There are some important things that you should consider before you get a roommate. This is a very big decision that can impact your life in many different ways. If you have not considered the things that you need to look at before you get a roommate, you should. Hopefully this list will help you to see what you need to be thinking about in making this decision.
1. Getting References
Before you get a roommate, make a decision to ask to see references from those you are considering as being your roommate. Don’t worry about offending them. If they are offended, they are obviously not the right person for you. You need to know about this person’s maturity level and personality traits as well as their past, to make sure you are making a wise and safe choice. Good potential roommates will be happy to give you references.
2. Explaining Ground Rules
It is a good idea to talk about ground rules right up front. If you expect your roommate to let you know if they are going to be gone for more than 24 hours, say that right up front. If you don’t want them to have guests on a certain night because you might be studying a lot at that time, talk about that. You also want to ask what they are looking for in a roommate. Getting the ground rules straight right up front can save a lot of trouble later on.
3. What Personality You Are Looking for
You can’t choose a perfect person to be your roommate but it is good to consider what kind of personality you are looking for. If you are a very quiet person who likes her quiet, you probably don’t want to choose a social butterfly who must be with people at all times. Think about what things you simply can and cannot tolerate in a roommate’s personality. A roommate can end up being a very good friend to you if you get lucky. Even if that doesn’t happen, you want to end up being able to at least tolerate one another easily.
4. Financial Division
It is very important to talk about financial division. Of course you are splitting the rent or you have a set rate you expect to be paid if you own the home. If you expect your roommate to also pay for a utility or other expense, you need to be clear on that from the off. It is also good to talk about how you plan to handle groceries and the expense of that. The more you discuss now, the less hassle later.
5. Chore Division
Chore division can be a huge source of contention between roommates. Don’t allow that to happen to you. Talk about what you want to do with the chores. Be open for new ideas from potential roommates. They might have an even better system than you had in mind for chore division.
6. If You like Them
You do not want to choose someone that you clash with as a roommate. If you meet someone with a really strong personality that you feel like could be a potential clash later, don’t choose them. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate but you do want to at least like them as a person. You are living with them. It is important to make that a pleasant experience. Choosing someone you like will aid you in that.
7. If They Have Pets
It is important to find out if a potential roommate has pets and talk about how that fits in with your equation. Maybe you are fine with a small pet or you may want no pets at all. Whatever your feelings are, share them up front and see if you can find common ground. Pets is usually a pretty cut and dried issue for most people. You usually know exactly how you feel about this.
Choosing a roommate is an important decision. I am hopeful this list helps you think about some important points to consider. What other points do you think matter in choosing a roommate?