If you are trying to find a roommate, it is definitely safe to say that you are not alone. There are many people looking to share a living space with another person especially since having a roommate comes with perks such as having to pay only a portion of the rent and utility bills, constant companionship, and an easier time when it comes to the household chores. There are many online roommate finders that you can use to help you connect with other roommate-seekers, but this doesn’t mean that you will get a roommate as you sign up.
How long does it take to find a roommate? It could take anywhere less than a week to a couple of months before you get a response to your listing, due to a number of reasons:
- You‘re asking for too much rent
- Your advertisement is not well-written
- The location is not too desirable
- Depend on how picky you are
- The photos of the room
Finding a roommate can be an easy or time-consuming task depending on how long it takes you to come across a perfect fit. Sometimes it just depends on how lucky you are, but more often than not, there are other reasons that may have an influence on how long it will take for you to find a roommate.
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Influences on how long it will take for you to find a roommate
- You‘re asking for too much rent – One of the main reasons why it may be taking you too long to find a roommate may be the amount of rent you are advertising to potential roommates. If it is unreasonably high, not too many people will be interested in sharing a space with you. Ensure that you do some research by looking at other advertisements posted on the roommate finder platform you are using in order to find out what other rooms similar to yours are going for in your city/town. If you find that the rent prices are much lower than what you are requesting, then you are probably asking too much for the rent.
- Your advertisement is not well-written – Potential roommates usually have to look over a huge number of advertisements, so your listing needs to stand out. Of course, you will have to include the basics: the dimensions of the room(s), the cost, distance from a transport system, amenities in the apartment, and any unique features that may be present.
It is also important to create a descriptive and unique headline to encourage a potential roommate to take the time to read your listing in detail. Don’t forget to make sure that your grammar is decent enough so that your post is easier to read.
- You live in a location that is not too desirable – If you live in a neighborhood that is simply too far away from the city center, this may have an effect on the time it will take you to get a roommate. In this case, make sure to explain your location precisely rather than fudging the details to make it seem your neighborhood more desirable than it actually is. Focus on other positive aspects such as the safety and any desirable amenities that may come with the apartment.
If your location is undesirable due to the high crime rates or any other negative element, then you may have to adjust the rental price so that it is cheaper and more appealing to potential roommates.
- It may also depend on how picky you are – If you are particularly picky when it comes to what you want in a roommate, it may take some time before you find someone who ticks all the right boxes. For example, if you don’t want to live with a smoker or you are opposed to pets, your roommate pool could be significantly limited.
- The photos of the room – It is important to include photos that accurately represent the room you are advertising in your leasing. Make sure that the photos are clear and they fully show off the room instead of just a corner. Consider including other parts of the house as well such as the living room, the kitchen, and the bathroom.
- Your social media – Many roommate finders are linked to your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so that potential roommates can get to know you a little better. If your social media posts are too provocative for most people to handle, then you may have trouble finding a roommate.
Even though it might take a little while longer than you expected to find a roommate that is a great fit, your efforts will be worthwhile. Here is the process that will take up a huge chunk of your time as you try to find a roommate.
The process of finding a roommate
The first step is to advertise your intention to find a roommate.
- Craigslist – Craigslist is one of the most popular options when it comes to finding a roommate online. The platform has an online classified section where you can browse the various listings or post your own. While you will probably get many responses, be prepared to encounter scams since virtually anyone can post on Craigslist. Ensure that you not only post high-quality listings but also browse for genuine ones. Once you receive legitimate responses, you can then start the elimination process based on your needs.
- Roommate apps – There are many roommate finder apps that you can use to your advantage:
- Roomi – Available on iOS and Android, Roomi is an app that functions by screening its various users and listings to weed out scammers. Its, interface is easy to use, and an account is free to create. You can post listings or search for roommates, as well as send messages to those who you feel might be the right fit.
- Roomiematch – Roomiematch aims to help you in your search for a roommate based on factors such as your location, price point, and personality. You can set up your profile for free so that other roommate seekers can reach out to you. However, if you want to increase the effectiveness of your search, you will have to pay for a premium account.
- EasyRoommate – This is a well-established app for roommate seekers that is easy to use and free to create an account. However, if you want unlimited access to other EasyRoommate users, there is a small fee to pay.
- Roommates.com – This is an efficient roommate finder that makes the process easier by prioritizing listings that are related to your search. It is free to create an account and set up your profile, but you will have to pay in order to send and receive messages to other users.
- Roomster – This apps lets users link their social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to their profiles, allowing you to find out more details about a potential roommate. Creating an account and posting listings is free, but you will have to pay a small fee in order to connect with fellow room seekers on social media.
- Facebook – Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, which makes it a great option if you are in need of a roommate. It is up to you to decide whether you want to make a public post regarding your search for a roommate or not.
- Online alumni boards – A great place to find roommates that have similar work schedules and interests are online college boards for alumni.
2. Ask the necessary questions
It is important to ask all the questions that you consider to be relevant during your search for a roommate, even if some of them are a tad uncomfortable. Some of the things to inquire about include their work schedule, if they have a pet, any other expenses they may have (student loans, car leases, medical expenses), whether they smoke, and anything else you deem important.
3. Screening potential roommates
The last step in finding a suitable roommate is screening the applicants. Once you come up with a shortlist of potential roommates, arrange to meet with them in person. This is the best time to get to know each other and your preferences to determine whether you are on the same page. Screening also involves ordering a background check so as to get rid of potential deadbeats as well as asking for references from an employer and past landlords. Consider asking to see proof of income as well to verify that they can afford to pay for rent and utilities. If everything checks out, you can begin making arrangements on when an applicant can move in.
When it comes to finding a roommate, you can’t be too sure how long it will take to find a suitable one. Opting to move in with a friend instead will definitely reduce the amount of time it will take to find an apartment, and while it is a viable option, you risk ruining your friendship in the process. It may be ideal to hang out with your friend on a daily basis, but not so much when they are not willing to help out with chores or fall behind on rent. Consider taking the necessary steps in order to find someone you can comfortably live with. While this may take time, it is definitely worthwhile.