Bargaining with your roommates

Joseph, a loyal MR reader, asks:

I recently leased my first apartment…with a friend who just graduated from college with me. It’s a nice apartment, and spacious, but it has one bedroom that is larger and nicer (better views, bigger closet, more windows) than the other.

We’re looking for the most equitable way to allot the good bedroom without resorting to cash transfers (too crass). We’ve come up with a few strategies so far:

1. Bid on the good room with chores (meaning the person who is willing to do the most domestic chores to compensate wins the auction and the room)
2. Best out of seven rocks-papers-scissors
2. Series of challenges submitted by close friends.

#1 seems like the best option we’ve come up with so far, but I’m afraid of winner’s curse. I don’t want a resentful roommate.

Do you think there’s a better solution?

Adam, another reader, asks, in a separate email, how friendly roommates should allocate the rights to joint furniture purchases.

I suggest the crass cash transfers!!


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