How to Find a Roommate - 7 Tips
Finding a compatible roommate to share an apartment is far more challenging than it seems. Whether you’re moving to a new city or your current roommate is moving out, searching for a housemate can be difficult and stressful.
There are many benefits to having a roommate. In today’s economy, it’s very common to live in shared spaces for long periods of time. Rent prices are soaring, and not many renters can afford a place on their own, especially in big cities.
Simply put, finding a new roommate is the cost-efficient decision. Cutting your rent and utility expenses in half (or into more fractions, if you have more than one roommate) will have your wallet thanking you. All the while, you can still live in your desired location and pursue your life and career goals. Who knows, your roommate just might turn into a lifelong friend. However, if you’re on the fence, weigh the pros and cons of having a roommate first.
If you have no idea how to find a roommate, we've got you covered. Here are 7 ways to find a roommate.
1. Revisit Your Contact List
Nowadays, we don’t need to keep manual lists of names and phone numbers. Our smartphones keep track of all of the people we get in touch with. So, why not take advantage of that?
Before outsourcing the roommate search, see if there are any names that jump out to you. Checking-in with a friend who is moving out soon or who have recently started a new position is a great way to transition into asking whether they’re interested in being roommates.
Perhaps a well-connected person that lives in the same city would be useful to reach out to. Even if a friend you get in contact with aren’t looking to change their living situation, they might know someone who is looking for a roomie in your area. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to find a new roommate.
Having a mutual friend makes it more likely that you’ll get along with this person too. Or on the other hand, your mutual friend could give you some honest insight on the person, which will allow you to make an informed decision.
2. Consult Your Local Network
Whether you’re a member of a gym, a book club, an art initiative, or a loyal customer at a certain cafe, asking those around you for roommate leads can work wonders. It’s a good idea to exhaust your personal network and your community before considering online tools. That way, you’ll have more upfront information on the person that you’re adding to your lease.
Once you start asking around, you’ll be surprised to how often somebody knows somebody who is looking for a roommate. This will save you a lot of time trying to do outreach online and vetting strangers.
However, if your inquiries didn’t lead to a result, read on. There are many options that you can still take advantage of.
3. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are a goldmine for finding a good roommate. If you are moving to a big city, you’ll likely find a very active group discussing apartments and roommate situations. It’s a surefire way to get connected with someone quick. Don’t immediately go for a shot in the dark by using all-purpose platforms such as Craigslist. The Facebook Group method provides a protective cushion with the ability to view people’s profiles, photos, interests, and social connections, at no cost.
Join Facebook Groups like these:
However, this will place you in a pool of complete strangers, that you may not have anything in common with. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s probably not the best place to start your search. First, try reaching out in communities of people that share your interests. If you find a roomie through one of these groups, they’ll likely be a better match,
There are countless Facebook groups that cater to communities that share a common interest or objective. For example, if you’re a recent college graduate, it’s easy to find alumni communities or groups dedicated to young professionals. This is the perfect option if you would like to work with someone who lives a similar lifestyle to you. If you are looking to live in the same city as your college, you could have great luck with these groups.
Other groups to seek out are those that cater to your hobbies, identity, country of origin, etc. Keep in mind that the groups you should announce yourself in should be location-specific. If you live in New York City, you’d be better off reaching out to a group entitled “NYC Oil Painters” rather than “Oil Painters of America.”
As you can imagine, posting in the general oil painting group won’t give you the city-specific leads that you need. But really, Facebook Groups are a great place to connect with potential roommates.
Before jumping into the unpredictable waters of Craigslist, start your online search on a milder platform: Reddit. The forum hosts all kinds of niche pages referred to as subreddits. If you haven’t used Reddit before, you can find a subreddit for just about anything. Finding city, county, and state-specific housing subreddits can lead to great roommate leads.
Reddit’s search bar itself isn’t very useful because it leaves out a lot of search results. Try Google instead. Here’s an effective search formula that’ll expedite the process:
- site:reddit.com [Your City] housing roommate
The results should direct you to useful subreddits to explore or leave a post in. Here are a few examples of pages you may find:
- New York: www.reddit.com/r/NYCapartments/
- Los Angeles: www.reddit.com/r/LARentals/
- Washington DC: www.reddit.com/r/DCforRent/
Then you can use these subreddits to connect with potential roommates:
If you decide to post on a subreddit, make sure that you include the important information about yourself and what you’re looking for. Include things like the neighborhood you are looking in, your budget, work schedule, etc. Also, include what you expect or desire from the ideal roommate.
It’s important to be upfront and honest. If you do not like messy living spaces, you need to make this clear. If you are an introvert, who prefers a quiet home, you can’t afford to leave this out either. The less you share about your preferences, the greater chance you end up with a bad match.
Beware: make sure you’ve given the previous 4 methods a chance before turning to Craigslist. It’s a relatively unregulated website. There’s no such thing as a profile, ID verification, or any other methods to figure out whether or not the person behind a post is legitimate. If you can navigate the red flags and scammers, Craigslist has a ton of roommate potential.
However, you’ll be fine using this platform as long as you have a solid intuitive and practical sense of how to pick out the good from the bad. It’s not for those who aren’t internet savvy, nor is it for those who are gullible or naive. People who are equipped with an internet scam radar can find a roommate on Craigslist, pretty easily.
This avenue for finding a roommate is a true embodiment of a wild card. It’s simply not the best way to ensure you find the best possible roommate when compared to the other alternatives. However, if all else fails, you can turn to it for a last-minute solution in your search for the perfect roommate.
6. Social Media
Using your social media accounts is a useful way to notify your followers that you are in search of a roommate. Use Instagram stories and Tweets to let your online community know you’re searching for a roommate.
Your inquiry may lead to some candidates that you’re already familiar with as they belong to your social network. Beware, it may also turn up some strangers if you have a network that is full of people you haven’t met in real life. Using Twitter and Instagram is a good alternative for those who don’t use Facebook, but still, want to reach an audience of like-minded people. Use LinkedIn to connect with your professional social circle as well. This is a great way to find connections who are moving for a career change. This is a great way to find qualified roommates.
The downside is that these platforms don’t offer any geared pages or functions that facilitate the roommate search in any way. There aren’t interest-specific groups in an organized fashion like Facebook, so this will likely lead to a more general audience reach.
This online platform is essentially a roommate finder that connects you with potential roommates based on your personal information. You can find a great roommate simply by filling out your likes and dislikes, they’ll find you matches that are compatible based on how you’ve answered the question.
They also offer a paid membership option that allows you to see photos of your potential roommates and their apartments, as well as view their profiles. There is also a mobile app for searching on the go. There's a sea of roommate apps out there, but Roomates.com is free, has a large user base, and prioritizes safety.
Posting a listing is incredibly easy, and won’t cost you a dime. The site has been around since 2001 and has grown a sizable audience at that time. It’s a good option if you’ve already got an apartment and want to rent it out.
We’re lucky to have massive audiences at the tips of our fingers, thanks to the internet. Now finding the perfect roommate is as easy a writing a tweet or downloading an app. Better yet, it’s typically free of cost. It allows renters to take matters into their own hands to let their personal networks know that they are looking for a prospective roommate.
Once you’ve found possible candidates, it’s imperative to interview them thoroughly. Ask these 11 crucial questions to potential roomies There’s nothing worse than living with someone you can’t stand, and you shouldn’t leave that up to chance.
You can, and should be, forward in your disclosure of your lifestyle as well as your expectations of a roommate. If this isn’t established from the start, you’ll set yourself up for a nightmare living situation. It’s easy to ensure that your roommate situation is as easy and headache-free, as possible. Writing up a roommate agreement that details who pays what, guest policies, and addresses general protocol in the apartment. These are especially useful if you match with a roommate that you aren’t close with or have recently met.