In any shared apartment, finding a great roomie is crucial! Getting along with your roommate… or at least, not despising them… can make your apartment experience amazing! But, how do you know a great roomie when you find one? Or better yet, how do you know a bad roomie before you move in with them!? You’re in luck – here are 5 qualities to look for in a great roommate.
Dependability is one of the most important qualities of a great roommate and one of the easiest to figure out quickly. Are they responsive to your calls or texts? Do they attend apartment showings on time or are they late? Do they appear organized and mature?
Being dependable is a big part of being a great roomie. You’ll be on a “team” of sorts with your roommate – to pay bills on time, keep the apartment tidy, and follow any rules from your landlord. Keep a close eye on their behaviors during the apartment hunt, or even in informal roommate “interviews” you may be hosting.
Sense of humor
Depending on your own personality, find someone who has a good sense of humor! There are bound to be mistakes that happen in your first apartment – like not realizing the landlord only accepts money orders for rent when it’s due today, like my sister did – and you’ll want to live with someone who can take life in stride.
Friendly & polite
Don’t underestimate the importance of a friendly and polite roomie! Watch how they treat others, like the apartment leasing agent or landlord, or your server when you meet up for an introductory lunch. Someone who is rude to strangers may not always be polite or nice to you… or polite enough to follow a chores schedule.
Watch this behavior closely to determine if you could see yourself living with this person. They don’t need to be “Miss Congeniality” to everyone, but should be mature enough to be polite!
Your “kind” of person
Now, your roommate does not need to be your new best friend in the world. But, they should share similar values to you at the minimum – being your “type” of person. Listen to your gut in initial conversations – is this someone who you could get along with? are they different enough to challenge you, but similar enough to enjoy each other? You’ll be able to tell right away if a potential roommate is your “kind” of person or not.
**ALERT**, this last one is critical! It’s one thing to move in with someone you get along GREAT with, but when the rubber hits the road, you need your roommate to be financially stable and responsible. Most times, your lease will have both of your names on it, and the landlord won’t care who pays what – meaning both of you are on the hook for the full monthly rent of the apartment. If they don’t pay because they lost their job or forgot or didn’t budget well, you could be penalized.
When meeting potential roommates, ask them about financial stability – how long they’ve been working, if they’re in a permanent job, if they have a standard set of hours worked each week – to learn more.
Now, get roomie hunting… and good luck!