You’ll Never Look for Roommates the Same Way After Reading This
Whether you’re moving to a new city or looking for a new room in your current one, finding roommates that you enjoy living with can be difficult. Having to consider everything — from neighborhood and amenities to your new roommates’ age, gender, and hobbies — is daunting. Discovering an ideal home can seem nearly impossible.
The team at ROOM8 is dedicated to making your search simple and seamless. ROOM8 is an all-in-one marketplace for millennial and gen-z renters, helping them match with roommates and directly access thousands of professionally managed properties. With special features to support groups like military personnel, parents, students, and more, it’s one of the most detailed and popular apps for finding new roommates, rooms, and apartments.
Thanks to the extensive data that ROOM8 has gathered from its hundreds of thousands of users they are able to offer a comprehensive breakdown of the most important matching factors to consider when meeting new roommates. Let’s break them down!
First Things First, Settle Your “Must Haves”
Liking the location of your new apartment is a key part of being happy there. Identify your personal needs and look for a neighborhood that meets the majority of them. Is it crucial to be within walking distance of a grocery store or public transportation? Do you prefer a quaint and quiet area or a more bustling neighborhood where you can walk to exciting nightlife? Want a park where you can take your dog to play?
Find roommates who are on the same page as you in regard to the location before you book an appointment to see a room in a neighborhood you’re not familiar with. Don’t forget to consider the position of the apartment or room, either! If it’s on the sixth floor with no elevator or facing a busy street, you’ll need to evaluate how much you like walking up stairs or how much noise you can tolerate.
Desired Move-in Date
It goes without saying that being ready and willing to move in around the same time is a huge benefit to everyone involved. It’s much easier to work through where everything goes in a shared space rather than after the fact when you or your roommate has already found homes for your belongings. Try to sync your move-in date with your roommates as closely as possible to avoid those awkward conversations later on.
This is especially important when sharing bathrooms. While everyone is different, women tend to take more time getting ready than men. If you’re moving into a house with five females and one bathroom, be prepared to deal with a shower schedule for mornings or evenings. Sensitive to smells? Men are prone to more odors.
Matching budgets is a high priority consideration when looking for roommates. After all, if you’re part of the Millennial and Gen-Z population, you’re likely forking over 30–50% of your monthly income just to pay rent. That allocation, from each roommate, needs to be enough to cover the cost of rent in your new apartment. By using ROOM8, you can not only match with roommates based on budget, but also find roommates and apartments that will allow you to drastically reduce your monthly rent payments. By meeting and discussing on ROOM8 first, you’ll both know what you’re comfortable paying before you decide to sign a lease and move, and you’ll know exactly what your expenses will look like. (*Hint* way lower!)
Co-living is Nicer When You Get the “Nice to Haves”
Imagine a college student living with someone in their 50s — who isn’t their parent. Sure, it could work, but most people would probably find it a little awkward. Being in or around the same age group means you’ll be at similar stages in life and likely more compatible. Younger people tend to go out more, while older folks, who have “been there, done that,” may prefer to stay in. Generally speaking, younger people are unattached, while older people will have more friends who are married and with children. This will absolutely affect your home life, so make sure to consider it early on in your search.
People who don’t like or are allergic to pets will have a difficult time living with pet owners. Make sure you’re informed on any furry friends that might be moving in with a potential roommate. Even if you like pets, it’s a good idea to meet the other person’s before moving in together — their pet might not like you!
Do you like sharing a room or are you considering it just to save even more on rent? Or do you require a private room of your own? It’s an important consideration when you’re evaluating how many roommates you might live with and where you’ll live with them. Take a look at your finances and personal preferences to weight what works best for you.
For ROOM8 users, finding a place with the comforts of home is incredibly important. Dishwasher, furniture, in-unit laundry, parking, air conditioning — all of these features make your life easier. Before you start searching for a new place, figure out your non-negotiables in regards to amenities. If you despise washing dishes, you’ll want a kitchen with a working dishwasher. If you can’t afford a new sofa, you’ll want to look for roommates who already have a couch or pre-furnished apartments. And of course, you’ll want to ensure that the listed amenities actually work as they should. If the washing machine is broken and your potential roommates aren’t interested in getting it fixed, you might want to think twice before moving in.
If you’re not a fan of smoking, you’ll want to inquire about your prospective roommates’ smoking habits. Many smokers and non-smokers successfully cohabitate by agreeing on smoking outside the apartment, but it may be easier for both parties to avoid this co-living situation altogether.
The “Optional” Extra Roommate-Matching Mile
Clean freak? If you are and your roommates aren’t, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Make sure you ask about habits like how often they wash their dishes, if they hate doing dishes, and if they’re willing to make a chore schedule with you. If they’re resistant, you might be speaking with someone who won’t live up to your cleanliness standards.
Being best friends with your roommates sounds too good to be true, but it’s definitely possible if you share some common hobbies or interests. When chatting with potential roommates, go beyond the basics like where they work and where they went to school. Dig deeper and inquire about their passions. If you’ve never watched a football game in your life, and prefer to chill quietly at home on Sundays, you’ll want to know about your roommates’ plans to watch the game together every weekend, before you sign that lease.
Number of Roommates, Length of Lease, College or Work
Can’t stand crowds? Make sure you let prospective roommates how many others you’re willing to live with. This will impact how much you each pay for rent each month, but also your overall lifestyle. Homes with more roommates will need to have their common areas cleaned more frequently, and may come with occasional inconveniences like waiting for the restroom more often.
It might surprise you to know that agreeing on the length of a lease is lower on most people’s list of priorities when considering roommates. With options like ROOM8 for finding great people to live with, it may be that they feel secure enough that they’ll be able to replace those who can’t stay as long. However, it’s still in your best interest to go over exactly how long you and your roommates plan to live together or any significant life events like a new job or school opportunity that might cause any of you to need to move.
Having a school or workplace in common can be beneficial for commuting, but is not really an important factor for most people outside of that. Don’t make it a focal point in your search.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
While it can be fun to discover that you have a connection to your roommates based on their hometown, people generally don’t make their roommate decisions based on this factor.
More surprisingly, people don’t tend to care about how late their roommates stay up. While it may be a crucial detail for those who share a room, for renters with private rooms it seems to be a minor detail.
Also surprisingly, people don’t seem to take their potential roommates’ relationship statuses into account when making decisions on who to live with. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering — if your roommate’s significant other is visiting more than three times a week, well…you’ve got an extra roommate.
Use ROOM8 for a Stress-Free Roommate Search
ROOM8 helps you streamline your roommate search by helping you build a rich user profile loaded with all of your roommate preferences, which lets you simply and seamlessly match with and filter for other users who align with your roommate requirements. Chat with your matches, browse thousands of professionally managed properties, setup viewings, and more, all from within the ROOM8 app! Save yourself time, money, and headaches by finding your next place and roommates on ROOM8.
Written by Katie Sweeny