How to Pick the Perfect Roommate

Living in a Los Angeles apartment and finding it hard to make the rent? Ask yourself these questions and if all signs point to “yes”, then it may be time to get a roommate!

Picking the perfect roommate can be a daunting decision, but knowing what questions to ask and what factors to consider will make choosing the perfect roommate to share you Los Angeles apartment a breeze.

1. Know Your Deal Breakers

Before you start your search for a roommate, ask yourself what would constitute a deal breaker.  For instance, would your idea roommate work during the same hours as you so that most likely there would be more quiet time during your sleeping hours, or would you prefer a roommate who works opposite hours so that you rarely see them?

Would it be a deal breaker if your potential roommate was a smoker or perhaps had a significant other who would stay over very frequently?

For more examples of roommate deal breakers, read this great article by ECollegeTimes.

2.  Be Up Front

When running an ad for a roommate or creating your profile, be honest and up front about the kind of living situation and roommate you are looking for.  For example, if you prefer a male or female roommate, if you have a preference as to their age range or if they must be ok with you having two dogs.

3.  Ask Questions

Unfortunately, finding the right roommate isn’t just as simple as meeting and getting a “good vibe”.  The biggest key to finding the perfect roommate is to ask questions and then to answer them yourself so that they will also have an idea of your compatibility!

  • What is their routine work or school schedule?
  • When sharing a bathroom, if your schedules are similar, what time do they usually shower and how long will it take them?
  • When it comes to keeping common areas clean, are they neat or “relaxed? Get clarification as this means different things to different people (and no one admits to being a slob).
  • Will they pitch in on the heavier kinds of cleaning the common areas?  (example: instead of just picking up their belongings, will they split vacuuming, toilet cleaning and mopping chores with you or do they prefer splitting going in on a cleaner with you).
  • How noise sensitive are they, especially when it comes to sleeping hours?
  • Are they extra-sensitive to fragrances and/or odors? This may affect what you choose as cleaning products and you may have to hide your running shoes after going to the gym.
  • Are they allergic to anything? (Examples: peanuts, perfume, milk, flowers, mold, smoke).
  • Do they smoke, drink, or do any other kinds of recreational drugs?
  • Do they enjoy decorating, or do they not care about decorating? What decorating style do they have?
  • How much TV do they watch? What do they watch?
  • Do they like to share some items like pots and dishes or do they prefer to have separate everything?
  • How often do they have overnight guests and how often are they ok with you having overnight guests?
  • How often would they have friends over? Some people have friends that almost live with them and others only have guests once a week or on special occasions.
  • What is their credit like (applicable if they are moving in with you or you are looking for a new place together).

4.  Find Out Their Expectations of You

Find out what your potential roommate expects from becoming roommates and compare their expectations to yours.

Some people just want a roommate in order to lower the cost of rent and expect or even prefer minimal interaction; others are very social and would like to have a built-in friend.

5.  Do Your Research

While we would all like to trust that every individual is honest, when picking the perfect roommate you must be cautious!

Moving.com has some really great tips on what information you will need from a new roommate based on if the new roommate is moving in with you, you are moving in with them, or if you are both going to find a new Los Angeles apartment together.