Having a roommate can considerably lower your living costs. However, splitting rent may not be worth it if you end up sharing your apartment with someone who is irresponsible and sloppy.
If you’re considering getting a roommate, it’s important that you get to know this person first. However, even if you’ve known someone a long time, it doesn’t mean you would live well together.
Ask your potential roommate the following questions to help you decide if you should share your home with them:
Cleanliness can be a major cause of strife between roommates. If you’re a naturally tidy, organized person, then it may be difficult to find someone who lives up to your standards. Even other self-professed neat and tidy people may have different ways of organizing that may be difficult to get used to.
The more important issue is whether or not you feel you can agree to a cleaning schedule and standard for your apartment, and if you can rely on your roommate to follow through.
If you spend all week looking forward to a quiet Saturday with coffee and a good book, then you will want to know if your potential roommate is a party animal. This works in reverse, too. If you love to invite lots of friends over on the weekends, make sure your potential roommate is comfortable coming home to a house full of people.
If you smoke, even if you keep it outside, make sure potential roommates are aware of your habit. They may have medical conditions that would make it difficult for them to live with you.
Similarly, if you don’t smoke, it’s important to know if your roommate will. If your apartment does not allow smoking, make this clear before a lease is signed.
It’s possible your roommate candidate is looking for new housing due to a bad living situation. If they are leaving a toxic environment, it’s important to make sure it won’t follow them into your home. It’s also possible they are to blame for poor relationships with past roommates.
If they imply there were problems in their previous living situation, dig deeper to see if this is someone you should be bringing into your home.
It’s important to be clear about expectations regarding pets. If you have pets, disclose this before making any lease agreement. Also make sure you’re aware of any possible pets your roommate may be bringing with them. If your landlord has a no-pet policy, or forbids certain breeds, make sure this is clear before agreeing to anything.
If you’re expecting a roommate to pay half the rent, it’s important that they have reliable income. It’s also important to be aware of their work schedule, and to be prepared for frequent business trips, or someone who works the graveyard shift and sleeps all day.
This may seem personal, but you will be sharing a life with whoever rents your spare bedroom. It’s important to be prepared if a third person will be in your home on a regular basis.
If your kitchen is serving as a holding place for the microwave, then you may not be ready for an aspiring chef to move in. However, if you love to cook, you will want to be prepared to share the kitchen.
Hopefully, your potential roommate will have some insightful questions that will help determine if the two of you should live together. Answer honestly, and make sure you are able to reasonably adjust to a new person in your apartment as you learn more about them.
By this point, you should have a good idea if the two of you are compatible roommates. There will be compromises with any person who shares your home, but make sure all relevant cards on are on the table.