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How to Find a Roommate When Moving to a New Place

Two young female roommates studying together
Maskot / Getty Images

Are you moving to a new place but you’re worried about the extra rent? You need to find a roommate — and fast. You’ll want to find someone reliable who won’t leave their dishes in the sink (at best) and won’t skip out on rent (at worst). Luckily, there are plenty of places to help with your search.

The process of finding roommates is challenging (to say the least). It’s hard to find someone (or multiple someones) who complements your lifestyle. But, it doesn’t have to be a crap-shoot. Finding a roommate and moving in together can be painless if you know where to look.

Finding a roommate online

Multiple websites make finding a roommate as convenient as opening a browser. Scanning profiles on the websites listed below can help you determine your roommate requirements and browse a wider selection of potential candidates. Gone are the days when your friend-of-a-friend or your second cousin’s college buddy are your only options.

Here are the top online roommate finder websites:

  1. RoomieMatch
    RoomieMatch is a dedicated roommate website. Just fill in the basic info, like the terms of the lease and where you are relocating. (If your city doesn’t match the list of areas the site services, you are out of luck.)
    One of the key benefits of RoomieMatch is that they use human profile reviewers to approve web users manually. Complete the signup process and you’ll receive potential matches. Roommate behavior ratings help you determine quickly who is worth your time — and who isn’t.
  2. Diggz
    Sign up for Diggz to access profiles with deeper information than your typical roommate finder. View how people rate themselves in cleanliness, work, and sleep schedules. Check out a person’s preferred interaction and eating habits. These things can help clue you into how your roommate situation could play out.
    If you don’t see enough options, tweak your settings or try again later. Diggz doesn’t charge for finding a roommate on their basic service. But if you don’t have time to wait and need to bypass the cap on instant messaging, you can pay for more.
  3. Craigslist
    For all of its uses, Craigslist is still a well-regarded and highly-used site for finding a roommate. Post your ad for a roommate or answer an ad in your city to reach millions of people.
    Many ads include pictures of the apartments or homes, so you can vet places before wasting time with a visit. Follow up with anyone who sounds interesting.
  4. Roommates
    Roommates promises make finding roommates easier than ever. Its Perfect Match™ system aims to find you the right roommate using shared criteria. On this roommate finder, create your profile and shuffle through the profiles that are sent your way. Then, you can respond to any potential candidates. Even better: It’s free.
  5. NextDoor
    NextDoor is indispensable when it comes to learning about your local area. Why not use it to find a roommate too? Post your ad for free or browse the main feed.
    This app is best for anyone who’s already moved to a new place. You’ll have to verify your address, but once you’re in, you can reach everyone in your community.
  6. Facebook
    Search Facebook for groups targeting people in your area and start posting ads to city-specific Facebook groups. Shared connections make a great introduction.
    A friend of a friend might be moving and looking for a roommate just like you, so put your Facebook connections to good use. Post your roommate quest on your own Facebook page and ask for your friends to spread the word. A new roommate could be a click away.
  7. Roomster
    Roomster profiles reach upward of 10,000 words. On this roommate finder, you’ll have a better sense of someone before you ever meet face-to-face. Sort your options by location, size, budget, amenities, and personality traits.

Other places to find a roommate

Don’t begin and end your search to find roommates with the internet. The more ways that you try to find a roommate, the sooner your wallet will feel less of a pinch.

  1. Community Bulletin Boards
    Public libraries and grocery stores often have space for community postings like lost and found pets, moving sales, and roommate listings. Pop into stores, coffee shops, and restaurants in your area to find roommate wanted postings.
  2. College Alumni Networks
    Your alumni association may have an email list, social network groups, and an online forum or bulletin board filled with people who are moving. Don’t forget your fraternity, sorority, or other campus groups to find roommates. More recent college grads might have the best luck with this one.
  3. Sublease
    Turn to sites like AirBNB to find short-term temporary housing (or post your own). Whether you rent a single room or a larger space, it can give you extra time to sort out your housing situation. Some people use subletting as a way to vet potential roommates before going long-term.
  4. Ask Around
    Tell everyone you know about your roomie search. Your family, friends, and co-workers can extend your reach. You never know if your high school friend’s boyfriend’s best friend from elementary school is looking for a roommate just like you.

The bottom line

Moving to a new area doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Whether you end up with a Craigslist roommate or luck out with a lead from the friend of a friend, you have a ton of tools at your disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I figure out if someone is a good roommate fit?

Interview a potential roomie about personal preferences. Do they want to be social and hangout? How do they feel about pets or smoking? Lay it all out to discover if you are roommate soulmates or need to keep looking.

What is a roommate agreement and should I have one?

A roommate agreement is different from a lease. It’s a big-picture look at how you will live together and handle common issues. A roommate agreement can cover anything from how parking will work to the use of common spaces. While you don’t need a lawyer to draft a roommate agreement, parts may still be legally binding should you need to represent yourself to your landlord or a court.

What should I include in a roommate agreement?

A roommate agreement keeps you on the same page. It’s a list of mutual expectations used to keep the peace when sharing a space. Include how much each roommate will contribute each month for utilities, rent, and other bills (like the Internet). Jot down expectations for cleanliness and chores too. Don’t forget to include notes on overnight guests or quiet hours.

What should I ask a potential roommate to find out if we’re a good fit?

Did you get along with your last roommate? Do you smoke or vape? Do you have any pets (or do you intend to get one)? What’s your idea of the best roommate situation? What kind of hobbies do you have? The responses can help you get a better sense of what your potential roomie wants and where you’ll fit in.

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