There are many benefits to living with a roommate: you get to save money on rent and utility bills, you are never lonely since you constantly have someone around, you can split the chores and consequently keep the apartment in shape, and many more. While living with roommates is has become the norm for 20-somethings, these benefits, as well as other factors such as the recent rise in divorce for people over 50, has encouraged older individuals to follow the trend and live with roommates as well. With more seniors becoming open to shared living, how do you find a senior roommate that you can trust?
How to find older roommates? You can find older roommates in the same way you would find any other roommate- searching online. There are several platforms you can use to your advantage such as Craigslist, SpareRoom, Padmapper, Roomie Match, Roomster, and Facebook among others.
Once you have advertised on a chosen platform and found applicants you like, interview them to find out whether they are able to afford rent, their work schedule, and any other details you may need to know. Screen the applicants by meeting them in person and conducting a background check just to be sure they are trustworthy. Living with a friend may sound like a good idea, but it will only result in a ruined companionship, so you are better off sticking to social media and online classifieds.
Finding an old roommate is not as difficult as you may think, especially when you consider the fact that more seniors are warming up to the idea of sharing space with roommates they mostly discover online.
A. Advertising for a roommate
With the availability of online platforms, finding a roommate has become increasingly easy. Here are some of the best roommate finders online:
Craigslist is one of the most popular platforms you can use to find a roommate. Craigslist has an extensive online classified section, and it has become common practice to post listings or browse what is readily available to find a roommate. However, keep an eye out for scams and only post or look for high-quality listings.
This is a roommate finder app that is available on both Android and iOS. Roomi screens all the listings and users on the site so as to ensure that there are no red flags or scammers disguised as prospective roommates. It is easy to navigate for millennials and seniors alike, and you can create an account for free. Once you are up and running, simply post a listing or search for potential roommates and message those that you feel might be compatible. The app even goes as far as transferring your roommate’s portion of the rent on the day they move in, so it is definitely worth your consideration.
Roomster is a roommate finder that is available on both Android and iOS where you will find a wide range of listings ranging from cities to suburbs. What’s more, this roommate finder lets users link their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts so that you can conduct as much research as possible on a prospective roommate before you meet up. You can create an account for free, post a listing along with photos, and also get messages from paid subscribers. You can upgrade to a paid account so as to connect with users over social media sites and communicate with other users.
4. Circle for Roommates
This is a great option if you are looking for a roommate in either L.A or New York City. You can browse profiles and decide on what interests you and what doesn’t. The profiles include pictures, a short description of the person, and personality tags that will help you judge if someone is the right fit or not.
EasyRoomate has a layout that is easy to navigate for both young and old, and it is one of the more established platforms where you can begin your search for a roommate. You have the option to subscribe for free if you are looking for a roommate or you intend to list a room, but to unlock other features such as the unlimited access to other users of the platform, you will have to pay a small fee.
If you are seeking a more curated experience, Roomiematch is the website for you. It focuses on helping you find a roommate based on everything from your personality to your location and price point. The submissions that are made on the site are thoroughly reviewed by actual humans who weed out the scammers and spambots from genuine people.
You can easily find apartments on Padmapper in a specific neighborhood or block. Based on this function, you can find apartments listed by people who want to fill an extra room with a roommate. Padmapper gives you a better idea of the room rather than the people who are posting them, but if you find a unit you like, you could go a step further and reach out to find out whether they are a good fit.
Roommates.com utilizes an automated matching system that is intended to help you find a roommate by prioritizing the listings that are most relevant to your search. The website is well-established, which means you have a wide selection to choose from. You can create an account and set up a profile for free, but if you want to communicate with other users, you will have to upgrade to a paid account.
Virtually everyone is on Facebook these days, so you can use it to your advantage and try to find a roommate there if you don’t mind making your search known to a wider audience. Make sure your privacy settings allow for more people to see and share your post. You may just find a senior roommate this way, so it doesn’t hurt to consider this platform.
SpareRoom is an app that allows you to personalize your roommate search so as to find the right match. It is available on both Google Play and the App Store.
Although Reddit is not primarily a roommate finder website, several cities have subreddits that focus on their housing market so it may be worth your while if you are in search of a roommate.
Diggz is a roommate finder site that focuses on matching you with potential roommates based on their habits and your preferences. When you find someone who ticks all the right boxes, simply hit the “Like” button, and if they like you back, you will have matched and you can start communicating.
B. Asking the tough questions
You want a roommate that you can get along with, so make sure you ask a lot of questions, even ones that may be uncomfortable to answer. Here are some sample questions you can ask so as to get to know your roommate a little better:
- Do you have a steady source of income? – It is important to find out whether they will be able to afford their portion of the rent.
- Do you own pets? – Some rental units have strict pet policies, so it is important to inquire whether a potential roommate has a furry friend.
- Do you have any other expenses? – Inquire about any other expenses they may have such as medical expenses or a car lease that may affect their ability to pay the rent in the future.
- How old are you? – Since your main focus is finding a senior roommate, consider inquiring about the age of a prospective roommate especially if there is no way to tell.
- Do you smoke? – Unless you don’t mind smoke in your apartment, inquire whether a potential roommate smokes indoors.
- What’s your work schedule? – Find out when they work to determine whether it is compatible with your own work schedule.
- Do you have a significant other? – Although this may seem a bit personal, find out whether they have a significant other that they may invite over frequently to ensure that it doesn’t affect the guest policy.
- Is there anything you want to inquire from me? – It is important to give the other person a chance to interview you as well.
All in all, discuss in detail each other’s likes, dislikes, and habits as honestly as you can.
C. Screening the applicants
This involves verifying a potential roommate is as trustworthy as they claim.
- Meet them in person – Once you come up with a list of potential roommates based on the interview, arrange to meet them in person. This allows you to get comfortable with each other as well as discuss various areas of interest.
- Conduct a background check – It is important to order a background check so as to find out if there are any red flags such as a criminal record or a poor rental history.
- Request references – Ask for references from an employer or a past landlord so as to determine whether they will be a reliable renter.
- Proof of income – You can ask to see their pay stubs or any other proof of income.
Just because you are seeking a senior roommate doesn’t mean you should not put as much effort to find someone who would be a good fit. Thankfully, there are several platforms where you can start your search, after which you can ask all the necessary questions and screen potential roommates before determining who will share your living space.