So you have found the perfect apartment, a great community, an excellent location and you can't wait to move in, but you may have realized in order to acquire these great things, you are going to need an extra person to help you cover the costs - so, you need a roommate.
Picking the right person for the job is at the end of the day, the be all and end all of your living experience. If you find the right person to share your space with that you get on with, has similar wants and needs, and you both have respect for each other - what a pleasure.
But, we all know that that finding that person is not always easy, and you can find yourself in some uncomfortable situations when you discover just who you are actually living with. Personal habits, lifestyle choices, expectations, age and income brackets all play a big part in how this will work out for you and your roommate. Here are 3 ways to help you find the best roommate.
This is important. It helps you put a face to a name and helps you establish whether you think they might be able to live with you or not, and vice versa. Here is a chance to find out if you have similar interests, if they embrace a similar lifestyle, and to go through a quick test of their suitability. Do not hesitate to ask for a police clearance or references; in fact a quick background test from your side will also give you peace of mind. Don't feel embarrassed to ask these things; this is the person you are considering living with, you have a right to know about any skeletons in their background.
Are they a lifestyle match?
It will be very difficult to live with someone if they are a student while you are a working professional. They may want to party all night, have friends around drinking and talking loudly every night of the week, while you are looking to come home to a quiet evening in front of the TV, with a glass of wine. Smokers and athletes won't do well in the same environment, and bad lifestyle habits will quickly become a problem if you don't already have them too. Finding someone who has the same day to day routine and habits as you do already is first prize.
Who not to Choose
You may think a colleague, friend, sibling or other relative are your safest bets as you know them, but they are just as bad as getting a stranger as a roommate. Just because you are friendly with someone at work, or friends with someone and get on with them, does not mean that you are compatible with them when it comes to living arrangements. Siblings and relatives are just risky business all the way, and the sure fire way to divide a family and end a friendship. If you are considering one of these options, everything will need to be discussed beforehand, and strict boundaries put in place from both sides, otherwise it will end in tears. What advice would you give someone looking for a roommate?
Darren Kolman contributed this guest post for Renters Voice. Darren is a real estate consultant and freelance writer. His articles mainly appear on property blogs.