Living on your own isn’t always feasible. Whether you’re choosing to live with someone else for monetary reasons, or you simply feel more secure with another person living under the same roof, having a roommate has its pros and cons. For those who are currently on the market for a roommate, there’s a lot to consider when picking the person that is right for you to co-habitate with. From lifestyles, to work schedules, to general hygiene habits, here are some things to mull over before choosing a roommate.
Whether you’re a college student looking for a roommate, or a city dweller looking to share your apartment, here are some things to do and contemplate before picking your potential roomie!
Instead of immediately putting out an ad on Craigslist or browsing Roomster for a potential flatmate, ask friends and family members if they know of anyone looking for a place to live. This way you can get some inside information on that person, they will already be somewhat vetted by that common connection, and you aren’t screening a total stranger.
Picking a roommate is a big decision and it’s not one you want to rush into. If you can, give yourself a month or two to find the roommate that is right for you. Be patient, be diligent and keep in mind that a bad roommate can make your life a living H-E double hockey sticks.
Let your potential roommates get to know you, your habits, your interests, etc. before they even respond to your ad. This will help weed out some of the applicants and hopefully help you attract someone who is like-minded. Don’t be afraid to state what it is you’re looking for in a roommate!
Never ever choose a roommate based off of what they look like on pad and paper, or should I say through laptop or smartphone. People can portray themselves to be one way, and then be totally different in actuality. Meet with prospective roommates face-to-face in a neutral location (Like a coffee shop!) so you can get an idea of their personality, see if there’s chemistry between you and make sure that they don’t make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any way. If that meeting goes well, then invite them over to see the apartment/house you will possibly be living in together. Also be sure to tell a friend or family member of your plan so someone knows where you are and who you’re with.
Since you will be splitting the cost of your living quarters with your roommate, it is imperative that they have enough income coming in to pay their part of the bills, rent, etc.
Compatibility is key when it comes to choosing an ideal roommate. If you’re an early bird who likes to get to bed at a reasonable time, a night owl who is going to invite friends over at all hours of the night is most likely not the right fit for you.
Don’t keep things vague. When you’re signing up to live with someone you should get the details down in writing. Include how much they will be paying in rent and utilities, guidelines about having people over, how the chores will be split up between you, etc. This agreement will help assuage arguments down the road and fill in any potential gaps about what’s expected.