How To Find A Great (Or At Least Good) Roommate

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The cost of living in California can be through the roof. With the average cost of an apartment topping $2,000 a month, it’s no wonder people in California choose to live with roommates long past graduating college. Even married couples help pay the bills with roommates. Finding a good roommate, though, can be a challenge. Here are some tips:

Manage your expectations

You’re looking for a roommate, not a new best friend. You might end up with a new best friend, but it’s far more important that you and your roomie be compatible and that they pay their bills, or maybe especially that they pay their bills.

Be realistic in the ad

There’s no point in making your place look better than it is. Your applicants will find out. If the room is for just one person, be very specific in the ad. You may find a lot of couples or parents apply, which might be fine, but just make sure it’s a good fit for you. Will the roommate have run of the full house, or just the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen? Is there laundry, or parking? Are pets allowed?

Do a background check

You should check your prospective roommate’s credit report and criminal background. Remember, they are looking for a roommate situation, so odds are they don’t have perfect credit, but you want to make sure they pay their bills on time and that there have been no evictions.

Start with a month to month lease

This might be the opposite of how things are usually done, but remember that you’re inviting someone to live in your personal space. Start with a month to month lease, and then, if things go well, reexamine. You might want to stay month to month, and you might want a yearly lease.

Figure out cleaning and groceries

Set a cleaning schedule and stick to it. You should also discuss whether you want to share food (it’s not generally advised). Even if you don’t share food, you should decide how you’ll share cleaning supplies and toiletries.