It’s common for Millennials and Gen Z renters to live with roommates—and for good reason! Dividing living expenses among cohabiting friends, family, or significant others allows you to improve your living situation without breaking your budget.
Roommates can boost your application approval odds and combined gross income, opening opportunities to pursue safer, higher-end properties with more community perks. So how do you find a roommate that suits you?
Check out our top 7 tips on how to find a roommate!
Figure out Your Preferences
Variety is the spice of life until you realize that your spice level prefers quiet alone time while your roommate’s is more extroverted. Oh no—is this freshman year of college all over again?
With proper preparation, it doesn’t have to be!
Before you start your roommate search, it’s essential to understand your preferences. What are your must-haves in a roommate? Some things to consider:
- Do you need someone clean and tidy?
- Would you prefer a social and outgoing roommate or someone more introverted?
- Will either of you have frequent guests or host gatherings?
- When are the quiet hours?
- Will either of you work from home?
- Do either of you have pets or allergies?
After making a list of wants, needs, and deal-breakers, you can narrow down potential roommates who align with your lifestyle.
Reach Out to Friends, Family, or Co-Workers
If you’re uncomfortable with living with a stranger, take advantage of your existing network, such as your friends, family, or co-workers, to find roommates. It’s easier to build trust in a positive pre-existing relationship.
Having said that, living with your best friend can come with challenges. We recommend expanding your network to find friends of friends or connect with people that you’ve lived with before.
Use Social Media and Other Online Channels
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Nextdoor are great places to find a roommate. But you might have better luck using an app dedicated to roommate searches. These apps include various features and security measures to help you stay safe and vet candidates.
Some of our favorites include:
- Roomi – Roomi collects responses for their roommate questionnaire to find a roommate that matches your interests. All interactions can be done on the app to keep your personal contact information private.
- RoomEasy – Similar to dating apps like Tinder, RoomEasy requires you and a potential roommate to “like” each other to match. Connecting Facebook also allows you to see if you have mutual friends.
- Cirtru – Take virtual tours to view a potential roommate’s apartment space before moving in! Citru is a safer option that can also cut back on commute time.
Spend Some Time With Potential Roommates
Don’t rush into decisions! Take the time to interview several potential roommates to get to know them better. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee, going for a walk, or chatting over the phone, you need to talk through your concerns in your preference list to find a roommate.
Some red flags to look out for:
- They aren’t financially stable.
- They have notably different cleanliness standards.
- They left their previous apartments due to roommate disputes.
- They have disruptive hobbies or preferences.
Remember, you’ll be entering into a lease together, so make sure you feel comfortable with your decision.
Figure Out Your Finances
Sharing an apartment typically means splitting the rent and expenses. Before moving in together, it’s best to have a clear understanding of what you can afford with your new roommate(s). Establish a budget that accommodates both of your financial situations or reach a clear understanding of who is responsible for what.
If you need more help on figuring out the right budget, check out our guide!
Set Ground Rules and Expectations
Once you’ve found a roommate that you’re compatible with, it’s crucial to set ground rules before moving in together. Discuss details like:
- the move-in date
- furnishing the apartment
- shared expenses
- guest policies
- noise levels
Setting clear expectations will help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts down the road.
Prepare to Be Flexible
Finally, remember that finding a roommate isn’t like ordering off of a menu. It’s about identifying what you need to create a positive environment and understanding that others may have different expectations and preferences. Being communicative and willing to compromise in some areas can help you maintain a healthy living situation.
After you’ve found the perfect roommate and set the ground rules, make sure to check out our apartment renting tips to ensure a smooth transition into your new home!
Curious about how good apartment living can be? Schedule a tour with our leasing office to explore Doud Apartment Homes’ available floor plans!