Finding the Right Roommate Can Take Some Work

August 11, 2021

Have you found the apartment of your dreams but simply can’t make the monthly costs work with your budget? If so, you may have decided to look for a roommate.


This isn’t the only reason people decide to share a living space, of course. There are many advantages to living with a roommate. If you’ve been looking for apartment rentals in northern Colorado and have determined that you will need a roommate, here are a few tips to help you find the perfect person to live with.


Take Your Time

First, you want to make certain that you have plenty of time to devote to your roommate search. The last thing you want to do is rush it. If you have to find a roommate within a couple of weeks, you’re much more likely to pick the first person who comes along, even if they don’t seem like the perfect fit. This can quickly lead to fights and other issues, making your home miserable.


Start your search for a roommate as soon as you decide you want someone to share a space with. This way, you can make certain to properly vet each applicant and spend time really getting to know them before deciding if you want them to live with you.


Ask Around

While there are many different ways to go about finding a roommate, you may want to start by asking your friends, family, and even coworkers if they know someone who is looking for a roommate or is preparing to move to the area. If you attend church, you can ask others there or talk to others in any groups you belong to.


group of three colleagues speaking together in a business office


Your job may even have an employee bulletin board or other systems that let you post notices other employees can browse. If you’re a student, your school likely has bulletin boards you can pin a notice to or an online space to post about your roommate search.


If someone does know another person who is looking for a place to live, it’s possible you already know or have heard about them. This can help you determine if you would get along well.


Even if your friends and family don’t know of anyone who is looking for a roommate right now, they may hear about someone later. They can also ask their friends and family.


This can also be a safe way of finding a roommate. You will both know at least one person in common who can act as a reference for both of you. It may also open up more roommate options.


Some people are more comfortable getting a recommendation from a friend, family, or coworker than they are simply reaching out to someone online.


Go Online

Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t find a roommate online. If you’re looking for a roommate and not having any luck with word of mouth recommendations, it might be time to go to social media and other websites. You could even download a roommate app and use that to find someone. There are a number of different websites you can use.


Before you pick one at random, take the time to read through some of the “looking for roommate” posts. See if there’s anyone on the site you would want to actually live with or if you aren’t interested in most of them. If you find most of them are people you wouldn’t want to room with, try a different site or app.


Social media sites can be helpful here. You may be able to find a page or group dedicated to finding a roommate in northern Colorado. This can be very helpful because everyone there will be looking to move to the area. Social media sites also give you access to potential roommate profiles.


While they may have them locked down to friends only, you can often at least see a photo. You can also become online friends and chat before moving in together to get a better idea of whether or not you’re compatible.


There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a roommate online. First, you need to be very clear in what the conditions are. Include all of the rules the apartment complex has. Be certain to state the amount of rent and any deposits, when rent is due, when quiet hours start, and what pets are allowed.


Also state your preferences—even if pets are allowed, you may not want to live with a pet. If you’ve already signed a lease, include a few photos of the apartment and the size of the space. List additional amenities, too, especially things like on-site security and parking options.


Know What to Ask

Before you talk to any potential roommates, you should write down a list of questions to ask them.


You will essentially have a roommate interview, and while the first time or two you do this may feel awkward, it really is a necessity. Getting along with your roommate is very important to having a calm, stress-free home to come back to every day.


If you don’t take the time to really get to know each other before moving in together, you may find that you’re not a good match.


man writing down a list of questions to ask a potential roommate


There are a lot of things you may want to ask about, but here are a few of the most important ones. First, find out about their habits. Do they mostly go out to socialize, or are they going to want to have people over every weekend? Do they go to bed early, or are they a night owl? Will they need some quiet time to study for college classes? What’s their typical job schedule?


You also should provide your potential roommate with answers to these questions so they can get a good feel for you. The more you get to know each other, the fewer surprises you’ll have once you actually live together.


How Will the Apartment Be Furnished?

If you’re not renting a furnished apartment, you need to also discuss furnishings with a potential roommate. This is especially true once you’ve settled on someone and offered them the spot. Sharing a rental in northern Colorado often also means sharing furniture, appliances, and food.


How will you and your roommate split up the furniture? If you talk to someone who expects you to provide everything in the common areas (living room, dining room, and shared bathroom), you may want to rethink sharing a space with them.


On the other hand, you do want to be aware of their situation. If you’re both young and haven’t lived on your own before, neither of you may have much in the way of furniture.


If your roommate is moving out of their parent’s house, they may only have their bedroom furniture to bring. Take that into account before completely rejecting someone.


Be Prepared to Answer Logistical Questions

In addition to determining how you’re furnishing your apartment, there are other logistical issues you should work out before you start looking for a roommate.


If you don’t and these questions come up, you may not have a plan. Even worse, if no one thinks to discuss these issues, you may not discover them until you’re living together and fighting over them.


two roommates moving a couch into their new apartment


One of the most important logistical issues has to do with utilities. You’ll want to find a roommate who is open to discussing how these will be split. Will you each pay half of every utility, or will one person pay for electricity and one for gas? Whose name will be on the utilities?


If you’re looking for a replacement roommate for an apartment you already rent, this may not be an issue. However, your potential new roommate may need a utility in their name to use as proof of their address.


You will also want to have a plan for insurance. You can get renters insurance, but this policy may only cover your belongings, not your roommate’s property. You may both need a policy, or you may need a shared policy if your insurance offers one. By determining all of this before you start looking for a roommate, you’ll be able to answer questions they may have.


This can help since it will show potential roommates that you’ve thought through everything. They can quickly decide if they want to live with you or not. If you don’t have these answers and have to get back to them, they may find another apartment option and turn you down.


Don’t Settle

One of the worst things you can do when renting with roommates is settle. You want to take as much time as you need to determine who is the right roommate for you and your situation. Don’t get anxious agree to live with someone just because you feel like you have to choose right away.


By giving yourself plenty of time, determining as many logistical issues as possible, asking for recommendations, and placing online ads in the right places, you can find a roommate without a lot of stress.

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