Although renting your own apartment is an exciting act of independence and self-sufficiency, finances often dictate the necessity to share your space with a roommate. Considering the issues that can sometimes arise from living in close quarters with someone else, finding a good roommate is often a source of stress for renters.

When it comes to roommate selection, it’s best to first plan out your selection process and think clearly before making decisions. To help you get started, here are some useful tips to finding a compatible partner and to avoid creating a domestic disaster!

How to Find a Good Roommate:

  1. Figure out your own needs: Believe it or not, many renters fixate on their roomie’s preferences without fully sorting out what’s most important to them. Think about what kind of home life is most appealing to you and makes the most sense in your current stage of life. When it comes to selecting a good complement to your own lifestyle, some introspection can go a long way. Here are some things to consider:
  • How often do you invite friends over?
  • Are you a morning person?
  • How do you use your common space?
  • Do you stay up late at night, or get to bed early?
  1. Be honest: Here’s where that introspection comes into play. Whether you’re more similar to Oscar or Felix, you can avoid an uncomfortable setup by being honest about your daily lifestyle and seeking out a good fit based on that openness. Ask yourself:
  • Are you annoyed by loud music or frequent company?
  • Do dirty dishes make you twitch?
  • Do you have a pet whose needs are also important to you?
  1. Friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend: Sometimes it’s possible to fish out the perfect roommate in your own pond of people. Post on social media, or send an email to your friends and family letting them know that you are looking for a roommate. Be sure to include details about yourself and what you’re looking for in a roommate!
  1. If possible, conduct a reference check: If you happen to have some friends in common with your roommate-to-be, try to ask a former roommate of theirs what their experience was like. This should give you an idea of what issues, if any, to anticipate, and will help you decide if this person is the best fit for you. The more information that you have about the roommate before signing a lease together, the better!
  1. Go out: Lastly, perhaps the most important thing for you to do with your roommate-to-be is to spend some time with him or her! No matter how many friends you have in common or shared interests, the best way to get to know someone is by spending some quality one-on-one time. Try going out for lunch or grabbing a drink after work. By having a conversation in-person, you will both be able to recognize each other’s personality.

Although these tips should help with the roommate-selection process, if you do find yourself in a less-than-desirable living situation, keep conflict at bay with common courtesy. If your roommate is slow on the uptake, try to lead by example. Any issue is best resolved with openness and sincerity.