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Roommate Wanted! 5 Tips to Find a Roommate in a New City

May 20, 2019

Moving to a new city is stressful. Looking for a roommate to cut rental costs doubles the stress. Nobody wants to live with a complete stranger or a person they know little about. Finding a reliable roommate is a huge deal, as roommates aren't just two people sharing a space. They're both responsible for building a good landlord-tenant relationship and creating a healthy atmosphere within the rental.

Tips to find a roommate in a new city

To find the perfect roommate in a new city who will potentially make a great friend, follow these five easy tips:

1. Do a little social research.

"Show me your social media account, and I'll tell you who you are." Such a modified approach to understanding people's personalities is pretty popular among Millennials and Gen Zers. If you need to discover useful information about a prospective roommate, simply check their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. People tend to share every detail of their lives on social media. By following someone on Instagram, for instance, you'll become familiar with when they wake up, what type of breakfast they prefer, and how many pubs they usually hit hanging out on Fridays. Of course, the content shared depends upon what they want you to see, while meanwhile they leave all the real drama behind the scenes. Be careful of that! You might be fascinated by the lifestyle displayed in their profile while a person is just trying to create an image of a successful traveler/blogger/influencer. Don't fall for it!
Try to get real information about their background, current job, and hobbies. You're unlikely to be satisfied with sharing an apartment with a drummer who can't live a day without testing their new drum set.

2. Get recommendations from your friends.

Ask your friends if they know anyone looking for an apartment in the same city. What if they have the perfect candidate for you? Your close friends should know for sure who you're not compatible with and who is definitely not your roommate type. Rooming with someone you know or with your friends' acquaintances is a secure way to rent an apartment.  

3. Make your network work for you.

There's at least one person in your surroundings who's also looking for a place to live. However, if you're not that into this idea, consider the theory of six handshakes. Through a chain of five acquaintances you can reach out to any person in the world. From this perspective, seeking a roommate in a new city is as easy as ABC. Believe me, countless hours of hanging out and interacting with others will pay off once you decide to look for a roomie. Plus, there are tons of sites for finding roommates online. All you need to do is fill out a profile providing details about yourself. You may also need to mention a preferable price as well as location of the rental, if you haven't found a place yet. As a rule, matching services "sort" roommates based on certain criteria starting with gender and finishing with lifestyle and common hobbies.
Co-existence isn't easy, but sometimes it's the only way to afford a nice apartment in a safe neighborhood. Try to search for a local roommate who can help you adjust to new surroundings and will introduce you to new people.

4. Interview potential roommates.

Consider interviewing different candidates before choosing the right one. It's okay to ask for proof of employment and credit scores. Pay attention to any red flags that may pop up. If a person doesn't have a regular income or switches jobs often, they're unlikely to provide timely rent payments or even afford electricity bills. Don't be afraid to ask questions that matter personally to you. If you're allergic to cats, for example, the roomie with a fluffy friend isn't the perfect candidate, to put it mildly. Ask as many questions as needed, but avoid topics related to religious and political beliefs and sexual orientation.  

5. Reach out to your previous landlord.

Since they spend lots of hours communicating with potential residents and perusing rental applications, landlords usually know someone who knows someone seeking a roommate as well. Considering this, you should stay in a good relationship with your previous landlords, if at all possible.

What are your recommendations on finding roommates in a new city? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving comments below. :)