The people you live with are what makes a house or apartment a home. Having a good relationship with your roommates is essential to maintaining a happy and comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, not all roommates get along as well as Monica and Rachel. Finding someone you can live with, without sacrificing your sanity, can often be quite a challenge.
You don’t want to live with a roommate who eats all your leftovers without asking. Here are some tips to consider when starting your search for a new roommate.
Start Looking Early
Don’t let the stress of finding a roommate force you to settle into an unfavorable living situation. Leaving your search until the last minute is risky because you’ll be more likely to accept any new roommate that’s available. Finding the right roommate can take time, so don’t put yourself in a situation where you need to scramble! Get in contact with friends of friends, or start looking on Craigslist. Don’t stress, don’t settle and let the roomie hunt begin!
Understand that Best Friend Doesn’t Equal Best Roommate
Even though Monica and Rachel were able to work it out, not all friends will make ideal roommates. In fact, living with a best friend could potentially hinder your friendship. Being together a few nights a week is one thing, but being together all the time is another. If issues arise from living in close quarters, it’ll not only affect your living situation – it’ll affect your relationship.
There will always be unforeseeable quirks in your friend that could be detrimental to your relationship. What if they like to leave their dishes in the sink for a couple days, or what if they like to hang out on your bed and clip their toenails? So before moving in together, consider whether losing a friendship is a risk you’re willing to take.
Know Their Habits
Make sure you’re aware of your potential roommate’s daily routine. Take the time to meet up with them beforehand to go over the basics. What are their work hours? Do they often go out at night? Will they have guests over or throw parties? Do they have a significant other that will be frequently spending the night? Are they neat or “relaxed” with their belongings? Do they smoke? Do they have any severe allergies? No need to skimp on the questions and concerns. You will regret not asking these basic questions two months down the line if you end up stuck in a lease with a roommate that hosts Tuesday night karaoke parties until 3:00 a.m.
Look for Subtle Hints
When meeting your potential roommate, be wary of subtle hints of a difficult personality. Sure, most people can come off pleasant over a cup of coffee, but this doesn’t mean you won’t discover another side of them once you’re under the same roof. Look for hints of pretentiousness or drama queen/king tendencies. Do they bring up their ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend more than once in conversation? Do they complain about the quality of their coffee or treat the server disrespectfully? These subtle hints could be telling about their true personality.
Find Someone Who’s Financially Responsible
When you agree to live with someone, you’re trusting that they’ll be financially responsible enough to pay the bills. Financial concerns can put a significant amount of stress on any relationship. Avoid this by getting all the facts about your potential roommate’s financial habits before signing a lease. It would be a smart decision to pull their credit report to check out their payment history. If they tend to miss their credit card payments, how can you be sure they’ll pay rent on time? Additionally, you should discuss with them exactly what would happen if they failed to pay on time. Having this protocol set in stone will eliminate any additional frustration if this occurs.
Before signing a lease with your new roommate, consider signing a rental agreement as well. Have all the rules and restrictions of your living situation spelled out on paper. This way, there will be no confusion over what is or isn’t OK. This is especially important if you’re a homeowner who is renting out a room in your house. The renter will need clear direction on what amenities are included in the rental. You won’t regret this clarity as it will eliminate any misunderstandings with your new roommate or renter.
With these tips in mind, you can comfortably enter a new living situation without potentially sacrificing your well-being. If you don’t want to live with someone who plays screamo music in the middle of the night or steals your Oreos, you don’t have to! Your perfect roommate is out there. It’s time to start looking and let your room-mance blossom!