Renting can be expensive, and purchasing a property can be even more costly. Some would only live alone if it were possible, and others can’t handle it emotionally. Some find living alone to be lonely, yet for others, living with roommates can be stressful. That said, you can make your roomie experience a good one by choosing your roommate properly. Here’s how to choose a roommate.
Think about your preferences
So you have to find a roommate for whatever reason. Do some preparation beforehand. Imagine what kind of person you’d like to have as a roommate. Would you prefer to make a new friend with a shared interest or career goal and a similar temperament or personality? Would you like a hands-off dynamic between you and potential roommates with extra privacy?
These questions apply when you’re considering total strangers for roommates. At other times, a friend can be a candidate for your new roommate. Ask yourself, and be honest about what kind of roommate you are. If you’re a clean freak, it’s best to live among your own kind and share a space when everyone is cooperative and chill.
Think about what you don’t want in a roommate to prepare you for the kinds of questions you’ll ask your potential roommates. If you don’t like loud music, ask how loud the prospective roommate likes to play their music in the evening. Not a big fan of smoking or drinking? Be sure to find out if there are any drinkers or smokers in the group.
Know what you’re going to tell people ahead of time. Write out a paragraph or two explaining your current living situation to copy-paste into texts or emails, but customize it a bit every time so you don’t come off like a robot.
In your texts, you should let potential roommates know the upfront cost per month of rent, possible pet fees, and utility payments. If your landlord has enlisted you as a go-between, be sure to let your potential roommate know about any forthcoming credit checks or serious paperwork ahead of time.
If you’re in charge and setting these terms yourself, be concise and professional. Doing so may increase your chances of finding an amicable, friendly roommate who can reliably pay their bills on time. Be sure to prepare the space for someone to move in so that, when you meet people who are into the apartment, they can imagine their own belongings in there.
Interview your candidates
After you know what you want from your roommate situation, round up your potential roommates for interviews. If they have to submit any paperwork in person, that’s the perfect opportunity to grab lunch or a quick snack with the candidate in question. You don’t have to be mean or suspicious, but do play detective a bit and get to know the roommate. Do they seem like a good fit for you personality-wise while able to uphold their adult responsibilities?
Ask the roommate candidate about their career path and work schedule. Their answers can give you insight into their passions and personality. Do you have similar interests, hobbies, or tastes? What about similar personalities or senses of humor? Ask them about their cleaning habits and privately assess their style of dress and hygiene. You want to choose someone who fits in smoothly with what you’ve already got going on.