How to Find a Roommate: A Complete Guide | Common Living
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01 Start by making a list of what you want in a roommate

Every person is unique, so you won’t find a roommate who is exactly like you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a roomie who is a great fit for you. If you are renting an apartment for the first time and don’t know who to live with, you might want to try finding a new friend that’s also in the same situation as you. But how do you find a trustworthy roommate that will fit into your life and mesh with your personality?

It turns out that a great first step is developing a roommate wish list. Of course, your specific list of what you’d like to see in a good roommate will be unique to you. However, here are some things to think about to help you get started.

What personality traits would you like to see in a roommate? Are you looking for someone who is introverted and laid back, or a roommate who is outgoing and funny?
How clean would you like your roommate to keep the space? For example, will it bother you if your roommate frequently leaves dirty dishes in the sink?
What type of relationship would you like to have with your roommate? Are you looking for a new BFF or just someone who will share your space and expenses?
Most importantly, how many roommates would you like to live with? If you had to live with more than one person, would you be okay with that?

As you make this wish list, think about yourself and your own qualities. Are you a neat freak or more casual about cleanliness? Do you like to spend quiet evenings at home or would you rather go out at night and come home late? Thinking about personal preferences and lifestyles can help you as you’re wondering how to find a great roommate.

One final tip is inspired by pandemic living. If you had to be quarantined, what type of person could you see yourself being quarantined with? It’s not a fun question, but it can help you identify which qualities are most important to you in a roommate.

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02 Turn to friends, family, and coworkers to find a trustworthy roommate

Check with people in your life first for a new roomie

Once you’ve made your wish list, you’re probably wondering how to look for roommates. Your first stop should be asking the people in your life (family members, friends, and coworkers) if they know of anyone who is also looking for a new roomie. Think of it as networking, but instead of trying to get a new job, you’re hoping to get a new roommate at the end.

As you speak to the people in your life, you might find that a friend or a coworker is also looking for a new roomie. Before you jump in and agree to live together, make sure you can envision yourself spending every day with them and sharing the same space. This is when it can be helpful to refer to that roommate wish list we mentioned earlier.

Keep in mind that someone might be a wonderful friend but a terrible roommate. For example, you might realize that your fun friend from school is actually a slob, and you find yourself cleaning up after them all the time. That will get old quickly, which can lead to conflicts. As a result, before you live with a friend, make sure that you’ll be compatible as roomies.

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03 Go online to find your new roomie

Your social media networks are great places to find a new roommate.

When you’re wondering how to find a roommate in a new city, you can go online if you find your in-person connections don’t lead you to a new roomie. No, we’re not recommending that you go just anywhere on the web to find someone to live with. Instead, we suggest that you start with your social media networks.

Social Media Apps

There are tons of social media platforms out there, and most people are on at least one of them. When you’re in the midst of your roommate search, it can make sense to let your social media networks know it. Some social media sites that can help narrow your search include:

FacebookMake a post to your network to let them know you’re in the market for a new roomie. There are also many groups you can join to help you score a great roommate.

TwitterTweet to your followers to see if they or anyone they know needs a roommate. Try using hashtags for your area to help your post reach more people.

LinkedInAlthough most often used for professional purposes, LinkedIn gives you access to a whole other network than your other social media channels. Make a post about your roommate search and see what happens!

A simple post can get the word out to everyone you’re connected with. This can help you connect with someone in your network who is looking for a new roomie. Not only that, but it may also catch the eye of someone who isn’t looking for a roommate but knows someone who is. They can make an introduction for you so that you can see if it’s a good fit.

Roommate Finder Apps

Social media isn’t the only place you can go online when you’re wondering where to find a great roommate. There are also quite a few great roommate apps out there, and RoomieMatch and Circle are two of the most popular.

RoomieMatch connects people in the metro areas across the United States and Canada to help them find their ideal roomie. To make the search process easier, RoomieMatch connects you with people who share your schedule, interests and other preferences. If you match, then you and your potential roommate can start chatting, not unlike a dating app.

Keep in mind that it’s free to let other people contact you. However, it costs $19.95 per year if you’d like to be the one to initiate a conversation.

Circle will also remind you a bit of a dating app, as you’ll swipe on different roomie profiles on this iOS app. All profiles have been optimized for assessing roommate compatibility. If there’s a match, then you two can start talking and see if you’re a good fit to live together. The benefit of this app is that it’s free to download and use.

Many people like Circle for its safety features. It only connects you with friends or mutual friends from your social media networks so that you know the person you’re talking to is a real person. Additionally, verified users on the app have passed a background check and had their driver’s license authenticated.

04 Ask the right questions when you find a potential roommate

Once you’ve found someone who seems like a good fit to be your roommate, you shouldn’t just go sign a lease together. There’s still a little bit more work to do. Look back at your roommate wish list to make sure that this person’s personality and preferences check all the boxes that are important to you.

It can also be helpful to ask some more specific questions before committing to a new roomie.


How often do you clean?


Have you ever paid your rent late?


How often do you have parties or invite friends over?


What is your schedule like?


Do you have pets or want pets?


At what temperature do you like to keep the thermostat?


Do you smoke?


Do you have any dietary restrictions?

If your potential roomie provides answers that mesh with your preferences and lifestyle, you can feel confident about taking the next step.

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05 Decide what’s important to both roommates

The roommate relationship is one that thrives on communication and compromise. As a result, when you select a roommate, you’ll want to take time to discuss what is important to each of you when it comes to selecting an apartment and living together.

This conversation includes more than just discussing whether it’s acceptable to leave dirty dishes in the sink or have overnight guests. It should also cover the following topics:


You’ll want to agree on how much you’re both willing to pay for rent as well as how you’ll split the cost of rent and other shared expenses. You can split the costs right down the middle, use an online rent calculator, or divide the rent based on room size and amenities.

Apartment amenities

Each apartment comes with different offerings. For example, some apartments have an in-unit laundry room with a washer and dryer, while others have a laundry room for the entire complex. Other apartments might not offer laundry at all. You’ll need to agree on which amenities are must-haves and which are nice to have.

Apartment size and number of rooms

It’s important that you and your roommate also come to an agreement on how big of an apartment to rent as well as how many bathrooms and bedrooms you need. Additionally, you’ll want to have a conversation to decide who gets which bedroom.

Having these discussions early is really important as you search for the ideal roommate. Additionally, they can help you have a great relationship with your roomie.

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06 Write and sign a roommate agreement before taking the plunge

Now that you’re no longer wondering how to find a roommate in a new city, you might think it’s time to sign that rental agreement. It turns out that you should sign a different agreement first: a roommate agreement.

Unlike your lease, this agreement does not involve your landlord. It’s just between you and your roommate. The goal is to outline different roommate rules and expectations so that you can avoid conflicts later on.

You can put just about anything in your roommate agreement. However, we recommend that it at least covers the following topics:

Paying for utilities and communal

Just about every apartment comes with some utilities, so you’ll want to decide how you and your roomie will divide up paying for them. Additionally, you’ll need to decide how to handle paying for other shared costs like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and groceries.

Cleaning the shared space

This part of the roommate agreement should set up a cleaning schedule and list who will perform certain chores to keep the apartment clean and comfortable.

Establishing rules for noise and guests

You’ll want to think about everyone’s sleep schedules and decide on quiet hours. Additionally, it’s important to set ground rules about how often guests can come for parties and overnight visits.

Clear guidelines are the key to a good roommate relationship

You may also want to include sections that discuss food and mealtimes, pets, and even control of the thermostat. Setting up clear guidelines is the key to having a good roommate relationship.

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07 Remove the stress and find a roommate with help from Common

If you’re still wondering how to find a roommate in a new city, we’re here to help. You can skip the roommate search when you find a coliving space with Common. You’ll enjoy a gorgeous, spacious apartment for an attainable price without having to search for a roommate yourself. Our coliving homes include:

A private, furnished

shared spaces

On-site laundry

High-speed WiFi

High-end appliances

Basic supplies
(pots, pans, dishes, etc.)

Best of all, we’ve taken steps to help avoid roommate disagreements. Each roommate has their own lease and all the utilities are in your monthly payment. Not only that, but we also offer free regular cleanings of shared spaces and keep you stocked with supplies like toilet paper and soap. Common homes offer shared spaces where you can host gatherings without disrupting your future roommate. It’s a winning arrangement for everyone. Check out our homes in cities across the U.S. to find your next apartment and roommate today!