8 Steps to Finding a Trustworthy Roommate
I want to preface this by saying that I am not responsible for any crazies you happen to interview for a roommate position.
That being said I’ve met two of my best friends on Craigslist while searching for a roommate
I adore them, they are two of the strongest most amazing women I have ever been so privileged to meet. They are my soul sisters. I don’t want to be sappy, but these girls saw me through some dark and tough times. These girls changed my life.
What did I do to find a great roommate on Craigslist?
A good bit of it is luck, the other is preparation, planning and putting yourself out there. As well as patience for the right person to present themselves. I’m going to detail what steps I took to ensure I found the best fit for my household when I was looking for a roommate.
I have to admit that Boise is probably one of the friendliest and safest cities in the U.S and that has a lot to do with why I got lucky twice! And I was patient. I knew that the perfect person would come along (and they did, twice!) and I wasn’t willing to settle for just anyone.
These are the 8 things I did to find a trustworthy roommate (on Craigslist!)
Have a fun & descriptive Craigslist Ad
Be enticing in your wording, if you’re a fun person and are looking for another person who you can become friends with that say that in your ad! If you’re more reserved and just need someone to help out with rent you can put that in your ad as well. Set guidelines, such as “no more pets please”, “We are party friendly”. The key is to be honest in what you expect from this relationship, are you wanting a strict “we are just roommates” or are you hoping to turn this into a friendship? Choose descriptive phrases that convey what type of roommate you’re looking for.
- We love dogs too, but just can’t have anymore
- Searching for a student who is serious about school and respects study time hours
- Fun “frat” style house
- We work night shifts and will need quiet between the hours of 8am-4pm
- I’m not a “neat freak” but do expect you to pick up after yourself
- Enjoy hanging out with my friends and having girls night every once in while (you’re welcome to join in too!)
Have Realistic Expectations & Ask Questions
Not everyone you meet is going to work out. There is no such thing as the perfect roommate who is never home, never makes any noise, always pays their rent on time. Prioritize what is most important to you, someone who doesn’t smoke and isn’t messy?
Some basic questions to ask are :
- How often do you clean?
- Will you have people over often?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you have any pets? Any plans on getting one soon?
- What’s your workweek schedule like?
- What do you do on your weekends?
Ask About Their Work and Social Schedule
The key to my success with roommates was having opposite schedules. We were three girls all sharing one bathroom and common living area, but we all worked 3 different schedules so it worked out. If there’s the potential for bathroom conflicts in the morning perhaps you should reconsider or strategize how you’ll work through those hectic mornings when you have to occupy the same space at the same time.
Ask for references and prior rental history. You want to make sure that this person will pay their rent on time and isn’t a crazy person. Ask to meet their friends, you can tell a lot about a person from the people they surround themselves with.
Go on a Date
Obviously go dutch. But go grab coffee with this person, or have them come hang out for an hour or two at your home to see if you’ll get along! Better yet have a friend be there to give you a second opinion, suggest the potential roommate bring a friend of their own as well. This will give you an opportunity to gauge how well you get along in a social setting.
Trust your Gut (or your dog)
If something tells your not to live with this person, trust that instinct! Dog’s have a great judge of character. My dog, who is pretty reserved, warmed up to my two roommates surprisingly fast.
Don’t Just Go with the First Person you Meet
Even if you’re super hard up for rent money, take your time to meet other potential people. You are going to be sharing oxygen with this person and hopefully some meals and great conversation too. It’s so important to be patient.
Add them to your Rental Agreement
This is in case they end up being a dud. At least you won’t bear all the cost of them being a skeezeball. If for some reason this person is hesitant to sign something as short as a 6 month lease then pass, they probably aren’t very responsible and you can do without that added stress in your life.
Please remember to be safe, if you have any sketchy feelings meet the person at a local coffee shop first to get a first impression. Always be safe when meeting strangers and choose public places where you feel safe.