Finding your first apartment can be exciting and liberating, the crowning achievement post-graduation. Unfortunately, a fabulous place comes at a fabulous price. These days with mounting college debt and so-so starting salaries, many college graduates and career beginners cannot afford to live solo. Maybe you could return to your childhood home and live with mom and dad, but once you’ve lived on your own at college, parental rules may feel restrictive and backward for a responsible, ambitious adult like yourself. Besides, your former bedroom could already be converted into a man cave/she shed for them! What do you do to retain your independence and keep your new place? Find a roommate, of course!
Seek and Ye Shall Find a Roommate
Searching for a compatible roommate is almost like dating. You know what you want, but how will you find it out there? Use these tactics to find your flat mate.
Word of Mouth
If you’re looking for a roommate, enlist your friends and family to help. Explain what kind of person you’re seeking and what your residence is like. Ask co-workers or post an ad at your office for assistance. Anyone you like and trust from your family doctor down to your hairdresser may know someone who needs a place to live.
Not just for click bait, viewing popular memes and ridiculous selfies, make use of your media by posting your quest for a roommate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, etc. Avoid including too many details but just enough to hook a good candidate. If you want to reach more prospects, ask friends, followers and links to share the post.
Just like dating sites, roommate sites exist, too. Forbes suggests visiting roommates.com, uroomsurf.com, roomiematch.com or roomidex.com to find your ideal match. Fill out pertinent information about you, your place and what qualities you want in a perfect roommate. Websites like these provide convenient, easy ways to search for a roommate for busy individuals at home or on the go.
Alumni Network/College Organizations
Contact your college alumni network for a referral to a potential roommate in your area. Pledging a sorority or fraternity isn’t just a good way to make friends and as an entrée into the best parties; it’s a good source for finding a roommate even after you leave college. You can also contact other organizations you participated in at school like sports teams, the drama club, the newspaper or charities where you volunteered. Some high schools even offer alumni networking services, so take advantage of them as well.
Posting an ad on your local Craigslist is a popular way to find a great roommate in your area. Delineate exactly what you want without delving into too many details including your actual address and other personal information and await your replies.
Word of Caution
With any of these options for locating a roommate, ensure the person is not only compatible to live with you but that they are who they say they are and understand your intentions and expectations. It cannot hurt to investigate your prospective roommate by getting a background check done and Googling them. Remember also to meet and get acquainted with the prospect in a public place before jumping the gun and welcoming them into your home.