Sometimes the only way to experience all the benefits of a luxury apartment is to share the cost with another person. But not just any person will do; sharing an apartment home is a big decision and should be approached with eyes wide open. We’re going to help reduce the stress involved by offering you some practical tips for finding the right roommate for your lifestyle!
1. Start with Your Network
Look first to your pool of friends, family and coworkers. A solid personal connection and the familiarity it brings help reduce the uncertainty that comes with choosing a stranger. No luck with any of these? Ask them to suggest any of their friends, family and coworkers who might be interested! As long as you have some connection, you’ll have some peace of mind.
2. Use Effective Apps
If you can't find someone in your social or professional network who’s looking for an apartment, turn to technology. Be careful with Craigslist, but consider apps like Roomi, Roomsurf, EasyRoommate or Roomster to locate interested renters and roommates. Most have done some of the legwork involved in making sure potential roommates are “on the level,” and you can filter by male/female, age, habits, etc.
3. Ask Plenty of Questions
Find out what potential roommates’ habits are and use that information to determine whether or not they would be a good fit with your lifestyle. If you prefer a quiet, calm space, but your potential roomie wants to host parties every weekend, you’ll be frustrated sharing an apartment. Similarly, if your roommate works shifts that require him or her to sleep in the early evening when you like watching TV (and don’t want to turn the sound down so low you can barely hear it), your schedules might make living together uncomfortable.
4. Find Someone You Don’t Mind Spending Time With
Make sure the person you choose is someone you could envision spending time with – because you will be! If your first reaction meeting him or her is, “Nice enough but I wouldn’t want to hang out together,” you might want to reconsider. You’re inevitably going to spend lots of time together and will need to accommodate one another, so it’s best to choose someone whose company you enjoy.
5. Do a Background Check
It doesn't cost much to do a simple background check and it can tell you a lot about a person. At the very least, check personal, landlord and roommate references. Finally, look closely at his or her social media profiles and engagement; these can give you a good idea of what’s important to a person.
6. Set Parameters
Once you narrow down the field, be honest about how you and your roommate will split costs (rent, utilities, food, etc.). Also set some ground rules for visitors, overnight guests, storage space, cleaning duties and any others that could affect how you feel about sharing your home.
Have you ever searched for an roommate? What was your experience like? Chime in using the comments!