Ready to move in with a new roommate? Finding a roommate who matches the qualities you’re looking for can be challenging. Typically, you have a limited amount of time to try and get to know someone, and, in the worst cases, you don’t find out about your biggest differences until it’s far too late. While not
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Ready to move in with a new roommate? Finding a roommate who matches the qualities you’re looking for can be challenging. Typically, you have a limited amount of time to try and get to know someone, and, in the worst cases, you don’t find out about your biggest differences until it’s far too late.
While not all roommates become best friends, it’s important to find out if you have a few things in common. Focusing on these core tendencies will help you better understand the person you’re about to move in with, and will create a solid foundation for a great roommate relationship. To find a good roommate, you should keep a few key things in mind.
Know what you want in a roommate
Before starting your search, it’s important to spend some time thinking about the qualities you value most in a roommate. Performing this process will help you weed out people who aren’t ideal and make room for finding someone great. Here are a few qualities to keep in mind:
Reliability: Can you count on them to pay rent on time?Cleanliness: How do they handle dishes, laundry, and general tidiness?Quietness: Do they like to party, or are they more low-key?Consideration: Do they respect your personal space and belongings?Socializing: Would you enjoy spending time with them outside of living together?Similar interests: Do you have any hobbies or interests in common?Similar schedules: Do you both work or go to school during the day?Shared values: Do you have similar views on important issues like finances, religion, and politics?
The more you can narrow down your list of must-haves, the easier it’ll be to find a good roommate.
What to look for in a roommate
Once you’ve started your search, knowing what to look for in a potential roommate is important. Being aligned with your roommate on basic living habits will help foster a good roommate relationship. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you go to bed at a reasonable hour, but your future roommate likes to stay up and watch TV in the living room or blast music in their room until the wee hours, you might find yourself putting in earplugs every night. Avoid the tension and communicate beforehand. It’s best to be upfront about your sleeping needs and habits, and it’s just as important to ask your future roommate about theirs. Even if you both differ on sleeping habits, talking about it before moving in together might help you find a balance between your preferences.
Does your future roommate have a steady job? Are they planning on changing careers anytime soon? A good roommate will be financially stable and able to pay their part of the rent on time each month. It’s not your responsibility to awkwardly confront them each month to gather their portion. If the two of you divide the utilities, they always pay those in a timely fashion as well. Work out beforehand who will be in charge of getting the bill paid so it’s not a monthly conversation. If there is a change in their financial situation, a good roommate will let you know immediately and won’t leave you hanging. Financial stability is a key factor in choosing a roommate, so be sure to consider it when choosing a roommate.
Ideally, if you’re a non-smoker, they don’t smoke either. If you smoke, your roommate is right there with you. At the very least, even if they do smoke and you don’t, they always do so outside and try to create the most smoke-free and odor-free environment as possible. If you’re a non-smoker, smoking can be a deal breaker, so don’t overlook this factor when looking for a good roommate.
Sure, it’s an amazing gift if you and your roommate get along perfectly, but it’s also important to have separate, balanced lives. For example, if you work together and live together, you should try to branch out and spend time with different friends, as well. Even if you don’t work together, being roommates means you’ll be spending a lot of time together regardless. It’s best to find out how much of a friendship your future roommate is looking for, and if it doesn’t match your wants and needs, it might not be a great fit.
Cleanliness and decorating
Everyone’s definition of clean varies. Do you leave your shoes in the hallway but can’t stand a sink piled high with dirty dishes? How often do you sweep the kitchen or scrub the shower down? When living together, you should both agree on a level of cleanliness. This is particularly true in common areas such as the living room and kitchen. Instead of being passive or shy about what your expectations will be, set the bar from the very beginning. Agree to always leave the sink cleared out or to fold up the blankets after that Netflix binge. Stick to that agreement, and you’ll have roommate bliss in no time.
Decorating is half the fun of moving into a new place. Remember that everyone’s design taste differ, and decorating together might mean compromising a little. It will be worth it once your space finally feels like home sweet home.
Good communication is the most important component of any relationship. It’s important that you and your roommate can openly talk—both about the positives and the negatives. From the onset, you and your roommate should communicate your stances on having visitors, financial obligations, keeping the house neat, pets, smoking, and other important issues. Establishing these rules at the beginning of the roommate relationship gives you a good foundation. If later on down the road someone fails to stick to these rules, you can gently remind them of your original agreement.
A good roommate will be kind and generous. They won’t mind if you use their shampoo because you forgot to pick some up at the store and they’ll let you borrow some of their Sriracha when yours runs out. They will also split the cost of things like paper towels, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper so that you aren’t the only one buying them.
Ways to find your ideal roommate
Use your network
One of the best ways to find a good roommate is through someone you already know and trust, like a friend, family member, or co-worker. If you don’t have anyone in your immediate network who fits the bill, ask around to see if anyone knows of someone who might be a good match.
Another great way to find a potential roommate is through mutual friends. If you have friends in common, there’s a good chance you have similar interests, which can make living together more enjoyable.
Broaden your search
If you’re unsuccessful in finding a good roommate through mutual connections, broaden your search. You might consider posting a flyer in a local coffee shop you frequent, or taking advantage of roommate finder apps. Social media is also a great way to get the word out and one of your mutual friends could have the perfect roommate in mind. Be cautious of sharing any personal information on public forums and always meet in person with a potential roommate to make sure you are compatible.
Tips for being a good roommate
Being a good roommate is a two way street. Your potential roommate will want to know that you are a good fit for them as well. It’s also important to be a good roommate in order to have a good roommate relationship. Here are a few tips on how to be the best roommate:
Keep common areas clean and tidyRespect your roommate’s sleep schedule and noise level preferencesBe considerate of your roommate’s personal space and belongingsKeep the common areas clean and tidyCommunicate openly and honestly with your roommate about any issues or concernsBe willing to compromise and work together to find solutions that work for both of you
Following these tips will help you learn how to be a good roommate in an apartment and create a harmonious living situation.
Having a good roommate can make living together fun, but finding the perfect roommate can be tricky. Once you find your ideal apartment, a good roommate to share it with is the next priority. Keep these things in mind, and you’ll be happy with your roommate choice down the line.