Roommates: What You Need To Know & Where To Find ‘Em
Living with a roommate is a fun and affordable way to enjoy a great apartment home.
The appeal of roommate life is how there’s always someone around to keep you company and share in your interests, but what makes the arrangement even better is the reduced cost of living from splitting rent and utilities. You will learn a lot about yourself when you live with others, like how you manage bills, household responsibilities, personal space and respect for others.
However, not all roommate situations work out positively. What if you want to spend your Friday night with a couple good movies in bed while your roommate wants to throw a raging party? What if you came home to a sink full of dirty dishes and messy countertops? Does your roommate have bad habits? You could have avoided all of this if you knew more about your roommates ahead of time.
Since there’s no way of knowing what a person is like until you actually live with them, let’s take a look at the potential concerns you might have for your potential roommates:
- Introverted or extroverted? This question will potentially impact how often people might visit your living space, and how often your roommates will even be home. This could also be a good indicator on whether your roommate wants to establish a friendship.
CONSIDER THIS: Check personality-type variations when considering your living situation: if you’re the type to keep your home clean and quiet, an extroverted roommate who enjoys house parties might be a bad match while an extroverted person who enjoys outings may not be an issue at all. On the flip side, just as they say opposites attract in love, the same can be true for friendships – you may bring out the best in and learn from each other.
- Early bird or night owl? Early birds could mean alarms going off earlier than you’d like to hear them, but night owls could also mean noise when you’re trying rest for tomorrow.
CONSIDER THIS: You will be living with them for an entire year at minimum – a conflict here might be negligible at first but can become quite tiresome in the end. Try to match your circadian rhythm and schedules with your potential suitors.
- Obsessively clean or Sloppy Joe? Will they keep the apartment clean or will your apartment become a pigsty?
CONSIDER THIS: Don’t forget that roommates share almost everything in an apartment. A messy roommate will affect not only their own living space but the common areas as well – think cluttered countertops, food scraps on the floor and a toilet that always seems to be clogged.
- Passionate opinions? Passion can be found in a variation of topics, including sports, politics, beliefs and entertainment – try not to live with people who test your patience on certain topics.
CONSIDER THIS: If your roommate is open minded, this could lead to a diversity of opinions that could help all apartment members grow in your knowledge of new topics. However, try and manage a TV schedule early on – hardcore sports fans, videogame enthusiasts and Game of Thrones supporters all vying for a single television could mean trouble.
- Junior chef or local foodie? Picking the ideal roommate here would mean having someone to share recipes or your favorite restaurants with.
CONSIDER THIS: Take note of personality types. If they’re organized and tidy, having someone who cooks or always brings food home could be the least of your worries. However, untidy personality types could mean a sink of dirty dishes and a full garbage can.
- The extra roommate? You could be signing a lease with three names on it, but you might be living with more. Take note of relationships and be prepared to have that extra person over just as often as your actual apartment-mates.
CONSIDER THIS: Do your part to welcome everyone that visits your living space, including those that have an extended stay, but do not feel obligated to tolerate what that extra person may bring to the apartment. If your extended guest brings unmanageable apartment traffic, dirty dishes and a disruptive vibe, voice your opinions early on before it becomes a bigger problem.
- Man’s best friend? Those that are passionately fond of their faithful companions will more than likely let their pets roam indoors since apartments are not known to have expansive backyards or front porches.
CONSIDER THIS: What’s that smell? No, odors won’t just be emanating off of your pungent roommate at this point – they’ll be coming from their pets as well. Also, be prepared to see fur everywhere. If you can’t handle these changes to an apartment and you also can’t stop sneezing, you may want to reconsider this arrangement.
- “The monthly is how much!?” This should be the most important aspect to consider, but can sometimes the hardest to discuss. Nothing is worse than reaching rent day and finding out that your roommate has conveniently gone out of town and can’t access their bank account until the following week.
CONSIDER THIS: Establish a budget prior to signing your lease that everyone can comfortably afford, including not just rent but utilities and expenditures as well. The biggest point here is to make sure everyone is completely on board.
The next question of course is where to find these perfect candidates. Consider all possible options within your network. The following are common candidate options:
- Family members
- Childhood friends
- Extracurricular team members
- Work colleagues
If that doesn’t work however, consider the following alternative options:
- Extended network through friends/family
- Use Social Media sites like Facebook
- Websites with listings like Craiglist
Know of any other things to look out for when choosing roommates? Or maybe another social circle to grab a roommate from? Comment below and let others know.
Once you’ve found your perfect roommates, find the perfect apartment with our Apartment listings here!