Tips For Finding the Right Roommate
Finding the best roommate for you can be a difficult task. If might be easy to judge someone based on how friendly they are, but there are a lot more thing to consider. Several people don't want to rent an apartment alone but are not sure how to find a roommate they can live with on a daily basis. Many people also cannot afford to live in a desirable area without finding a roommate to help with the rent.
If you are starting your search, there are several places to look. Many people turn to the newspaper or Craigslist, but there are also roommate finder websites like Roomster that help make it easier to find the right place and the right person.
Here are some tips that will assist you in your quest to find a roommate.
- Find out about personal habits and compare their living preferences to yours. Does either of you smoke? What about alcohol? Do they constantly listen to music or have the TV blaring non-stop? Are they early risers or night owls? What temperature do they think is comfortable? Are they neat or messy? You want to find someone that at least resembles your personal habits.
- Find out what they expect from a roommate. Some people want a roommate to save money with minimal interaction; others are looking for someone they can hang out with every day. Make sure your expectations match, or you might find yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in for very long. Make sure you are honest with your potential roommate about what you are looking for right from the start.
- In your free time do you prefer to stay at home a lot, or do you prefer going out? What about your roommate? If you are used to or hoping for, some alone time, you might not want someone who never leaves the house.
- Look for warning signs of whether the person is honest and safe. If you get any uneasy feelings, politely say that you don't think they would be compatible with you and keep searching.
- How do you feel about guests sleeping over? Waking up with your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend can make for an uncomfortable situation. That said, if you plan on frequently bringing guests over, that would be something you would want to disclose to your potential roommate because they might not like it either.
- Does it bother you if your roommate borrows your clothes, laptops or mobile devices? What about if someone eats the groceries you bought. These are things you will want to set some expectations for and make sure they are on board your expectations.
- Do you have a pet or do they? If you have allergies or just don’t want to live with a pet, you are going to be clear if pets are allowed or not.
- When you find someone you think you could share an apartment with, be sure to agree upon, and write down, a list of rules and responsibilities. These should include things like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, utility payments, etc. You must decide how much each of you will contribute towards things like rent, utilities, and expenses. Make sure it is all in writing and both of you sign off on it. You may also want to consider issues such as renter's insurance.
- Perhaps the most important thing is finding out if your roommate financially responsible. Remember, if your name is on the lease, you are legally obligated for the entire rent. If he or she doesn’t pay or moves out without paying, you may be left stuck paying the full rent or, perhaps in court in front of a judge. Before you sign a lease with a roommate, you've got to make sure you see eye-to-eye on financial issues.
Following these tips can help you find the right roommate.