Questions to ask when visiting prospective roommates

Hopefully the sample email regarding how to write potential roommates was helpful to ya’ll. Getting you in the door is a good start – but what to do once you’re there? Ah, grasshopper, I am so glad you asked.

Once you’re invited to the prospective apartment to meet the prospective roommates, I’d make a check list. What are questions you don’t want to forget? I have a memory the size of a grape, so I tend to write them down. Also, that way I can focus on taking in the space and the people without worrying about what I meant to ask. Questions I tend to ask are:

1) What is your daily schedule like? Do you tend to be in the apartment a lot during the week? (re: will our showering overlap? Will I have any apartment alone time?)
2) What do you do for fun around town?(re: maybe we have something in common!)
3) Why is the room open? (re: if a roommate leaves in the middle of a lease, it could be a red flag, though not necessarily).
4) What’s the landlord like? (re: are they helpful? Do they raise rent often?!)
5) What do you think of the neighborhood? Is it safe?
6) Are there any bug issues? (re: ask this one nicely and cross your fingers for an honest response)
7) Is heat included?
8) Is it possible to have an AC in the summer?
9) Do you tend to cook a lot? (re: dirty dish alert!)
10) Do you have a significant other and, if so, does he/she tend to stay over often?

And, of course, they’ll be asking you a lot of questions too. Do be honest – when they ask if you have pets, no matter how much you love the place, you can’t hide that kitty cat forever and so on. I’m trying to think of how else to advise you on making a good impression, but we’re all adults here and I’m guessing you can hold your own.

In my experience, it’s good to view all sorts of places in your price range – see what’s out there and see what you COULD be getting ( ie. I COULD have had a lovely trapezoidal-shaped room). Also, it will make the apartment you ultimately take seem, well, luxurious by comparison.

If you think that a place will be THE ONE, I will tell you my super secret strategy: bring them cookies. Seriously. From a bakery. It’s thoughtful and nice without being too much of a bribe. It just shows that you’re considerate and perhaps promises what is to come should they choose to live with you. So far, it’s had great effect for yours truly.

** While there, if you love the place, offer to leave a security deposit. Good housing goes fast!
** If they mention that they’ll be seeing people for the next few days, thank them when you leave but also send an email expressing your firm interest.

If you have any questions about the above, do ask and I’ll be sure to answer!

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

Posted by

I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at GolinHarris, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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