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Having a roommate saves you money on rent, and you may even end up with a built-in friend. Finding the right person can be tricky, though. You want to be on the same page when it comes to maintaining the house and dividing up responsibilities, which is why it’s so important to discuss these topics ahead of time. Here’s how to be an expert roommate finder.
What You Need to Know Before Moving In
When searching for a roomie, you want to be sure you get to know them on a more personal level. Here are 10 questions to ask when screening your potential roommates.
1. Do You Have a Job?
You want to find a roommate that can help pay the bills. You should also ask them for additional financial information, such as their credit score. Many landlords check your history. If your roommate’s score is not good, it can lower your chance of qualifying for the rental space.
Ensure your new roommate has steady employment before moving in so you know they will pay rent and utility expenses on time.
2. What Do You Like to Do for Fun?
Asking this question as a roommate finder can help to determine if you two share any common interests. Having similar hobbies can increase your bond, and you can enjoy each other’s company on weekends.
Asking this question can also help you see where you and your potential roommate differ. It is essential to be mindful of these conflicting interests when sharing a living space. If an issue does come up, be sure to talk about it in person and when you are both in a good headspace.
You and your roommate don’t have to have everything in common, but having similar interests makes living together a more pleasant experience.
3. Do You Smoke or Drink?
It is important to be on the same page about your lifestyle choices. For some people, having a roommate who drinks or smokes can be a deal-breaker, especially if they have an addiction or it goes against their religion.
If you both want to partake in these activities, consider setting up boundaries. Come up with appropriate times and places to smoke or drink.
4. Have You Had Other Roommates?
Getting a sense of past experiences can give you insight into what type of roommate they will be. If they have only lived by themselves, they may take time to adjust to sharing a space. If you have prior roommate experience, consider opening up about your encounters as well.
You want to find a person who has a good relationship with their past roommates. Look for qualities of someone who communicates well and is flexible.
5. Are You OK With Having Pets Inside?
An important question a roommate finder should ask is if they are an animal lover. Whether you currently have a pet or are considering getting one in the future, you want your roommate to be on the same page as you. It is a good idea to find out if they have any allergies.
A pet provides a sense of companionship, but you both may end up caring for it. Discussing how you will divide up these responsibilities is key before moving in.
6. What Time Do You Wake up and Go to Bed?
When trying to find the best roommate, you try to find someone who has a similar daily routine. Going to bed at different times could lead to conflict. Figure out their schedule ahead of time so you can respect each other’s sleeping and waking patterns.
7. When Do You Typically Have Friends Over?
Some people work during the week and socialize with their friends on the weekends, while others may have friends over mi-week. It is good to understand which type of person your roommate is before moving in. If you don’t follow similar schedules, be sure to have an open discussion about it and see where you can compromise.
8. Are You Dating Anyone?
This may be uncomfortable to ask a potential roommate, but it can create a more cohesive living environment down the road. If your roommate has a significant other, then you want to be sure to set up some ground rules, such as how often they can come over. You want to feel relaxed in your own home.
9. How Often Do You Clean?
You want to know your potential roomie’s cleaning habits. Ask them what they consider a tidy house to look like — you want to make sure your definitions match up. Figure out what places they enjoy cleaning.
This will be helpful when dividing up chores. Consider having a meeting to discuss it, write down a detailed list of each task and create a chore chart.
10. Do You Cook?
This gives you an idea of how often the person eats out. It also provides insight into if you will be eating more meals together or separately. Knowing their schedule can ensure you aren’t trying to prepare meals at the same time.
If you aren’t the best cook, finding a roommate who is an excellent chef is a bonus.
Questions a Roommate Finder Should Ask
Having a roommate can be cost-effective and a chance to bond with someone new. However, you want to make sure you and your roomie are on the same page regarding maintenance and lifestyle expectations. Before agreeing to live with your potential roommate, a good roommate finder should be asking these questions to get to know them better.