Everything You Need to Know About Finding & Living with a Roommate

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Sharing an apartment with a friend or significant other comes with lots of peaks and valleys. But rooming together can also be a great way to save money, split chores or just enjoy some good old fashioned camaraderie and companionship. Below are some of the best ways we know to find the perfect roommate for your apartment.

You Screen, They Screen, We all Screen!

Screening or vetting potential new roommates can be a demanding task but it is something that must be done. There is nothing you can do if you get stuck with an unpleasant roommate…so choose that person wisely. Ask him or her plenty of questions; research them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. Call their employer (with their permission of course) and ask for a character reference. Anything goes when you are the lease holder and you are responsible for the apartment and its overall condition. If you plan on having a friend move in remember, once you begin living together and money and chores are integrated into your friendship things can change quickly…so be prepared.

Set Ground Rules

Once you’ve settled on the person that you will share your space with, be sure to set some ground rules. Make certain there is agreement on who will clean the kitchen, the bathroom; take out the garbage and so on. It may seem weird but getting everything in writing is always the best way to go. Clearly define who will pay for cable, food, even laundry detergent! Remember to review the terms of your agreement before and during your stay together. And lastly, don’t forget to agree upon the rules for overnight guests (this can be a huge deal breaker if not discussed ahead of time).

Best Places to Find a Roommate

First, ask some friends if they know of any suitable individuals who may be looking to rent an apartment. This type of referral is a great way to find a perfectly acceptable roommate. If this initial search doesn’t pan out, you may have to look to the general public for some good roomies. Try placing an ad on Craigslist (but beware, this is an outlet where you’ll really have to scrutinize potential roommates). Try posting your vacancy in Facebook Groups or websites like matchpad.com or roomster.com. Beware: some services are free; others charge small fees for listing and connecting with potential roommates.

Goes Without Saying…

Moving in with someone means you will always be negotiating. Agreeing to room with someone, whether it is your apartment or theirs, means living by the rules and not always having things go your way. Key things to remember: cooperation, communication, behaving in a mature manner and constantly reviewing your roommate rules and agreements. Following these steps will ensure a comfortable living experience for everyone.

Know someone who’s looking to share space or is looking for a new roommate for their apartment? Share this info with them on Facebook, tweet it to them on twitter or post it in your group on Google+.

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