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You take your time when planning a trip or buying a new sofa, so why should moving out on your own be any different? When it comes to living independently, younger generations are practicing patience, according to a new report from Zillow. The study revealed that, as of 2017, the average age that people start living alone is 26. (For comparison, it was 23 in 1980). The thing holding adults back for longer periods isn’t fear of having to catch a mouse or kill a spider solo (although those are both justifiable reasons)—leaving the nest is just expensive, Zillow points out. 

While more than half of adults living outside metropolitan areas have their own place by age 25, their city-dwelling counterparts tend to put the whole thing off an extra two years. The only exceptions are those in coastal outposts like Los Angeles and Miami, where that number rises even higher, to 29. In these competitive real-estate markets, saving enough cash for a down payment on a house or carrying the weight of the monthly rent can be close to impossible. The simplest workaround? Band together! Roommates can reportedly save you more than $1,000 a month, meaning you can meet your financial goals faster. Plus, a little company never hurt anyone.

If you are going to continue down the path of cohabitation, increase your chances of finding a decent roomie by, first and foremost, being respectful (99 percent of people in one survey say this is the most important quality) and purchasing a few pieces of good furniture. A welcoming (and tidy) living room setup can go a long way toward cutting down your wait time. 

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