Finding a roommate can be a risky venture, especially if you're starting out without actually knowing them. Let's say you want to cut costs and share your apartment, or you're moving out on your own for the first time and don't want to do it alone. Whatever the case, it's a challenge to find someone with whom you get along and maybe even likes some of the same things you do. While we don't recommend just grabbing a phone number tear sheet off a local bulletin board, you have to be willing to take some risks. At least take the time to minimize those risks. Here are our selections for the five best ways to find a roommate.
1. Ask Friends and Family
Who knows you better than those who love you? Yes, family and friends you trust are a great resource to find a roommate. Heck, maybe even one of them is open to the idea of sharing an apartment with you. Even if that's not the case, they're sure to spread the word for you and maybe they even know of someone who is looking. If you have commonalities with your friends and family, you just might strike gold with someone they know (and also love). This is, by far, the best way to find someone with whom you're compatible. Of course, don't just assume. Take the time to meet and talk and find out if they're 1) employed; 2) responsible; 3) mature; 4) and kind.
2. Talk to Co-Workers of Fellow Students
This is another great route to take because you spend most of your day with your co-workers and fellow students, so they know you pretty well. There might even be a board or newsletter at work to post your need for a roommate. Just crack open the topic over lunch or at a team meeting. You never know what might emerge from that conversation. "Oh, my brother is looking for a place to live! I can put you in touch with him if you're open." Just be careful to interview the person thoroughly or it could destroy your relationship with your co-worker. Find out all of the answers to your important questions.
3. Search Your Groups on Social Media
This method works well if you're searching for a roommate with whom you can share your likes, hobbies, and interests. If you belong to a Facebook group that loves crafts, running, travel, fashion, cars, college sports, or just about anything else, you can put out feelers to find out if anyone is looking for a roommate. You just might find someone in the same situation who wants to live where you would like to live and share common interests at the same time. Just make sure you ask the right questions and even perform a background check on them just to make sure it's all safe.
4. Post an Ad on a Roommate Site
Just like Apartment Picks shows you great apartments to rent, you can easily find a roommate online via a dedicated roommate finder website. These sites specialize in presenting candidate portfolios that include photos, budget, employment, preferences, likes/dislikes, hours kept, etc. It's a lot better than just posting a classified ad willy-nilly. You can read profiles, post your own, and even conduct correspondence directly on the site. This is much easier than randomly posting an ad on Social Media for al the world to see. Check out Roomies.com, Spareroom.com, Roommatch.com, or Roomster.com, just to name a few.
5. Ask at Your Gym or Workout Group
People who exercise are usually responsible and mature. There are numerous reasons why this is true. People who take care of themselves physically generally are not lazy in other areas of their lives. If you work out, you can ask around at your local gym or even post something on their social media feed or bulletin board. It's a smart way to get in a living situation where you both prioritize your health. Who knows, you might even find additional motivation or a workout partner in your new roommate. It keeps you accountable, and you might just make a lifelong friend in the process.