In 2012, just over 30 percent of adults in the United States lived with roommates. Since then, that number has continued to grow. Consequently, more and more people find themselves looking for the perfect individual with whom to share a home.
The potential consequences of agreeing to live with the wrong person are many. Just because someone is a close friend does not mean they will be a good roommate. When selecting a roommate, make sure you ask yourself the following questions.
Do You Have Similar Lifestyles?
When considering what type of lifestyle will mesh will with yours, you must first have a strong understanding of your own values. Seemingly insignificant likes and dislikes can eventually turn into points of contention.
Don’t be afraid to ask potential roommates a lot of questions, and be prepared to answer them yourself. Here are some questions you can use to start the conversation:
- Do you smoke or consume alcohol?
- Do you have or want pets?
- Do you typically stay out late or wake up early?
- Do you practice an instrument that could bother a roommate?
- Do you often have guests over that your roommate might not get along with?
These questions are great springboards for more illuminating conversations. Hashing out such details early on will save a lot of drama in the long run.
Are You Willing to Share Responsibility?
From groceries to cleaning, it takes a lot to keep a home running. Make sure both you and your roommate are willing to be responsible for your share.
One important area of responsibility is the lease. Make sure everyone who will be living in the home is named on the lease. This is not only important for your landlord, but it could also save one of you from having to take full responsibility for damages or repairs.
Can You Both Commit to Open Communication?
Even with the best preparation, you and your roommate need an open line of communication for additional issues that come up. Make sure you are both willing to continue those foundational conversations long into your time together. Don’t allow small issues to create resentment. Consider scheduling regular house meetings just to make sure that both of you are meeting the other’s expectations.