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How to Find a Roommate to Share Rent

How to Find a Roommate

June 8, 2015

You have finally come to terms with the fact that you definitely need to find a roommate if you’re going to afford rent, have some disposable income left over, and maintain your sanity. However, nobody you know immediately comes to mind as a ready-made, perfect roommate. So you can either suck it up and continue being rent-poor, or embark on a search to find someone with whom you can live and share certain aspects of your life.
But the thought of how to go about finding that great roommate seems overwhelming. There seems to be an endless amount of options and an endless amount of people in your city. Is finding a roommate somewhat challenging? Yes. Impossible? Far from it!
So take a breath and know that there are some strategies you can use to find your almost-perfect roommate.

Where to Look
Referrals obtained from family members or friends would clearly be at the top of the list of approaches of how to find a roommate. But when no one you know knows of someone looking to share space, you’ll need to consider other options. You could go the Craigslist route, which may or may not garner the list of quality candidates you’re after. You could look in a publication that caters to such subject matter, but ultimately, you’d be doing all the work, weeding through the ads, subsequent phone calls, and interviews.
There undoubtedly are some measures one should take to distinguish ads that are legitimate from those that could be a scam from a genuinely good or fair deal.

Ask Questions
Before you even take the time to meet this person, try to ask them questions to see if it’s worth the meeting or if it’s a bust from the start. You can start by asking yourself questions such as what kind of person do you want to live with? Do you prefer to interact with your roommate and share a good time or to be left alone? Looking for a roommate can be a tedious task so you want to eliminate anyone you know you wouldn’t live with as quickly as possible. Also, make sure you are asking them the right questions, ones that will affect your living situation. You may not be able to find out everything from a few questions upfront but it will surely make the process go a lot quicker.

Whether you get an actual background check on this person or not, which is probably a good idea, you definitely want to find out all you can about this person; including the things they may not tell you. A background check is the optimal option however there’s a lot you can uncover via the Internet nowadays as well. It’s better to find out sooner or later what kind of issues this person has faced, or caused, in the past so you know what you may be in for.

Just like hiring someone for work, looking for a roommate is like hiring someone to live with. Whether you make it as formal as an interview or not, it’s a good idea to set up some kind of meeting with your potential roommate before you seal the deal. You’ll want to get to know them a little bit and there’s no better way than in person. It’s also best to pick a safe and public place to meet with them just in case.

Common Ground
It’s best to live with someone who is fairly similar to you. This includes lifestyle, interests, preferences, and other choices. The common ‘opposites attract’ conviction does not ring so true when it’s someone you will be living with and need to agree on things with often.
Although there are many cases of false advertising or all-around sketchy people out there in the roommate search world, there are definitely ways of seeing through these facades and finding a good quality roommate that you’re compatible with.
Share with us any tips you have for how to find a roommate as safely as possible.

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