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How to Find Roommates (That You Actually Like) in 4 Easy Steps
In this guide we’ll help you find roommates that double as friends. Whether you’re getting an apartment near campus, moving into a new city, or just have a spare room, this guide will show you how to find roommates in four easy steps!
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Do you know what it’s like to be a part of Internet history? You can’t unless you have a roommate.
Sure, it’s exciting to think about finally living on your own (and getting immortalized in a Vine). Imagine all the adventures and easily resolvable misunderstandings you’re going to have with your roomies, a la Friends or HIMYM.
But first, you need roommates. This is the person who is going to hear you listening to The Weeknd at 4 AM through the wall — it’s personal.
No need to worry though. Whether you’re getting an apartment near campus, moving into a new city, or just have a spare room, this guide will show you how to find roommates in four easy steps!
Step 1: Figure out what you’re looking for in a roommate
Everyone has their own wishlist for the perfect roommate — does all the dishes, puts the toilet seat down, has attractive friends, etc. While we don’t recommend setting the bar quite that high, it’s worth your time to take a minute and think about what you’re looking for in a roommate.
Typically, you’ll want roommates who can fit into the bigger picture of your life.
- For example, suppose you’re moving to a new city you’ve never lived in before. In that case, you probably want roommates you can easily become friends with.
- Tired of humanity and trying to avoid all people? Entirely understandable. You’re looking for roomies who are quiet and clean.
Figure out your non-negotiables, priorities, and things you’d be willing to budge on. Here are a few examples:
Our list for a new roommate:
- Non-negotiables: clean, respectful of your religion, can help you cook
- Priority: pet-friendly, native to the city, secretly a super-hero
- Flexible: good with kids (we can fix them. Right?)
Your list for a new roommate:
- Non-negotiables: 6 feet tall
- Priority: super strong
- Flexible: you always get along
Now that you have your wishlist, it’s time to start the hardest part — roommate hunting.
Step 2: Start your roommate search
Reach out to your connections first
Before you start searching online, reach out to friends, arch-enemies, family members, and even social media to ask if anyone is looking for a roommate. You could also meet people by joining clubs and attending social events held by your school or elsewhere in the city.
By going through these channels first, there’s a better chance you’ll find a roommate you have mutual friends with — that could save you time, money, and the awkwardness of a random roommate.
Use websites and apps to narrow your search
If that isn’t an option, there are plenty of websites and roommate apps that let you post an ad or look for potential roomies in your area. This is a great way to start because it lets you be specific about what you’re looking for and how much space you have available.
Roommate finder apps can vary, but they usually take things like personality type and lifestyle preferences into account when pairing people together. This can be a great way to find someone who you know will be compatible with you from the start.
For a complete list of great roommate finder apps, websites, groups, and services (along with pros and cons), read on until the end!
Let’s fast forward a little bit. You’ve found someone who fits the good roommate glass slipper, and you seem to get along pretty well online. What’s next?
Step 3: Meet people in person
Meeting people face-to-face is always a better option than just talking over the internet. Always be safe about this — meet during the day in public places, on campus, etc. During this conversation, you should go over your non-negotiables and ask questions about theirs.
Here are some questions you can ask to see if they’re a good roommate match:
- How often do you clean?
- How often do your friends come over?
- Do you have a super-powered alter-ego?
- What does your usual schedule look like?
- What are your food restrictions?
- Do I have spinach in my teeth?
- Do you have any past roommates I could talk to? (It’s courteous to offer some of your own 5-star reviews too!)
Do they fit the bill? Do you match theirs? Remember, it’s not hard to find a roommate — but an arrangement where both people are happy will take effort.
It’s natural to want to say yes to the first person you really like, but don’t forget: you will be living with this human. For a while. Just because you’re both fans of the same true-crime podcast doesn’t mean you’ll be able to share a bathroom. Consider all of your roommate requests and options before you make a decision.
The plus side? Even if you miss out on potential roommates, you’re going to make a bunch of new friends.
Step 4: Seal the deal
So you’ve found your roommate, gone through the leasing/renting paperwork, and you’re just about ready to start moving in — but you’re not done yet. Here’s a pro-tip: work out a roommate agreement.
No, we don’t mean a weird 50 Shades of Gray kind of contract. A roommate agreement can be anything you want but should include things like:
- How much each person will contribute to the rent/bills on a monthly or weekly basis
- How you will handle food (who buys what, when, and where meals are eaten)
- How you’ll divide the chores
And any other ground rules you’d like to put in place.
Not only does this help prevent any misunderstandings down the line, but it also helps establish clear expectations for both of you right from the start. This can make living with someone else feel less daunting and more like an opportunity to grow closer as friends. Just don’t drink each other’s blood at the end.
Tools You Can Use to Find A Roommate
Your Contact List
Believe it or not, this might be the best tool on this list. Check in with friends, family, and connections who go to your school or are moving to the same city.
Pros: You don’t have to worry about doing a background check or making introductions.
Cons: You’re probably staying in your comfort zone, and you could be missing out on meeting new people.
Your School’s Alumni Network
Just graduated and finding a new place? If you’re uncomfortable asking people you know, your school’s alumni network is a great place to find potential roommates.
Pros: You can find people familiar with the area or who have gone through a similar experience.
Cons: It can be harder to get in touch with people outside your school or city.
PadMapper is a website and app that allows you to find apartment listings and roommates in your area. You can filter by price, the number of bedrooms, pet policies, and more.
Pros: It’s comprehensive and easy to use.
Cons: It might be too general for some people or not have the options they’re looking for.
Roomi is a roommate-finding app that considers lifestyle preferences and personality types when pairing people together. They also do background checks!
Pros: It has an online dating vibe which many of us are familiar with.
Cons: It can be limited in terms of location or availability.
There are likely Facebook groups, pages, or classes specific to your school or city that can help you find a roommate.
Pros: You’re already connected to these people, so there’s less of a chance of meeting someone you don’t get along with.
Cons: It can be overwhelming to weed through all the options.
Roomsync by UHaul
Roomsync is an app designed for long-distance moves (although it can be used for shorter distances, too). You input what you’re looking for in a roommate, and Roomsync will do the rest.
Pros: Like Roomi, it operates a lot like a dating app.
Cons: It might feel a bit clunky compared to other services.
Okay, hear us out. Reddit is filled with forums for any kind of group you can think of — including colleges, clubs, and cities. You can start with r/RedditRoommates.
Pros: A wide array of choices.
Cons: Not much security, hard to filter.
OKAY, HEAR US OUT. Although it can be a little risky, Craigslist is still one of the most popular places to find roommates. You can search by city or zip code and specify how many bedrooms you need, how much you’re willing to pay, and more.
Pros: There’s a lot of choice, and the process is simple.
Cons: It can be hard to tell if someone is legitimate or not. And there’s always the risk of meeting someone who isn’t compatible with you.
Another roommate finder service you can’t go wrong with. Like the others, RooomieMatch helps you find a roommate with genuine human assistance.
Pros: Real people monitor the posts, flag scams, even ping IPs to determine real locations.
Cons: All these extra security features come at a price — you’ll need to pay $19.95 for the paid account.
Rainbow Roommates is a service specifically for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals.
Pros: It’s a great way to find roommates who share your values and lifestyle.
Cons: Limited to NYC, and it’s expensive.
With Roommates.com, you’ll find a well-established matching system that works in cities all across the country.
Pros: There’s a good chance you’ll find someone here.
Cons: It’s $20 for a 30-day trial.
Roomsurf is a website that connects college students who are looking for roommates. Pick your college, answer the questions, and get matched.
Pros: Built specifically for college students.
Cons: They aren’t affiliated with any college or university (although this may not be a con for you).
Roomster is a global roommate finder app and apartment search directory that includes major urban and suburban areas.
Pros: Profiles connect to social media for extra security.
Cons: You’ll miss out on some features if you don’t have a paid account, so you may have to put out your personal email address.
Diggz has many interesting ways to filter your search, like sleeping patterns, how much you like to party, and more.
Pros: There’s something for everyone.
Cons: It can be overwhelming to choose from all the options.
Find A Roommate You Like Today
Looking for a roommate can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these four steps and search the resources above — soon enough, you’ll be living the Friends, New Girl, and How I Met Your Mother dream life.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find a safe roommate?
It can be hard to find the right person to live with. You can ask them how they got along with their past roommates and do a background check on them as well. You can also use a roommate matching service that will have already done this for you. Try RoomieMatch, Roomi, or Roommates.com.
Is it hard to find roommates?
It can be hard to find roommates if you’re not using a roommate matching service. Some of the best services are RoomieMatch, Roomi, and Roommates.com. If you’re looking for an app, try Roomi or Roomsync. You can also try Roomsuf or Reddit for forum-based solutions.
What if I’m not sure what I want in a roommate?
If you’re not sure what you want in a roommate, you can use a roommate matching service. These apps and websites will ask you about your lifestyle preferences and connect you with compatible roommates.
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