Finding a good roommate is though, it can even be torture. And this is bad news considering that between 2007-2010 “the number of shared households had increased by 11.4 percent” according to a report on the U.S census findings for shared housing by Laryssa Mykyta and Suzanne Macartney. They conclude that “In 2010, shared households accounted for 18.7 percent of all households”. This means that it’s not unlikely that you or someone close to you has or is in need of a roommate.
A clear delineation that Mykyta and Macartney make in their study is that it’s likely that such a large percentage of people are in shared living situations to “mitigate challenging economic circumstances”. In a separate article by Jon Bittner the CEO of Splitwise, Jon reiterates this conclusion by showing that “the average savings when switching from a studio to a 2-bedroom with a roommate is 26% per year […] or $3,060 per year.”
So with such a large percentage of the population living in roommate like housing situations; why are there so few tools out there to help people find quality roommates? This is a question that I’ve asked myself, and if you’re still reading this I assume you’ve asked it also. So I’ve decided to do a little of that work for you and put together 4 simple tips to help you find a roommate that isn’t terrible.
Tip #1: Check Your Lease
We spoke with Jamiah, a veteran in the property management field with over 8 years of experience in leasing available apartments in the East Bay off of San Francisco. She told us to that “a common problem we run into is residents allowing their friends to move in without being on the lease” “always be sure to check your lease before anyone moves in.”
PRO TIP: Jamiah said the most common problem that she run’s into is residents quarreling about the security deposit. Sort this out before you move in – she recommends doing it “in writing”.
Tip #2: Finances
Don’t under think your payment arrangements. Trying to maintain a harmonious household in the presence of money troubles can be like holding quicksilver. Work out the details of how the bills will be paid BEFORE you move in.
Tip #3: Credit Checks
If your best friend’s credit can’t pass the landlord/property manager’s pre-screen, stay friends, but don’t become roommates.
Tip #4: Synergy
Is your roommate going to hog your Wi-Fi bandwidth? Do they set the thermostat to 50 degrees? Far too many roommate relationships have soured over small details that could have been avoided. Be sure to communicate openly, be understanding, and follow through.
But when the day is done, what really matters is having a roommate who’s funny. Check out these awesomely funny roommate classifieds.
The sarcastic roommate: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/488537774.html
The roommate you don’t want: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sdo/39982285.html
The Creative roommate: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/10597081.html