Roommates present residents with a number of excellent benefits when compared to living alone. Roommates save you money when it comes to rent and utilities, help divvy up the cleaning tasks, share in supplying furniture for your apartment, and present you with some socializing and company. However, finding a roommate is not always the easiest endeavor.
Whether you’ve recently relocated to a new area or are looking to replace a roommate in your current apartment, finding the perfect roommate can be a chore. If you and your roommate are not compatible, some of the benefits of having a roommate can quickly fade away and your living situation can get chaotic in a hurry.
Here are some helpful tips to finding the perfect roommate to share an apartment with.
Create a Roommate Candidate Profile
In the same way a teacher makes a scoring rubric before they grade a final exam, you should create a roommate candidate profile to use for your evaluation of roommates. And, it should be the first thing you do in your roommate search.
Before advertising your desire for a roommate and before you meet and feel out potential candidates, you’re going to want to make sure you know what you’re looking for. The type of roommate you’re interested in is a question that only you can answer, as every person is unique in their own way. Grab a pen and paper and quickly write out five traits you’d love for your roommate to have, and three traits you consider to be deal breakers.
Here’s a hypothetical example:
- Works regular business hours
- Dog friendly
- Similar in age
- Very Social
- In a serious romantic relationship
Some things that you see as desired traits may be deemed as undesired traits by someone else. While certain residents would love to have a social night owl as a roommate, others would find it negatively affecting their schedule.
The key to creating a strong profile that will guide your search is to be as honest and forthcoming as you can, so you don’t end up with a surprise down the line. A good way to score your potential roommate candidates is to have them take a quick survey that asks questions related to your desired and undesired traits.
Create a Detailed Posting
More than likely you’re going to draft a posting to advertise your interest in finding a roommate. To make sure you only get contacted by candidates that are potential fits, you’ll want to make your posting detailed and specific. With your candidate profile in mind, illustrate an outline of the type of roommate you’re looking for. An efficient way to highlight the type of roommate you’re looking for is to describe some roommate traits about yourself. Finding the perfect roommate is a two-way street, and if you possess some traits that qualify as undesired traits for someone else, you’ll want to call it out right away so you don’t waste one another’s time.
Example of some things to disclose about yourself include:
- Typical sleep schedule
- Work schedule
- Frequency that you entertain guests in the apartment
- Your cleanliness
- Dietary restrictions/allergies
- Pet allergies
- Overview of utilities
If you already have the apartment selected and are looking for a roommate to occupy a spare room, make sure you provide a detailed description of the unit. Uploading a few pictures of the common areas of the apartment and the bedroom you’re looking to fill can go a long way in making your apartment appealing to potential roommates.
It’s also a good idea to be forthright with your financial expectations. If your goal is to split the apartment and utility costs down the middle, say so. Candidates who see your posting should have a good idea of how much the financial commitment will be before they contact you to express interest.
Don’t Limit Your Search
To find the perfect roommate, you’re going to want to be able to consider a number of candidates. And to get a healthy pool of candidates, you’re going to want to cast a wide search. Avenues to take when expanding your search include:
- Advertise your desire for a roommate on an online board or social media.
- Pass the word along to your friends and family to see if they may know someone.
- Post your ad on your community board at work or at school.
- Explore roommate matching services online.
Utilizing your existing network of friends, family, and coworkers in your search for your roommate is a great way to find qualified candidates. Especially a friend of a friend. A friend of a friend is a great candidate because they’re already vouched for by someone you know, trust and admire. Plus, the fact that you share a friend in common implies that you may have traits in common, which increases the chances that you and this candidate get along.
If your online posting isn’t drumming up quality candidates, and your existing network is dry on potential roommates, using a roommate finding service is a great idea. These services are like dating services, except instead of pairing two people who share romantic traits, they instead pair two people who show compatible living traits.
There are a number of roommate pairing services out there, and most work in similar ways. You take an extensive questionnaire that reveals the type of roommate you desire, and then you’re paired with potential candidates. Most of these services cost money, so it’s best to try and find candidates on your own before coughing up some cash to have someone do it for you.
Inform Your Property Manager
Lastly, make sure you keep your Property Manager in the loop about your roommate plans - each community treats the roommate process differently but virtually all will require that you disclose information about roommates and that any new roommate who is being added to the lease go through the community’s background check process to ensure they qualify for residence.
Find the Perfect Apartment at Elevate Living
Once you have found the perfect roommate, it’s time for you to find the perfect apartment to share with them. At Elevate Living we make the apartment-hunting process as easy as possible. Take a peek at some of our current apartment listings, and contact us when you’re ready to start your apartment search.