I should be watching out for? Any questions I should be asking of him?
  • ExaltedAlmightyExaltedAlmighty Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    lulz 'Cause if he ever gets bad thoughts, it'll be clear the first meeting by the long pedo-beard and quiet mutterings.

    Seriously, good luck again, OP. Hope it's just a nice, older guy. I put it out there.
  • mainstonemainstone Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Ilthze, as parent I don't think this is a good idea at all. Meeting the landlord in public with a friend is not the same as living with him all day by yourself. Why would a 40 year old man want an 18 year old female. roomate? I have to agree with Exalted that I find this a little creepy. If you were my daughter, at the very least I would want to sit down and meet with this man.
  • surfcitysurfcity Posts: 782Registered User Member
    Do you have references? I would not want my daughter to live in a situation like that but if it were even considered this guy would need to have sterling, verifiable, references from other young women who'd lived there.
  • llthzellthze Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    I will definitely make sure to ask for references! Thank you for your concerns, I will certainly keep my wits about me. I am not required to sign for a certain number of months, so if any problems arise, I can extricate myself from the situation with relative ease.
  • asianamericansonasianamericanson Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
    Woah, I didn't know that you are going to be the only one living in the house with him. Maybe you should think about this after you meet him. If he seems like the type that would end up chatting with Chris Hansen, then I would say bolt as fast as you can.
  • turtlerockturtlerock Posts: 1,119Registered User Senior Member
    If this house is so close to a college campus, then chances are you wouldn't be the first student this older man has rented to. A god key question would be to ask if he has rented to other students before, their ages, and how the situation worked out for him. Then you can ask for a reference or two, which are hopefully the previous tenants and you can compare how they described their experience compared to his.

    Why would a fourty-something man rent out to younger people so willingly? Well, his place is right next to a college campus, so the arrangement might present some quick financial assistance in keeping up the place. Plus, if he can verify that he is an alum, then maybe he just knows how expensive college can be and likes knowing he can help out at least one fellow future alum every so often in that regard.

    These are all as valid of arguments as 'he's a perv and sicko'. I think it's enough for you and a friend to meet him, feel him out and ask some of those questions above. I also think he may seem understanding of the possible uncomfortable situation and that's why he leaves the option of staying there on month-to-month. Definitely helps the tenant leave should a complication arise and isn't indicative of a man who is trying to keep some teen college student there for as long as he can to fulfill his pervish desires.

    Maybe he keeps in touch on a regular basis with some of him old professors that still teach on campus? Maybe you can ask about campus connections and references and you may find some information about him that way. I can totally see the situation of you walking into the school's alumni office and asking about him: "Oh, yeah, so-and-so? He's great. He has a house right off campus and likes to help out current students with their living situations. He also volunteers as an alumni in other on campus student activities."

    Being single means almost nothing. The newest studies cite that only 20% of 18-29 y/o in this country are married. If he owns this victorian house, then chances are he is pretty well set financially and isn't in a rush to marry the first person that will assist in elevating him to a higher economic class (also becoming a rarer reason why people choose to marry). Maybe the house was given to him through a trust, and the stipulation in keeping it is that he remains single (or have to sell it if he chooses to marry - this would keep any financial proceeds from the sale in the "family" ((the trust)) since if he would sell it after he married it could be considered community property ((law varies by state)) and the marriage partner would also be entitled to that financial gain -- some trusts don't like family members by marriage to reap those kinds of benefits). Point is, we don't know, so our best advice is to have the OP ask these kinds of questions instead of jumping to a less obvious conclusion that he's ill-intended. "How long have you lived there? Do you own the property? How did you acquire the property?" These are all very substantial questions and he shouldn't raise too many eyebrows when asked.
  • VladenschlutteVladenschlutte Posts: 3,279Registered User Senior Member
    Why would a 40 year old man want an 18 year old female. roomate?

    For the money? Now, if he was only looking for 18-year-old female roommates than that'd be off and would not be a sensible living arrangement. But I doubt if that's the case.

    llthze, If you're not comfortable with the idea, don't do it. That's not a comment to say you should make yourself comfortable with it, but simply if you find that it's uncomfortable, find somewhere else. It's important that you be comfortable where you live. Even if an environment is safe, if it doesn't feel safe it's not a good environment for you.
  • ExaltedAlmightyExaltedAlmighty Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    Being single means almost nothing. The newest studies cite that only 20% of 18-29 y/o in this country are married.

    No crap, Sherlock. How many 21 year olds do you know who are married? This guy is mid forties, so he's almost twenty years older than the oldest age in that range. It doesn't matter, though, because you're missing the point entirely. No one's judging him by his marital status. The point is, the man is single, and since he's alive, has desires. Turtle, I'm betting you're not a guy. I don't care if he's Mr. Rogers; A single, mid-forty year old man is going to fantasize about the non-relative teenage girl in his house. Whether he acts on his fantasies is the entire question, and there'd be almost literally nothing stopping him. One in five women are raped, which is pretty high, and it sucks. It might go down if so many women weren't way too naive and trusting.

    All of the "maybe's" in your post are good reasons not to prosecute him, but terrible reasons to go ahead and move in alone with an unknown dude more than twice your age. He could, he could, he could, but he could also. How do you think there's still an open space that's in the perfect location, in the perfect house, and a third the rent, but happy-go-lucky OP just so happens to be able to potentially scoop it up? Yeah, it could just be blah blah blah, but use your savvy. Either OP is really lucky, the guy turned down a bunch of college guys, or enough people thought twice about this to think it was too good to be true. You don't eat a mushroom that has a chance of being deadly just because you don't like berries. This is Darwinism at work.
  • asianamericansonasianamericanson Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
    The part where you say "This is Darwinism at work" doesn't make any sense. Actually you probably want to keep Darwinism out of the equation because rape is actually quite effective at propagating one's genes--it's just plain immoral.

    I'd say meet the owner again, see what you think, ask around, talk to your parents, and then make your decision. Don't just assume that since he's a single man he's some sort of sicko waiting for an opportunity. I'd like to think, if I had a female roommate, I would be respectful. But I'm sure you'll keep in mind that this may not be the best idea in the world.
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