No matter what stage of life you are in, whether it be a freshman entering college for the first time or a graduate student looking for an apartment for your last few years of school, you will most likely always run into a situation where you need to find a roommate. Choosing a roommate is much like choosing a boyfriend or girlfriend, except in this situation when things go bad you can’t breakup with your roommate, especially if a lease has already been signed. This is why it is important to be not only picky during this process, but also open-minded about meeting new people. Below, are tips to finding the perfect roommate so you can avoid the dreaded “roommate nightmare”.
Look Beyond Just Your Good Friends
It is tempting to avoid the roommate search as a whole and just sign a lease with one of your best friends, but this does not always work out. There are rare instances where only a few issues arise and you and your best friend live happily ever after, but that is not always the case. Just because you enjoy hanging out with someone does not mean that you'll do well living with him or her. Your best friend could have annoying in-home habits that you won't discover until you're living under the same roof. You don't want to ruin a good friendship just because you need a roommate. Instead, try using social media, such as Facebook or Instagram to find people outside of your immediate social circle. Living with someone you may not be close with will allow you to branch out and meet people who you may have never interacted with otherwise.
Finding a roommate takes time and effort. You can’t expect to leave yourself only a couple weeks to find the right candidate. You need to do your research, whether that be joining roommate search pages on Facebook, or asking around to see if any one of your friends knows someone looking for a place to live. Giving yourself a few months to complete this process will allow you to choose a roommate from a larger pool of people. If you wait until the last minute you may end up stuck living with someone who does not have the same lifestyle choices as you, or a different budget, which leads us in to the third tip for finding a perfect roommate.
Discuss Lifestyle Choices
Living with someone means you are with them morning and night, and then depending on what your schedule is, even sometimes throughout the day. It is important to be aware of your potential roommates lifestyle habits, such as whether or not they are a morning person or a night owl. If your ideal Wednesday night is staying in and reading your favorite book, but your roommates ideal Wednesday night is hosting a get-together at your apartment, there could be issues in the future. The same goes for smokers and non-smokers, pets in the apartment or having friends over all the time. When doing your roommate search, be aware of these things and ask tough questions upfront in order to decide whether or not this is someone you can share a space with long term.
Find A Roommate That Meets Your Cleanliness Standards
Most people know whether or not they are considered a clean or messy person. Growing up there is always the one person who has leftover food in their room or clothes hanging off their chairs, which is perfectly fine as long as your roommate is that way too. Cleanliness is a subject where opposites do not attract. If you know you are OCD when it comes to your living space, the last person you would want to share an apartment with is the person who has the leftover food and clothes everywhere. Once you start living with someone you realize very quickly what their cleaning habits are, so it is better to be upfront and positive that your roommate is willing to do chores around the house or take turns when it comes to doing dishes and taking out the trash.
I think we can all agree that almost everyone has had both good and bad experiences in the roommate department, but by using these tips to your advantage when doing your roommate search you can eliminate some of the factors that may cause issues down the road. Your apartment should be a comforting place for you to escape the stresses of college life, and the first step to having a stress-free environment is having a roommate you can get along with. If you, and possibly your roommate, are in the market for a place to live, here at Liberty Properties, we pride ourselves in being one of the best property management companies in Auburn, AL, specializing in apartments. Make your apartment search easier and contact us at 334-821-1600.