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Selecting A Roommate

Selecting a Roommate*

Roommates are a good way to cut costs by sharing expenses. As you start your roommate search, determine what type of person you want to live with.

Whether that person is your best friend or someone who answers an ad, you should interview the person carefully. Make sure you are compatible. It can save a lot of frustration and problems down the road. Here are a few things to consider:

•    How do you want to divide the costs of rent and utilities? Unless one of the bedrooms is substantially larger than the other, you will probably want to split the costs evenly.

•    Decide how you want to divide daily living expenses. Do you want to share common household items such as milk, coffee and laundry detergent?

•    How do you feel about a roommate borrowing your belongings? What's mine is yours and yours is mine, or do you prefer not to lend things out?

•    What type of relationship are you looking for with your new roommate? Are you looking for someone to hang out with or someone to just share the bills?

•    Are you in a serious relationship? Are they?  Will a "significant other" be staying the night?  How often?

•    Are you a smoker? If not, are you willing to live with someone who is? How do you feel about smoking in the house?  What about alcohol or drug use?

•    Are you a night owl or an early bird? Would you prefer living with someone who has the same schedule as you?

•    How important is a clean home? Do you share the same ideas about cleanliness?

•    What kind of music do you like, and how loud do you play it?

•    Are you OK with having house parties or would you prefer no parties?

•    What are your feelings on your roommate having a pet?

•    How do you feel about visitors? Do friends or family drop in frequently?  How long will they be staying?

*Information from