Excellent Way of Finding a Roommate who Doesn't Drive you Crazy
Whether you're ready to save some money or your perfect roommate has moved on, starting the search for a new roommate can be an overwhelming task. You're not alone, either, as one in three adults are sharing their household with roommates, who are not their romantic partner. Even though you're set on your ways, and it's hard to have an open mind about a stranger, finding the right roommate for you is possible if you know where to look. But, beyond roommate compatibility, how exactly can you find suitable candidates more effectively?
From your network to the latest apps, we break down the best ways to find roommates so you can move right into your dream apartment.
Is a roommate right for you?
Just because finances and life stages indicate that getting a roommate is a good idea for you, it doesn't mean that you're meant to have a roommate.
Your definition of privacy and communication will affect how you interact with potential roommates. Can you be honest vs. passive-aggressive about your needs with strangers? Are you able to compromise with chores and a little chaos in the living room? Are you a Type-A individual that gets easily irritated?
Getting to know yourself and your limitations before starting your search will help you narrow it down. Ask friends you trust about your qualities and what are their best lessons learned with past roommates.
Narrow down your roommate criteria
Once you've decided that a roommate is the best scenario for you, narrow down the requirements before reaching out to the world. What's your budget and preferred location? Do you already have an apartment picked out? How about pets? Overall etiquette and lifestyle? Narrow down these preferences as they will help you find the right fit more quickly.
As you start receiving leads from your network and beyond, make sure you're asking the right questions, including cleaning habits, income, etc., and a list of personal and past roommate references.
Start the search
Write up your budget, move-in date, pets, preferred location and any other factors that your potential roommate needs to know before meeting with you. Write an email, text and a little graphic that will be shared on social media and to friends and family. Having a template ready to go will make the search a lot easier for you and your network.
Tap into your network
Your friends and co-workers will be the best-untapped source of information when it comes to potential roommates. Once you narrowed down your criteria, including price range and location, reach out to them via email and text to alert them that you're on the lookout.
Ask them to share your "listing" with any potential leads and have them reach out directly to you. Maybe a friend is moving into town, or someone is going through a life change? After your email, check in with them within a week to see if any leads popped up. People get busy, so it's on you to follow up with them.
The best thing about the internet is how it makes the world a little smaller, and it helps you reach people that you wouldn't have before. Be sure to keep an eye for scammers when you start using these apps, never share personal information over messages and only meet if you feel safe. You may want to skip Craigslist as it's often filled with fake listings.
You can find roommates that match your lifestyle and chat with potential leads before you meet through the platform. You get matched, similar to dating apps if you both like each other's profiles.
Post on social media
You've spread the word in real life, now it's time to put those social media accounts to work. Create a quick image (Canva is a great free tool for this) with top requirements to alert folks that you're looking for a roommate.
Post it on your Facebook feed and Instagram stories for maximum reach and ask your followers to re-share the post. The image will capture more eyes and move it to the top of the feed — you don't want the algorithm messing with your search.
Facebook and neighborhood groups
Go beyond your feed and look at your Facebook groups. If you're part of a local group that caters to opportunities like roommates, housing, etc., make sure to take advantage and post your listing. Alumni groups, especially if you're moving to a new city, are also helpful.
If you already live in an apartment complex, post on the Facebook group for the complex. They may have a few leads for you. Other neighborhood groups can also be helpful as the current members may not be looking for a roommate but may know someone.
Time to move in
Now that you've hopefully said yes to a new roommate, it's time to move in. As you sign the lease with the landlord, we recommend having a roommate agreement, as well, available to sign.
Go over income sources, who covers utilities, what services you'll use, furniture purchases, any chores you'll be splitting and a general overview of other tasks or items in the apartment.
This will help avoid passive-aggressive fights as the tasks are on paper, and both parties agreed to them. Once the ink is dry, start packing as you embark on this new adventure.