You see it both ways: the roommate grouping that has been together five years and beyond, and then the person who seems to constantly have people cycling in and out of his or her apartment.
So what’s the secret? How do you find the perfect roommate?
1. Don’t just go with your best friend
Actually, when it comes to roommates, we recommend going outside your friend zone. It’s important to be friendly, but you still want to have separate lives. That way you can avoid things like resentment from not being invited everywhere or, vice versa, the need to invite them everywhere you go. Also, should things go sour (as they sometimes do), there’s no need to lose a friend over it.
2. Cover all the bases in your initial conversation
Unfortunately, the housing situation in Portland and Vancouver has made it so people are more keen to just get into a living situation without properly vetting each other first.
Please, don’t do that! It’s more important to establish a good fit right off the bat, instead of the dirty laundry coming out in later months (literally!). Here are some great things to discuss:
- Does he/she drink, party often, smoke cigarettes?
- What’s this person’s work schedule? Does it fit with yours, clash, etc?
- Does he/she listen to loud music or play an instrument?
- Does he/she have a partner?
- Does he/she watch a lot of TV, or plan on using the common space quite often? In that, does he/she plan on having many guests around?
- Are there any diet restrictions?
- Is he/she active? Do they like to stay indoors a lot?
3. Establish a foundation of communication
While you’re talking with this person, you’re also seeing how compatible you two are with communicating. Do you feel comfortable bringing issues up with them in the future? Do you trust them to bring things to your attention, if any tension arises? How often do you plan on “checking in” with each other?
Basically, you want to see how well you two can work together. Also, don’t be afraid to be honest here. You might as well get anything out in the open now (for example, “I like to watch a lot of TV at night”) as opposed to restricting yourself down the road or holding something in.
There are plenty of compatible roommates out there. It’s just so critical that you are diligent in who you select, as it can have a huge ripple effect down the road.
And once you’re ready to start shopping, come check out our available rentals!