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Tips To Pick The Perfect Roommate

Choosing a roommate is a bit like choosing a new romantic partner. Unlike dating, however, you can’t break up with your roommate as soon as things go bad. Since you’ll probably sign a lease, you’ll be stuck together until your contract ends. Use the following tips to pick the perfect roommate and avoid uncomfortable living situations.

Look Beyond Your Good Friends

You won’t necessarily get along well with someone just because you enjoy spending time with them. You might not know your best friend has bothersome house habits until you move in with. You don’t want to sabotage a strong friendship only to get a roommate. To meet people outside of your close social group, try using social media and online classifieds. Even if nothing happens, you won’t lose a close friend.

Ask Potential Roommates Tough Questions

You want a roommate who will fit with your lifestyle. You might avoid a lot of trouble later on if you ask many questions, including those that are uncomfortable. Consider inquiring about the following depending on your lifestyle:

  • The person’s work schedule
  • The person’s lifestyle choices – drinking, smoking
  • How often he or she likes to host guests
  • How loudly he or she likes to play music
  • How much TV he or she watches in common spaces
  • Whether he or she minds sharing household items
  • Whether he or she has any health concerns you should know about

You’ll have your own priorities when choosing a roommate. It’s not about finding the perfect person. It’s about finding a good match. Here are some more questions for you to inquire about your potential new roommate.

Find Out What Your Roomie Expects From You

Ideally, you’re evaluating one another to make sure you can coexist peacefully. Part of it can be satisfied by going over your own list of inquiries, but you must also provide time for the potential roommate to ask questions of their own. When the time comes, provide the most precise response you can. A tiny falsehood shouldn’t cause a lot of conflict. Learn the expectations that your roommate has of you. Can you live up to such demands? If you’re a messy person, you already know that you can’t live up to a tidy freak’s standards. Thank the candidate for his or her time and explain why you aren’t a good fit.

Find the Right Apartment

The right apartment can make a big difference. If you live in a small apartment, you’re more likely to step on each other’s toes – both literally and figuratively. That’s how resentment starts to develop. When you are searching for a place, make sure you choose the option that will make you and your roommate feel comfortable. You may need to make a list of your priorities so you can focus on apartments that match your needs. Consider the following apartment features:

  • How much room do you want in the kitchen
  • How many bedrooms do you need
  • Whether you want more privacy, such as bedrooms at opposite ends of the apartment, or even having 2 floors, if that’s an option
  • How many bathrooms do you need

If a particular feature, or lack thereof, is a deal-breaker for you, speak up. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in an unhappy condition that could make you and your roommate miserable.

Find Someone Who’s Able to Contribute

You want a roommate who will pitch in with household chores. Otherwise, you’ll likely become resentful if you feel like you’re doing more than your fair share. The same goes for paying rent and bills. Make sure that your potential roommate has a steady source of income.

It may feel intrusive, but it’s important to ask potential roommates to provide information about how much money they earn. You don’t want to find out that someone with a full-time job makes too little money to pay his or her half of the bills. That could lead to more than just hurt feelings and frustration. 

Make Sure that Temperaments Match

You and your new roommate don’t need to be copies of each other, but it’s important that your temperaments match. If you like excitement, parties and lots of socializing, you won’t enjoy having a roommate whose idea of a good time is a quiet night with a book. Likewise, you’ll only be signing up for misery if your roommate insists on holding an eternal party when you just want quiet.

Good Communication

Living with someone who communicates well is the key to a good roommate relationship. You and your roommate will be responsible for maintaining your apartment or dorm; no one else will step up to clean up your messes or pay your rent. To avoid messy situations, you need to live with someone who is willing to discuss how to share responsibilities. Even if you do have a roommate who communicates well with you, don’t be afraid to confirm information. For example, if your roommate says he paid the rent, check with your landlord to be sure.

Schedules that Fit Your Needs

Before you finalize your roommate choice, consider your potential roommate’s schedule. You may want a roommate whose schedule aligns with yours, allowing the two of you to work together and hang out from time to time. Alternately, you might want a roommate on a different schedule, allowing you some time to have the apartment to yourself. There are also drawbacks to each style. You won’t have as much privacy if your roommate is always around, and you or your roommate may occasionally wake each other up if your sleep schedules are significantly different.

What are the most important factors for you when choosing a roommate? Do you think getting a roommate is important when renting? Have you ever had a terrible experience that convinced you to pay closer attention to the person you live with? Share your stories in the comments below and tips to picking the perfect roommate.  

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