What Makes a Good Roommate?

Living with someone is a huge commitment; you have to share space, interact and deal with finances together. Sometimes you are thrown into a situation where you don’t have a choice of who you live with, but for when you do have a choice, you may be wondering – what makes a good roommate?

Good Roommate:

Is Open About Deal-Breakers

Before anyone signs their name to the lease, make sure you and your roommates do not disagree over deal-breakers. It may be about smoking vs. non-smoking policy, pets, budget, parties/gatherings, major allergies, or significant others that with always be over. It may seem like your potential new roommate is oversharing, but it’s actually a sign of  positive communication that will prevent future problems.

Is Able to Talk About Money

If you cannot openly talk about finances with your roommate, you may need to reconsider. Especially in situations with subletting, finances can loom large, like “who owes whom?” Creating an atmosphere for frank dialogue early on stops any resentments from festering.

Shares Common Goals

It is always great to live with people who share similar, large-scale goals. Common life stages — being students, early career, or interim apartment until you buy a property, etc. —  can keep you on similar timelines so everyone can agree on lease duration, location & daily schedules.

Is Trustworthy

Part of living with someone is knowing they will be there to see you at your best, worst, and messiest. They will also be living inches from you and will share countless things with you. With all of this in mind, you definitely want to make sure you find someone who you feel comfortable with. I would go even as far as to say a good roommate is someone you should be able & willing to rely on during an emergency.

Is Different from You! 

While it’s great to have things in common, having differences is the best part of roommates. Each person brings a different energy to the apartment and allows for the other roommates to gain new perspectives. The more you spend time together, the more each of you can learn & grow from one another.

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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