Making the choice to move can sometimes be an easy one. If you’re cramped and in a bad neighborhood, switching apartments could gain you more space to spread out, the view could be better with a bigger apartment, and you could gain an extra bathroom! 

There are good and not so good things that come with a bigger apartment, which is why many people seek out someone to share their space with. Having a roommate can ease many burdens that could come with a bigger apartment, but choosing the right roommate is as important as finding the right apartment. 

Roommate Pros 

  • Savings: The biggest plus of having a roommate is that you both save some money by splitting bills like rent, utilities, groceries and other apartment expenses (or splurges – lookin’ at you 64” TV!). It can even save money in unexpected ways, like reducing the cost per meal of cooking for more than one person. You can buy in bulk and save knowing that between you and your roommate(s), it will get used.  
  • Reliability: You’ll always have someone you can rely on. They can be someone you create a network around between your friends and family and theirs. Roommates can share responsibilities for things like caring for each other’s pets or plants. 
  • Roommate Duties: Sharing responsibilities can extend to general apartment chores, like cleaning, cooking, etc. Choosing how to split these responsibilities may vary from roommate to roommate- some may split them evenly by days or weeks, some may choose to do certain tasks and leave other tasks to their new partner.  
  • Companionship: Not all roommates may be friends, or even people you know before moving in with each other. Whether bonds form between roommates or not, it’s a safe bet to say that someone will always be there. While you may miss each other with different schedules or sleep patterns, it would be hard to get lonely with all the signs of life left by another individual. There’s also an element of safety tied to having a roommate, someone to go places with, or help if a sticky situation arises.  

Roommate Cons 

  • Need for privacy: A roommate comes with all elements of them – all their stuff and their personalities. One of the benefits of not having a roommate means you get more space to yourself and more choice in how you use it.  
  • Conflict avoidance: Living with another person will inevitably create conflict. It could be as benign as choosing what movie to watch together or as volatile as distrust in the roommate or one of their associates. Choosing to forgo a roommate minimizes the change of conflict in one’s life, at least at home.  

Decided to find a roommate, now what? 

First, it’s important to decide what kind of roommate you’re looking for. Typically there are two types of roommates: random roommates and chosen roommates.  

  • Random roommates can be those that are assigned, like in a dorm, or ones that can be found using ads or apps. If they’re not assigned, usually there is an opportunity to match personalities or habits but otherwise they are strangers.  
  • Chosen roommates are those that are associated to you in some way. They could be friends or friends of friends, even family members. These are roommates you know and may be more comfortable with in the long run. 

Choosing between these two options depends on what you’re looking for in a roommate. It takes a lot of effort on how you present as a roommate and understanding what you should be looking for in the way of compatibility.  

It may be easy to find a chosen roommate in your friend or family group, if someone is looking to upgrade from a small apartment like you or looking to move out of a certain situation. Finding a roommate in your circle may be difficult as well; the person you know in the same situation as you may not mesh with your personality or not be reliable in the way of money management.  

In this case, you might need to turn to a random roommate. There are websites and apps available to assist in the search. Roommate finders include providers like Craigslist, RoomieMatch, Diggz and others. Typically, an ad or profile is created that searchers use to try to match up with a roommate that fits their desired criteria. Whether the search is for someone opposite but compatible or someone that is equal in personality, it’s important to know what you’re looking for first. If possible, make sure to meet the person in a public place first, not only for safety but to get to know them in a neutral area. 

Moving can be stressful. 

Whether you choose to move with the help of friends and family or with your brand-new roommate, knowing what you need and want can help limit moving stress.  

It’s important to take the time to research not only who you may be sharing a space with but also where you may be sharing space. Be sure to investigate rules and regulations an apartment might have regarding roommates and shared spaces.  

With a little bit of time and a dash of stress, you can settle into your new place in no time.