Finding a decent roommate can be quite a daunting task, yet it is important to take the time to find someone who meets the needs of your lifestyle. Sharing a home with another person is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. The more familiarity you have with your potential Baltimore roommate, the better – although some say living with your best friend can damage the relationship and should be avoided.
Step One: List Your Priorities
The first thing you must do is figure out exactly what you want and what areas you can be flexible in. Which locations are ideal and acceptable? Do you need a room that is furnished? Would you prefer to live with a man or a woman? Do you require your roommate to be a nonsmoker? Pick about three musts and be sure those priorities are listed anywhere you advertise.
Step Two: Check Your Social Outlets
Ask your Facebook friends and Instagram connections if anyone is seeking a roommate or has a spare room for rent. This is the best way to start your search for a couple reasons: first, you’re likely to get responses from people you are familiar with; second, if you set your post visibility settings to public on both social media sites, you can request that your friends share the information on their networks, which will widely broaden the range of potential roomies. If you get a hit this way, be sure to ask the mutual friend about the potential roommate.
Step Three: Bulletin Boards
Ideally, you and your roommate will have some things in common. To help find someone a little like you, look for bulletin boards in places you frequent, such as your favorite coffee shop, school, gym, or even your workplace. Chances are the people who see your flier in these areas will have some shared interests.
Step Four: Find Baltimore Roommate Websites
There are countless websites in existence for this purpose, such as roomster.com, roommates.com, rent.com, and of course, the notorious Craigslist. Selecting a stranger to share a home with can be scary, so try to get a good sense of the person before moving in.
Step Five: Due Diligence
Do your research and check social profiles. Ask mutual friends for a recommendation. See what kind of things the person posts, how they respond to others, where their interests lie, etc. Pro tip: look for pictures taken at home to see how messy the person is.
It’s also a good idea to check local court records to see if your roomie has been in trouble with the law. A background check is also an option. Although they aren’t free, it’s definitely a valuable resource when choosing who gets the keys to the place where you sleep.
In any case, be sure to meet in person before signing a lease, even if he or she is an acquaintance. A conversation over a cup of coffee will give a lot of insight to the person you are potentially living with.