Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Find the Perfect Roommate

As the cost of living continues to rise, more and more single people are opting for roommates and housemates to make renting more manageable.  Not only do roommates allow you to find a more spacious and amenity-rich apartment, by sharing out the costs, they also provide you with someone to share your space and time.  However, selecting the wrong roommate can be a real nightmare.  Here are some tips to help you ensure that you make the right pick when you sign your next lease.

Know What You Want

The first tip to finding an awesome roommate is determining what sort of living arrangement best suits your needs.  Do you require a more formal agreement governed by clear guidelines and house rules? Or, are you looking for a looser, and more social and shared living arrangement?  Remember, this goes both ways, so be honest as you figure this out.  Your tuba practicing, messy bathroom habits, or slightly obnoxious friend who drops by a little too often, are all things to consider in establishing your own best-case roommate scenario.

Proceed with Clarity (and Caution)

Once you know what kind of living situation you require, you need to be sure that you ask the right questions to prospective roommates.  Be sure to ask: what their work situation is, what their credit situation is, what their social life is like, what their thoughts on overnight guests are, what their standards for cleanliness are, what their cooking and kitchen habits are, and what their TV and music habits are. These questions might seem overly personal, and might be difficult to ask, but a good, frank conversation ahead of time can save you both a lot of headaches down the road.

Read Between the Lines

After you verify that your prospective roommate’s expectations are in sync with yours, you need to make sure they are telling the truth!  Sometimes people cannot own up to their own shortcomings, so you need to be a bit ruthless in vetting them.  Did they drop any stories about leaving a job, friend, or old roommate in the lurch?  Did they mention any strained relationships, or any issues from their past that might come back to haunt you?  In spite of what they say, do they seem as if they are always out partying, or generally messy?  Crosscheck what they have told you, and listen to your gut.

Finding a great roommate demands honesty, clarity, and scrutiny.  It is great if you can ultimately become friends, but that can only happen after you’ve established a mutually beneficial living arrangement.

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