All of us (those who have graduated) would surely have few thrilling stories to share on how exciting, loving, creepy or caring our roommates were back in college. We are sure that everyone would agree that time spent with roommates was no less than a roller coaster ride.
But this roller coaster ride can quickly become a nightmare if one gets stuck with a wrong roommate. However if you find the right one, you increase your chances of gaining a lifelong friend.
Though there is no scientific process of landing a perfect roommate (just like a perfect soul mate), here are some tips that will come handy when you are hunting for one.
Know What You Want to Know
You can’t expect to find the perfect roommate if you have not even figured out what qualities you would wish to see in your mate.
For some people, a perfect roommate might be someone who is not so loud, overexcited or a mess altogether. For others, it might be someone who enjoys being a part of wild parties, night outs and late night walks across the city. Thus, predetermine all the qualities you are looking for in your roommate. Penning down all these qualities on paper can help you sort must-haves from nice-to-haves to no-ways.
Once you are clear about what are you looking for in your roommate, it’s time to actually get down to hunt for one.
Have you Checked Online?
The Internet is one better place to start with your search for a worthy roommate. Websites like Roomster, OzFlatmates, Craigslist or Roomlala can help you find the perfect roommate in no time. These websites allow you to build a profile or post an ad seeking out for a roommate you can be compatible with. A bit too romantic I guess.
Craigslist is one of the biggest and most commonly used site to find a roomie. While other sites may charge you for posting an ad, Craigslist does it for free. It is a great means to reach a wider audience while relaxing on a beanbag.
I see you!
People are not always what they pretend to be. Some people present themselves very differently on Internet than they are in actual lives therefore it’s always a good idea to meet in person.
The Internet gives you an opportunity to interact with an enormous audience but not everyone can be trusted. Thus, whenever you get some spare time, arrange a meeting with the potential roommate in a safe public location, like a coffee shop or mall. Moreover, if the person is coming out to check the apartment then make sure you have another trustworthy person by your side.
Having a list of questions ready can help you understand a lot about the other person and will help you in making the right choice. Questions about employment status, habits or needs will give you a better insight into what the person is like.
Let’s talk money baby!
Talking about money could be uncomfortable for many but it can’t be ignored. Be clear in both your advertising and personal interaction with the potential roommate about the expected financial commitments.
Questions like “What costs will be shared (which might include every bill or food cost), or how and when will payment take place” – must be decided beforehand. Writing these expectations into the lease adds another layer of protection. Moreover, the other person will also get an idea of what he or she will have to pay once they decide to move in.
Find someone who can contribute
The contribution is not limited to paying rents and bills at the end of each month but goes much beyond that. You want a roommate who will pitch in with household chores or else you will feel you are doing more than your fair share.
The same goes for paying rent and bills. Make sure that your potential roommate has a stable source of income.
It may feel intrusive, but it is important to ask the potential roommate to provide information about how much they earn so that you can get an idea on whether they would be able to pay his or her share at the end of the month.
Investigate even if you are 100% sure
Even if a person seems perfect on paper, it is a better idea to get a background check before inviting him to be your roommate. This might seem a bit cold, but the fact is unless you have known someone for a while, his/her history can be quite iffy.
Checking out the potential roommate’s social networks can also help you get a better sense of what he or she is really like.
What are the most important qualities you want in your roommate? Have you ever had a terrible experience that convinced you to pay closer attention to the person you live with? Share your stories with us in the comment section below.