Choosing a good roommate

 

If you're going to live with someone for the first time, it'll help to make some decisions about what you want from a roommate in advance.

Here are five things to consider before you start your roommate search.

1. Am I looking for a new best friend?

If you're new to renting, sharing an apartment is a great way to make friends and have an instant social circle. If you've lived in a city for a while you'll probably already have a wide circle of friends and will just be looking for somewhere to live.

Both are okay but it's best to be clear about what you're looking for. If you want time to yourself but your roommate wants to hang out all the time it might not work for either of you. Of course roommates become great friends all the time but it's best not to put that pressure on the relationship from the start.

2. Should I share with friends?

Whilst it seems ideal to live with someone you already know and like, sharing with friends can put stress on your relationship. With a new roommate you can get away with just telling them how you feel, as you're risking much less shared history

We ran a poll asking 'Who makes the best roommates?'. The results may surprise you.

  • An existing friend - 28%
  • A friend of a friend - 17%
  • Someone you don't know - 55%

So, if you want to stay friends with friends, share with strangers.

3. Are your routines compatible?

If you have to be up early for work and like to go to bed at a reasonable time, you may not enjoy living with someone who gets home around midnight and brings the party with them. The same applies in reverse, of course.

4. Are your cleaning habits similar?

Everybody has different standards of cleaning - what's messy to you might be acceptable to someone else. Be honest with yourself about how tidy you are and try to choose a roommate with similar standards of cleanliness. It's no fun for anyone if you're a neat freak and choose a roommate who leaves their dirty dishes hanging around for days.

5. Don't move in before you've met them

Make sure you meet all of the roommates in your new apartment before agreeing to move in. Even if you've met two out of three and get on really well with them, don't chance it. If you discover you can't stand the third after you've moved in then it'll be too late.

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