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College students do it. Young single adults do it. Siblings do it. The best TV shows have even been based on it.
Roommates can make a lot of things easier including making it easier to pay your monthly house payment!
However, roommates aren’t for everyone.
Here are some things to think about before you try to find a roommate…
PRO’S: Reasons To Get A Roommate
- Getting a roommate would enable you to stay in a safe place affordably.
- You will split your housing cost, thus leaving more room in your budget for other things.
- You can find a lifelong friend and kindred spirit to hang out with.
- Having another person around can provide a measure of safety.
CON’S: Reasons To Not Get A Roommate
- While you’re ultimately trying to save money, if it goes wrong, it could end up costing you a lot more money than you’ve saved.
- Even the best roommates move on. People get married, change jobs, and have life-altering issues which arise unexpectedly.
- You might pick a “crazy” person.
How To Find A Roommate
You seldom hear about good roommate experiences, because there isn’t a whole lot to tell. (That’s a good thing.)
On the other hand, roommate horror stories are not hard to find. Deadbeat roommates are even worse — because you may actually like them as a person, yet find it hard to tolerate their failure to pay rent and other inconsiderate actions.
If you are going to find a roommate, here are some reputable resources to consider:
Personally, I would avoid using message boards to find a roommate but Craigslist is another popular option.
Questions To Ask Prospective Roommates
What are your pet peeves?
They may hate rap music, and you may love it. Pet peeves can be irritating enough to cause problems.
Do you drink or smoke, and how much?
You don’t want to live with anyone whose vices are out of sync with your own.
Can I visit where you’re currently living?
This will give you a good idea of what they consider to be “clean”.
How often do you have visitors and who are they?
You may not want their mom or their boyfriend/girlfriend staying for a week at a time.
What time to you wake up, and what time do you go to sleep?
You don’t want someone who will keep you up or who you will be afraid of waking.
Have you had roommates before? If so, why did it end?
If they complain about the other person too much, or about several people, this should be a red flag.
Do you have any pets?
You may choose to allow small pets, or only certain pets… it’s completely up to you.
Do you have any special house rules you would like to suggest?
These will be very telling.
Here are a few other things you may want to consider when getting a roommate:
- Be very clear about everyone’s roles in the house concerning chores, bath schedules, etc.
- Getting a housekeeper could help to avoid arguments over cleaning.
- Roommates are more bearable when you have lots of space, so don’t let it get too crowded.
- Do a background check, including a criminal report and credit check.
- Get personal references (especially from their last roommates)… and take the time to call them!
- Place locks on all bedroom doors.
Required Reading For Prospective Roommates
I have been a certified tightwad striving for financial freedom since I became pregnant with my first child — and I decided to find a way to stay home with him full-time. I enjoy sharing my personal experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.