There’s no doubt about it — college is expensive. If you’re living off campus and looking to ease some of your financial burden, you may decide to look for a roommate to help split living expenses. A roommate usually makes financial sense, but living with the wrong person can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
Although it might require a little work to find the right match, doing so pays big dividends in your overall happiness. Follow some of these tips to increase the chance that you find a roommate who’s compatible with your lifestyle and your student living arrangements.

Get the Word Out

The easiest way to find a good roommate is to ask around. Family members, teachers, and trusted friends are all excellent resources in your hunt. Since these people already know you, they’re not likely to recommend someone who could make you miserable. Spread the word far and wide before turning to other avenues, like Craigslist and advertisements, where the selection could be more random.

Turn to Technology

These days, you can find plenty of dating apps and websites, so it makes sense that there are roommate compatibility apps as well. Using this technology makes it easier to narrow down potential picks based on preferences and interests. Popular options include the apps Roomi and Roomster. Both help you find roommates in your area, allowing you to filter results and then message potential candidates.

Do Your Legwork

Once you’ve got several candidates in mind, it’s time to narrow down the field. Never agree to live with someone without first meeting them and having an interview. Ask appropriate questions to determine if this roommate would be a good fit. Keep the conversation and the setting casual, but discuss topics like neatness, noise, pets, and food habits. You should also discuss things like rent payments and how you plan to split the bills. A good roommate will appreciate the conversation and the chance to get these topics out in the open.

Get References

If you’re having trouble narrowing down a few potential candidates or you just want extra assurance that you’re making a good choice, gather references from previous landlords or roommates. If your pick can’t offer a reference, it may be a sign that you should look elsewhere.

Make It Official

Never move in with someone without a signed lease or sub-lease agreement. Even if you sign a lease with your landlord, draft a separate roommate agreement that puts the details you’ve discussed into writing. Be sure to include specifics, like who will pay what bills, how you will share cleaning responsibilities, and whether or not you’ll share groceries.

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