By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com
Storage.com is your number one ally when moving to a new home. We’re here to provide you with useful moving tips and hacks, or additional storage whenever necessary.
When moving to a new city, one of your most challenging tasks is to not only find a suitable place to live, but also find a suitable roommate to live with. Ideally, you’ll want to find a new roommate quickly, but you also want to ensure that you and this person will be able to live together easily. What happens if you complete your move, only to discover your new roommate is allergic to your cat? Will you have any mutual interests? Can you be sure they’ll turn in their share of the rent on time? How can you find out before you sign the lease?
Of course, you can never be completely certain until you meet the person and get to know them, but there are many tools and strategies you can use to make the process of finding a quality roommate easier. Here are a few tips and websites to help you find a roommate you’ll be happy with!
ARE THERE ANY WEBSITES OR APPS TO HELP ME FIND A ROOMMATE?
Since we are living in fast-paced digital age, there are a wide variety of websites and apps to help you find an ideal roommate. Many people use Craigslist to put out ads for roommates, and while this is usually effective, you also run the risk of being scammed by an ad that may not be 100% truthful. Here are some key websites and apps which can help you bypass any potential problems.
- uroomsurf.com: This website is geared toward college students, many of whom are taking a crash course in living away from home. Users take surveys to find potential matches based on similar interests and habits and the matches can correspond. If they hit it off, the students can then submit a request to be paired together during college.
- Roomiematch.com: Roomiematch.com goes the extra mile to weed out spammers and poor tenants. Users fill out behavioral tests and their IP addresses are tracked to ensure anyone placing an ad is located where they claim to be. This site also features human moderators to seek out and eliminate scams. Anyone caught spamming is promptly removed from the listing.
- Roomster: This website and its Facebook app allows users to write profiles about themselves to make the process of finding an ideal roommate easier. You can even search for individuals who have the same personal interests and hobbies as you do.
- Easyroommate.com: The moderators of Easyroommate.com helps those who have a room to rent and those who are in need of a place to say. You will be able to create a detailed user profile so prospective roommates can get in touch with you easily. The moderators of this website also manually validate each room listed and offer a 24/7 customer service line.
HOW CAN SOCIAL MEDIA HELP ME FIND A ROOMMATE?
Nowadays, finding information about available apartments and potential roommates is only a few clicks away. Depending on where you are moving to, you can usually find an online group or message board on social outlets, such as Facebook, where you can find useful information or someone who is looking for the same type of living arrangement you are.
Even if you don’t find a candidate through a social media message board right away, you can still use your account to continue your search by posting what you are looking for on your own personal newsfeed. Chances are a member of your family or one of your friends will know of someone who may also be looking to move and can make introductions.
WHAT SHOULD I DISCUSS WITH A POTENTIAL ROOMMATE BEFORE I SIGN THE LEASE?
It is important to prepare a list of topics to discuss with potential roommates before you meet them, regardless of whether you’re connecting online or in person. If you can discuss and answer these questions up front with each other, you can avoid potential disputes in the future.
Communicating Personality Traits and Personal Beliefs:
- Does this potential roommate live an introverted or a social lifestyle?
- Are you active and on the go or are you more of a homebody?
- What time do you like to go to sleep?
- Do you object to having company over on a regular basis, or are you all for it?
- Do you have strong, personal beliefs about certain topics? Ex: Are you a vegetarian?
Identifying Pet Peeves and Deal Breakers:
- Are you a smoker or non-smoker?
- Do you like pets?
- Do you have any animal or food allergies?
- How will you divide cleaning common living areas?
Communicate on Furniture and Other Shared Items:
- What furniture will you be bringing with you?
- Are either of you bringing any specific items that can be shared such as a coffee maker, plates, cups, silverware, etc.?
- Are either of you bringing cleaning equipment such a vacuum cleaner?
Understanding Work Schedules:
- Where do you work?
- Do you work full-time or part-time?
- Is your schedule consistent or irregular?
Finding a Convenient Location For Both of You:
- How far is your commute to and from work or school?
- How far away are the grocery stores?
- How far away are the nightclubs, bars, movie theaters, and other places of interest?
Communicate on Mutual Finances:
- How should we divide utilities that are not covered by our rent?
- How should we divide entertainment bills such as cable/satellite T.V. and internet?
- Do you want to share groceries or buy them separately?
WHAT ARE RED FLAGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR A ROOMMATE?
The goal in finding the ideal roommate is picking out a candidate who you will be comfortable living with, especially if it is a long-term arrangement such as a 12 month lease. In addition to pet peeves and personality traits, you should also be aware of these potential red flags.
- Criminal Background: This might be a tough and personal question to ask, but it is important to find out if your potential roommate has a criminal history. It is better to find out before you sign the lease in the event it is a deal breaker. Consider asking your prospective landlord if they run a background check on their tenants. If they do, this can also put your mind at ease.
- Pay Attention to Ads: Pay close attention when you’re reading “Roommate Wanted” ads. In addition to details about the room and the roommate, take note on the quality of the ad itself. If the ad is ridden with grammar and spelling errors, it’s probably by someone who simply wants to fill an empty room and avoid higher rent. Someone who doesn’t take care in wording their ad probably doesn’t care who they live with.
- Bad References: Ask your potential roommate if they have any references who can attest to their renting history. Good references include past roommates and landlords. By doing this, you will know you are signing a lease with someone who is reliable and trustworthy.
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Did we leave out any useful tips or tools? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
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