Advise for Getting a Roommate

When looking for a roomate know what you want and what you can tolerate, then advertise. Can you stand loud music or smokers? Don’t put your patience to the test unless you absolutely must. A word of caution: the newspaper classifieds are much better at finding good places for good roommates of either gender. Roommate search services often don’t help a lot, either. Some people have been very fortunate, others have had disasters. If you’re new to the area and don’t have much choice, be extra careful. If you like peace and quiet as a welcome change from the office, you may find that a home with four or five others makes the workplace seem like a quiet refuge.

So many areas for disagreement open up: what to watch on TV, who will wash the dishes or who needs to clean the bathroom. There is also the question of usage of utilities. If you have roommates who leave the lights and fan on the whole day, is it fair to share out the utility expenses? What about cooking. If you are the one who is home the earliest, is it your duty to do the cooking or do all of you take turns even if it means that dinner will be late.

New graduates craving larger space usually have to give up a measure of either proximity or privacy. Choosing to save money on a dwelling “further out” will also increase travel time to and from work-and sitting in traffic is often worse than relaxing in a small living room. Roommates mean more space, increased capacity for entertaining, and less rent

But roommates also mean shared responsibilities for housekeeping and yardwork-and less privacy. Just because there are more and bigger places to hide doesn’t mean that they can’t find you. Another consideration on roommates is knowing what age group you would prefer to live with. Do you work well with the elderly? Perhaps you can get a room with an elderly couple who would feel more secure with others in the house. Can you stand to live with friends, or would you rather keep the roommate relationship on a business footing? Could you live with someone of the opposite sex?

Imagine this, you have never liked classical music. Your roommate plays Beethoven whenever he’s at home. You have no say in the matter because the stereo belongs to him. What do you do?

Do make sure that whomever you live with is responsible and won’t be arrested for non-payment of debts or rent. When the room is tenanted in your name, you have to be very selective who your roommate is.

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