We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Should I Choose a Roommate?

By J.Gunsch
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Having a good roommate can help ease the burden of the rising costs of living, as well as provide companionship. However, choosing the wrong roommate can spell disaster. Although finding the right roommate is not a fool proof process, there are steps you can take to improve the likelihood that a roommate will be a good match for your lifestyle.

The first thing to do is advertise that you are looking for a roommate. To increase the chance that those who respond will be compatible with you, post flyers or ads in places that are of interest to you. For example, if you are a churchgoer, you can advertise on a church bulletin board. It is likely that those who respond will have similar interests and values.

You should also decide when advertising for a roommate whether you have preferences for gender, smoking, drinking, pets, and so on. State these preferences in your ad or flyer. You could say ‘male roommate desired; no smoking, cat OK’. Also state the amount of money that you expect for your roommate’s share of the rent. Making these considerations beforehand will prevent having to weed out roommates that may be undesirable to you.

Once you have advertised that you are looking for a roommate, you need to interview the respondents. First, try to make sure the potential roommate is responsible and will be able to pay rent consistently and on time. Ask questions about the person’s job and whether or not they like it. You can also perform credit checks and request references from friends, employers or family, and previous landlords.

Explain your preferences and lifestyle to your potential roommate. Tell the person if you like to be left alone or if you enjoy lots of company. Make sure you and your roommate will be able to make compromises and agree on some house rules before you start living together. If you find that you are not able to agree right off the bat, then it most likely won’t work out in the future.

Finally, when you are choosing a roommate, it is good to trust your gut instinct. First impressions say a lot about how you and another person will get along. If you are not a good judge of character, as some people are not, you can have a close friend or family member who knows you well help make the decision.

It is a good idea to interview many people rather than make a decision hastily. If you choose the first or second person you interview, you might miss out on someone who would be most compatible to your lifestyle. When choosing a roommate, it is important that you and the person share similar interests, schedules and values. The saying that ‘opposites attract’ is really not correct for two people sharing a living space.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Cageybird — On Jun 22, 2014

Looking back on my college and young adult years, I'm surprised I found decent roommates at all. So many people I lived with would get a job offer in another state and just pack up and leave. Others would decide to move in with their girlfriends or move back home. I think renting a large house with three or more roommates is a huge risk for young adults with limited incomes.

One roommate can leave unexpectedly and the rent might still be affordable among the remaining three. However, if one more roommate decides to move out, then suddenly the arrangement is not so affordable. Finding suitable roommates to replace the ones who left can be a stressful situation. It pays to ask potential roommates about their ability to commit to a long-term rental agreement.

By mrwormy — On Jun 21, 2014

I've been on both sides of this issue, especially when I was in my early 20s. I used to scour all of the billboards at the local college campus, looking for "roommate wanted" flyers. I could eliminate half of them right away, because of the preferred gender or the location of the apartment complex. I never wanted to have a female roommate, mostly because I feared the situation could get too complicated as time went on.

I always thought the ideal roommate had a schedule completely different from mine. I had a good roommate who worked nights at an upscale bar while I worked the day shift at a restaurant. We saw each other about two hours a day, which was just enough time to coordinate things like bills and rent, but not enough to feel cramped. By the time he got home from work, I was already asleep. It was like we both had our own apartment, just at different hours of the day.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.