The roommate search, oh my! Trying to find a roommate who does the dishes every night and puts them away, respects your belongings, agrees with you on temperature and pays their share of the bills on time is no easy endeavor. Finding a roommate who vacuums, cleans up without being asked and someone who is just generally pleasant to be around would be ideal.
Is there such thing as The Perfect Roommate? Of course not! We all have roommate search horror stories, whether it involves that guy who hogged the television all day and well into the night and always paid his share of the bills a week late, to the gal whose pet beagle howled any time she was away. The thing with a roommate search is that all too often, you don’t really know what you’re going to get — and realizing that you got a bad roommate is no fun. Maybe you were in a hurry to find a roommate, or maybe you just didn’t know what to look out for. Whatever happened, one thing’s for sure: There are a few things you can do that will help you with your roommate search.
- First, you need to be honest about who you are. Are you a slob? Do you get upset when there is even one dirty dish in the sink? Do you love to have lots of people over all the time? If you don’t like to clean and are always having people over, it’s not very fair to search for a roommate who likes things clean and wants the apartment to be quiet and private.
- Meet up with potential roommates to talk. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable meeting them at your home, meet at a coffee shop or another public place where you can sit down and have a conversation.
- Find out what their schedule is like. If they have a night job and sleep during the day, and you have a 9-to-5, that could potentially cause a conflict.
- What are their hobbies?
- Do you want to include pet owners in your roommate search?
- Do they drink, smoke or do drugs?
- Discuss the things that typically wind up becoming problems when they’re not first addressed: how chores will be handled, how things like kitchen utensils and food will be shared, what’s okay and not okay when it comes to having guests over, thermostat settings, out-of-town guests, when bills need to be paid and so on.
These are just a few ideas to help you get a good roommate search going. If you meet with a potential roommate and you get the feeling the two of you wouldn’t be the best match, don’t be afraid to politely tell them that. It’ll sure save you a lot of roommate frustration in the long run.