Finding a compatible roommate is almost as difficult as finding the perfect place. Roommates are met to balance each other, and hold the same values. The best way to find a like-minded roommate is to ask them questions, and assure their answers are similar to your own.
These are five questions that you should ask every potential roommate before moving in. For some, these may be make-it-or-break-it. It’s up to you to decide the type of relationship you want to have with your roommate.
Question #1: What are your thoughts on pets?
If you have a pet, or if your roommate has a pet, it’s best to discover what their views are. Even if neither of you have a bet, this topic should always be discussed in the event that one of you gets one. This conversation should cover all pets– from dogs to snakes. You should also take into account any allergies. This will help clear the air and establish rules.
Question #2: How frequently do you have guests?
The worst roommate scenario is having someone who has guests over every day of the week, or is a stickler on guests. This question helps determine if you and your potential roommate are on the same page regarding guests. In some leases, there are guest policies in place to prevent issues from arising. Be sure to read your lease before discussing guests with your roommates.
Perhaps neither of you mind guests– great! Make sure you make your preferences are known, and ask them the same.
Question #3: What is your schedule?
It’s important to determine how often your new roommate will be frequenting the apartment.
Do you have a home office, or do they work all hours of the day?
Do they work a typical 9 to 5 shift, or do they work nights?
These questions are important depending on your preferences. If you occasionally want the apartment to yourself, you might not want to live with someone who is always there. If you want to bond with your roommate, you may want someone who actually spends time in the apartment, or someone with the same work/sleep schedule.
The differences in schedules can affect the general atmosphere of the home, sometimes in large ways. If you’re on opposite schedules, it may be best to find a different roommate.
Question #4: What are your cleaning habits?
Most roommate arguments are related to a roommate’s cleanliness.
How often do they do the dishes? Are they tidy, messy, or somewhere in between?
It’s best to find someone whose cleaning habits are similar to your own. It’s also important to discuss how often they clean, and how well they clean
Perhaps you could create a bi-weekly cleaning schedule with each other, and be responsible for different items on the list. This could also be a time for you to consider what you and your possible roommate think of cleaning services, such as maids, and whether either of you would want that.
Question #5: What do you expect from a roommate?
This is one of the most important– if not most important– questions to ask of a potential roommate. This will set the groundwork for their expectations of you, and yours of them.
They may value cleanliness over a set schedule. They might be looking for their roommate to also be a friend. Maybe their so busy with work that they just want peace and quiet at the end of the day. There are many circumstances to consider.
See if your ideals line up with theirs. This is key to finding the perfect roommate match.
These five questions will help you find the perfect roommate who fits your needs. These questions will also help you choose between different apartments you’re considering. You can base your living situation on the people you’ll be living with, as opposed to what the home looks like. Prevent roommate conflict by asking these questions. Ultimately, they’ll help you find the best housemate.