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Can love cut your rent?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 5, 2014 07:59 AM

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OK, brace yourself: It is cheaper living together.

Yes, with Valentine's Day looming next week (and sorry, but yes, from the male perspective, it's looming), real estate websites like Trulia are working overtime to churn out romantic themes.

And Trulia's contribution to the all the schmaltz - that you can save rent money by moving in with your significant other - is hardly rocket science. (In 2012, the big news was a survey that found women prefer dating men who own rather than rent.)

Still, you have to give Trulia credit for trying to back up its VD day marketing missive with some hard numbers.

Nationally, it's 35 percent cheaper for a young, unmarried couple to cohabitate and share a two bedroom than to rent a pair of one bedrooms, according to Trulia.

In fact, it's even significantly cheaper - 12 percent - to rent a three bedroom, though good luck trying to find one in the Boston area.

Of course, whether moving in together will improve the quality of your relationship remains to be seen.

Back in the late 1990s, my wife and I maintained separate apartments during two years of dating and then another year following that when we were engaged.

In fact, during that year before we got hitched, we even moved Karen into an apartment down the street from my $600-a-month bachelor pad on Old Colony near the Wollaston T station in Quincy.

So yes, we didn't save any money, but it was nice to have a little extra space - and time - to prepare for the shift to married life.

Anyway, it worked for us and we are still happily married after nearly 15 years, but whatever works for you. In the end, the extra $600 a month we paid in rent was probably worth it.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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