So you just moved into a new apartment in downtown Columbus? Congratulations!
Now, you just need to find a roommate.
With so much demand for apartments in Columbus, you’d think this would be a walk in the park. But finding a roommate, and finding the right roommate, are two completely different things. Nobody wants to live with someone they don’t trust or get along with.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right roommate in Columbus.
1. Take Your Time
If there’s one mistake people make when searching for a roommate in Columbus, it’s moving too fast. Don’t accept the first person that responds to your request in order to fill a short-term need – you may end up with someone who leaves the milk out, doesn’t clean up after themselves, misses rent payments, or something much worse.
Instead, take your time. Get a feel for how you like to live, and ensure your potential roommates are in sync with that lifestyle. Make a note of habits or personality traits you don’t think you could tolerate, and weed those applicants out.
You don’t need to find someone exactly like you, but it’s better to proactively set boundaries and preferences, rather than wait until it’s too late.
- Ask Around
Facebook groups. Craigslist. Real estate apps. Housing websites. In the digital age, there are tons of different platforms you can leverage to find a roommate in Columbus. But there’s always a bit of risk involved when opening up your apartment to strangers.
One of the oldest ways of finding a roommate may still be the best way – asking people you know. Friends, family and co-workers are all great sources to ask for quality roommate referrals. Even though the person they recommend may still be a stranger, they’re getting the seal of approval from someone you trust and who knows your lifestyle, which makes finding the right match much more likely.
- Ask the Right Questions
Perhaps the most important tip for finding the right roommate in Columbus, asking the right questions is vital in determining whether you want to live with someone or not. Much like a date, you’ll want to know their likes, dislikes and lifestyle preferences to see if they’re a fit.
Early on, ask what they do for a living. A steady job is a sign of reliability. If they’re a student, don’t be afraid to ask if they have a consistent stream of income to pay the bills on time.
It’s also important to ask why they’re looking for a new apartment. What was their living history? How did they get along with their previous roommates? Are they looking for an apartment because they like downtown Columbus, or because they had a fight with a previous roommate? These are all questions that will uncover red flags.
If they skirt around the questions or seem like they’re lying, follow your gut and move on to another applicant. NEVER accept a roommate without first meeting them in-person.
- Be Transparent
In order to find a good roommate, you have to be a good roommate in return. When talking with applicants, it’s important to let them know exactly what they’re signing up for. That means disclosing what they can expect to pay each month for rent and utilities, size of the apartment and open room, a list of appliances and furnishings, and expectations when it comes to splitting food costs or other bills.
Additionally, if you have any hobbies, quirks or medical conditions that might make living with you difficult, it’s important to relay that information to a potential roommate before they sign on, to prevent complications down the road. For example, if you work nights, make sure you find someone who won’t be bothered by noise at odd hours.