Roommate advice is one of those topics people don’t want to talk about when they need it most. If you need roommate advice, it’s usually because there’s some awkward tension (whether it be social or financial).
The best thing you can do before moving in with someone is to get to know them and speak with people who have had roommates before. It can be as simple as getting some coffee or going for a walk through a park.
A casual meet up will determine if your personalities cooperate or conflict. However, this isn’t just a personality interview, that’s why it’s imperative to speak with someone who has roommate experience. They will teach you the questions to ask to make this meeting efficient.
It’s okay to break the ice with “what do you like to do for fun” or “what are your hobbies” when you meet someone, but remember, at the end of the day, you’re meeting to talk about rooming together. Treat this like a business meeting.
Once you calm the nerves (if you had any), ask where they live. Is the location practical for you? Is it close to work and the places you like to go? Ask about the monthly rent, utilities, and how they get paid. Do they pay by check, PayPal/Venmo, or an online portal? Are any utilities included in the rent? If so, which ones?
Work schedules are likewise critical to discuss. Do you work second, third, or swing shift while the other person works first? Differing schedules might require more specific boundaries or automatically rule out someone as a roommate if you’re a sensitive sleeper.
As you can see, for every question there is an additional two or three questions. It’s important to ask the tough questions to quickly determine if you and the person (or people) you’re meeting with are compatible roommates.
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