How To Find the Right Roommate

Due to the steep cost of living in the United States, a growing number of young adults are living in rental situations rather than purchasing a home.

Due to the steep cost of living in the United States, a growing number of young adults are living in rental situations rather than purchasing a home. However, in many cases, even renting may be financially out of reach for a single individual. One of the best ways to offset rental costs is to share your space with a roommate, but if the idea of looking for a stranger to live with in a new city seems a little scary to you, you are not alone. Here are a few tips to simplify the process and help you find a trustworthy roommate that you actually get along with.

Tell Them Who You Are

There are many online resources available for matching roommates with one another. Whether you use an app, a website, or word of mouth, it is important to be transparent about who you are and what you are looking for in a roommate. When promoting yourself and speaking with potential roommates, honesty is the best policy. If you like things to stay clean, state that upfront. If you would like to invite visitors to stay at the apartment often, make sure you are clear about it. In the end, being forthright about your living style and expectations will save yourself and others time by making unsuitable matches readily apparent.

Meet Up

Signing a contract with a new roommate is a big step, so ideally, you should make a list of several reasonable candidates to consider. Before committing to a living situation with someone, it is best to arrange a time to meet in person. Meet with everyone on your list, and meet multiple times, if possible. This provides several opportunities to discuss lifestyle, work schedules, hygiene habits, and more. You can also ask about the candidate’s background and career. Do not feel that it is overly invasive to discuss jobs or income. When undertaking a shared living situation, you will want someone with a stable job and a sufficient income to help with rent costs.

Background Check & References

Completing a background check is one of the most important steps for ensuring your safety and obtaining accurate information on your roommate’s history. Websites like are an easy and affordable resource for obtaining reliable information on people. uses public records to compile a profile on an individual. You can find criminal records, civil records, liens, bankruptcies, and more.

Additionally, references are extremely helpful in vetting roommate candidates. Ask for a list of references that includes previous landlords and roommates. Speaking with references and running an online background check are two of the best ways to find out if a potential roommate is being honest about his or her character and financial situation.

Work Out the Logistics

A final step before moving in with a new roommate is figuring out the details. How will rent and utilities be split? Is household food shared or purchased separately? What furnishings will each person contribute? Make a list of questions, and figure out answers before you sign the lease.

Moving in with a roommate does not have to be a daunting process. If you utilize available resources, ask the right questions, and take your time with the search, you may find not only a great roommate but a great friend as well.  

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