Moving into your first place? A great way to cut costs, make friends, and have fun in your apartment is finding a roommate to live with! Not only are roommates generally nice company to be around, but all of your standard monthly bills could cut in HALF! Think rent, utilities, cable, internet…the list goes on! Finding the right roommate can be a challenge, hence this advice on the absolute BEST way to find roommates!
You might think that your BFF will be your perfect roommate, but it’s not always a great idea to live with your very best friends. If you spend too much time with one or two people, it’s easy to start getting on each others’ nerves which can lead to tension both at home and in your social life. However, your friends hold the key to your new roommate situation…
Friends of friends make great roommates!
When you start looking for an apartment, ask around your friend group. Think about how your network of friends works. If you know 12 people really well, each of them probably also knows 12 people really well. That broadens your network significantly!! In your friends’ network, it’s likely they have friends or acquaintances who are also looking for a new place and are looking for roommates, just like you! Some of the best roommates I know met as “friends-of-friends.”
“Friends of friends” generally make great roommates because they:
- Are friends with your friends, meaning you probably have a thing or two in common
- Aren’t complete strangers
- Have an incentive to be a good roommate, since they don’t want to look like a jerk to your mutual friend
- Are easy to get information about before signing the lease — simply ask your mutual friend what they are like in different situations
But, how do you find them?
Work with your inner circle of friends and let them know your situation: that you’re in search of a new apartment and are looking for roommates to join. Then, start searching:
Use social media
Check your close friends’ Instagram and Facebook tags to start checking out their other friends. Not only can that help you get a feel for the people they hang out with away from you, but you may find a couple people that look like they’d make good roommates or friends for you. Then, ask your friends to ask around, whether in person or via a post on social media. By using them to ask their friends if they’re looking for a place, you broaden your circle quickly and easily.
Be specific with that you want, but not too narrow
Choosing roommates can be tricky, because many people are particular about the kinds of habits they want to see in a roommate. While it’s important to be selective when choosing a roommate, try not to be too picky. While some traits may be non-negotiable (you won’t live with a smoker, for instance), others should be (i.e. a neat person would be nice, but they don’t have to be a neat-freak). If you’re looking at friends of friends, it’s likely they have some good qualities already, so be open minded!
Meet them in advance
After getting hooked up by your circle of friends, meet up with potential roommates before signing a lease. And, try to do so without your mutual friend present. Whether it’s a quick coffee or a dinner, “interview” the person and get to know them before committing to living together. Sure, it may be awkward for the first few minutes, but if you’re a good match, it won’t be weird for long.
The best part about using friends to find roommates is that you don’t have to move in with a complete stranger, making most people feel both excited and safe. There is always the chance for drama when you mix mutual friends, but try to avoid sharing any conflicts with the friend who connected you both, keep communication open, and enjoy the ride!