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The best apps for finding roommates

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Living in the city is expensive, and finding a convenient spot to live is even pricier. Coliving with roommates can help you save a ton of money on your rent and utilities each month, so you can afford to choose a place that makes commuting to work a breeze, and that has local highlights that make it worth it to leave your house on the weekend.  It also gives you the opportunity to grow your social network if you find a potential roommate you can mesh with, which is especially useful if you’re new to the city. Choose poorly, and you just might be stuck with a new roommate who doesn’t pay the bills, is an absolute mess, or makes coming home unpleasant. 

There’s no perfect formula for choosing a good roommate, and even your best friend can make a poor housemate. Still, there are some discretionary steps you can take to find a good roommate match and plenty of tools at your disposal to help you find potential roommate matches that will respect your roommate rules, boundaries, and have a reliable source of income.

What is the best website to find rooms for rent?

Trulia is an excellent option for finding a room to rent. You can browse by zip code and price, and the map interface shows you exactly where the apartment or shared house you’re looking at is located, so you can drive by and take a look if anything seems suspicious about the listing. Plus, the neighborhood insights feature offers a ton of statistics, like the amount of crime, the quality of nearby schools, and a built-in mapping system that estimates your commute time. If you have a place and you’re looking for a new roommate for your spare room, you’ll need a paid account to make a listing.

Of course, there are plenty of free options to help you find roommates. Craigslist is one of the best websites for finding roommates or a place to live because so many people use it. Unfortunately, it’s also an easy way to meet sketchy people. You can browse apartment listings or search for potential roomies in your area, and filter by price, size, and date. It’s totally free, but it can be hard to tell the difference between a legitimate apartment listing and a scam. You also need to take the proper precautions before meeting up with anyone, and never pay for something sight unseen. 

Reddit is also widely used to help people connect with potential housemates, but it is harder to navigate. Other than searching for a specific city or area, there’s no way to filter the listings and no telling if the listings are still relevant. Still, it’s free, and it’s worth a look.

Where can I find reliable roommates? 

Nearly every landlord will run a background check on anyone who fills out a housing application. This can help make sure you’re not signing your way into a situation with someone who can’t pay, or who may not be honest about their history. Additionally, if you’re moving into an apartment with an existing lease, meeting with the landlord and adding yourself to the lease protects you from being overcharged and keeps the law on your side if things get dicey.  There are plenty of apps out there that can help make this process quicker and safer for you, although you might have to pay a little extra for the premium perks. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to safely find roommates to help you foot the cost of living in the city. 

RoomieMatch

This roommate finder app aims to help people in metro areas across the US and Canada find the ideal roommate to share space with. Instead of searching through listings, it sends you matches with people who share similar schedules, interests, and other lifestyle preferences so you have less opportunity conflict and more time to bond.  

It also helps you avoid scams and creepy messages. Posts will show the IP address location, so you know exactly where each person is located. You can quickly find matches without sharing any of your information, or even a photo of yourself. Plus, listings are screened by employees of RoomieMatch, and the suspicious listings are deleted. 

You’ll see matches with people that meet your criteria through the app and contact them through there, not unlike a dating app. Answer questions that you’d ask potential roommates like how often you like to have guests over, how clean you keep your space, what your hobbies are, and whether or not you smoke or have pets. This can save you tons of time, but the free option only lets others contact you. If you want to reach out to a potentially compatible roommate, it’s $19.95 a year. 

Circle for Roomies

A significant plus for this app: it’s free to download and use, and it can also help you connect with friends or mutual friends in your social media network who are also looking for an available room or a new place to live. Whether it’s someone you know personally or someone you can ask your friend about, having some kind of personal connection makes it a little less stressful to sign a lease together. 

For an added layer of security, users can get verified through a background check and a government ID check. If you’re wary of moving in with somebody’s vague acquaintance, you can ask for verification to make sure there’s nothing fishy. One of the downsides to Circle is that it’s only available on Ios, and you need to connect it with a Facebook account. The interface is similar to Tinder. That means you can quickly swipe through potential matches, and will only be able to contact people who are also interested in being your potential roomie. Users can select tags and express their lifestyle preferences to avoid a bad match. 

Roomi

Roomi is the go-to option for people considered with security. Each user can complete a background check and verify their identity by linking them with their Facebook account. It also provides a secure messaging app, so you don’t have to share your personal information before you’re ready. While you can download the app and create a listing for free, you’ll only be able to receive messages from users paying for the service.  If you want to increase your exposure and send messages to other users, it costs $24.90 for a month. The extra cost may seem high when there are so many free options, but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind. Roomi can help you connect with a new housemate in most major cities throughout the US.

Roomster

This app lets users connect their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to lay it all bare for your potential roommate. You can find out if you have any mutual friends, check their work history, and find out how often they get into Twitter wars to help you decide whether you’ll feel happy living under the same roof. The site is widely used all over the US and even throughout the world, so there’s plenty of options.   If you want to send messages to other users or scope out their social media feeds, you’ll need to have a paid account. But the pricing is much more flexible than other apps. You can get a 3 day trial for $5.95. Opt for two weeks for $14.95, or pay the full $29.95 a month to give yourself plenty of time to make the right connection.

Cirtru

Though it may have a smaller pool of potential roommate matches to choose from, Cirtru boasts the largest number of verified users from over 20,000 companies and college networks. Users can use employment and education screenings, a background check, and even government ID and phone number checks. While it may not have all the curated matchmaking perks you’d find in other roommate apps, it does let you adjust for the price, location, and whether or not you’re comfortable living with men, women, or couples. And it’s easily one of the most secure options for roommates or a place to live. 

Make moving stress-free with Common

Finding a roommate can be a lot of work. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about it. Find your home through coliving with Common, as it simplifies the stress of moving by helping you skip the roommate search. We offer spacious private bedrooms in gorgeous, fully furnished, shared apartments. Keyless entry and ready to live in spaces means your entire move-in process can take less than an hour. Our living rooms are thoughtfully designed for comfort, and the kitchens are stocked with all the essential appliances and dishware. Laundry is conveniently located onsite, as well as everything you need to get it done—no quarters necessary.  

Each roommate has an individual lease, and all the utilities, even high-speed Wifi, are included in your monthly payments. We nip roomie squabbles in the bud by offering free weekly cleanings and stocking you up with essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, and soap, so there’s never a question about who’s turn it is to go to the store. Apartment buildings all offer common spaces, so you can host gatherings even when you’re roomie isn’t feeling social.

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