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A good roommate: sure we all want one, but how do we find them? No matter who you are, searching to find the perfect roommate can be tricky, but well worth the effort. Finding the perfect roommate is not a task to take lightly. Our roommates shape our happiness at home, and can truly alter the way we live, for better or for worse. Living with a roommate is very similar to being in a relationship and finding someone you are compatible with is key to a successful union.
A great way to begin your search is by deciding what you want out of your roommate. Are you looking for someone to spend your time with, or do you simply want to share the costs of living with someone? Do you want a roommate who shares your exact interests, or do you want to broaden your horizons a bit? Some individuals are great at living with a person that they consider a close friend, while others find that to be too risky. Likewise, some individuals grow in different and new situations while others can react negatively to them. Decide what works best for you and then take advantage of the various resources available to help you find your (fingers crossed!) perfect match.
If you are not under any sort of time constraints, we highly recommend consulting with your close friends and family. Use their insights about mutual friends and acquaintances that may be looking for a roommate as well. Rather than doing some major social media stalking to dig up information about a potential roommate, you’ll get an insiders opinion from someone who knows you both.
If time is an issue and there are no mutual friends in sight, your next step is to begin digging into various online roommate listings. There are plenty to choose from – Craigslist and EasyRoommate, just to name a few. These resources help connect you with other individuals looking for a roommate and make decisions based on information they provide about themselves. Some even offer to match you with people you seem compatible with. While this is a great place to start, we still recommend doing a little digging for additional information. Check out potential matches on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for a more complete image of what they are like, what they are interested in, and whether or not you’ll make a good match.
Whether your potential roommate is a stranger or you share a mutual friend, meeting face to face is an absolute must. Take the time to get to know each other and really understand each other’s needs and desires. Don’t be afraid to really dig in here; you’ll be sharing a lot of time, space and resources with this person. Inquire about their interests, career, pets, significant others, sleep patterns, and general lifestyle.
Once you find a compatible roommate, discuss items such as neighborhood preferences, furnishings they’ll be bringing, and division of utilities and household responsibilities. If you seem to be on the same page, then let the apartment hunting begin! The process of touring apartments should flesh out any additional questions or concerns you may have about one another.
With a little luck and some guidance, you’ll soon be moving into your new place! Before you sign the lease, consider drawing up a roommate contract. This can be as formal or casual as you’d like, covering items such as splitting utilities, sharing groceries, respecting each others furniture, quiet hours and cleaning schedules. Remember that creating mutual respect and enjoyment is crucial, so be sure to uphold your end of the deal. Although we cannot guarantee roommate bliss, making the extra effort upfront to get to know someone and clearly outline expectations will lead to fewer surprises down the line.
At the end of the day, most roommates only stay together for a year or two. When the time comes to part ways, you’ll want to have a plan in place for that as well. Whether the split is amicable or not, decide upfront who will stay and who will go and what the process will look like. Until then, cheers to you and your happy home!
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