How to Find a Roommate Online
Looking for a roommate online can sometimes feel like looking for the hay in the needle stack. Lots of potentially threatening options and just a few good ones. We’ve all heard the horror stories of friends and families drawing the short straw when it comes to bad roommates—dirty, messy, rude, [fill in the blank].
And, while the chances of a legitimate horror story are slim, the chances of you rooming with a below-average roommate are pretty high. Have you ever looked at the YouTube comment section? It’s a nasty world out there! Those people could be your future roommates if you’re not careful. So, in this post, we’re going to help you improve your chances by explaining all of our tips for finding a roommate on Craigslist. We’ll also highlight four other sites that are great places to find a roommate online.
Where to Find Roommates
Now, before we dive in and tell you why finding a roommate on Craigslist is maybe the best way to find a roommate (and give you all the tips for doing so), we want to share with you a few other options where you can find a roommate besides Craigslist. There are a ton of great roommate finder sites out there and you honestly can’t go wrong with any of them. Here are the five we have found to be exceptionally helpful. Spoiler: Craigslist is number one. If you just want tips for finding a roommate on Craigslist, skip past this section. If not, keep reading.
The 5 Best Sites to Find Roommates
5. Roomie Match
Unfortunately, a lot of the roommate finders out there get littered with spammers. Roomie Match does a great job of eliminating this so that their users can easily find a real genuine person to room with. They have actual humans that review all roommate profiles and work to eliminate anyone that raises red flags.
For the younger professional between the ages of 23 to 35, Roomi is a great option. It concentrates on finding its users roommates “who get you”. Their mission is to find flexible affordable housing in bigger cities along with great roommates their users can easily connect with.
Roomster is the best option for roommate finders who are looking to do some additional research when it comes to finding a roommate –– like checking them out on Facebook and LinkedIn. Roomster demands that all of its users pay to use the app –– which is a double edge sword. You will be exposed to higher quality roommate options, being that the paywall will eliminate scammers. But, you will have to pay a little more than usual to find a roommate.
If you are looking for a roommate in a specific area, like a block or even a neighborhood, Padmapper is a great option for you. It allows its users to be very specific about their searches. It could be a great tool for someone wanting to live close to work or in a particular part of town.
You knew it was coming. Craigslist. Out of the 5 best sites to find roommates, we recommend old faithful—Craigslist. While there are plenty of great roommate sites out there, the Bellhops team likes Craigslist because of its versatility, its localization, and easy screening capabilities.
How to Find a Roommate on Craigslist
Start by posting an ad for a roommate.
Not everyone knows how to post on Craigslist, and some find it a bit intimidating. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy.
Start by Visiting the Craigslist home page and click “Post to Classifieds” in the top left corner of the page. You will be asked which category you want to post in –– choose either “housing offered” or “housing wanted”.
From there, enter all the details for your post and hit “Continue”.
You will then need to upload photos from your mobile phone or computer. Once you are happy with the images that you’ve uploaded, hit “Done with images”. And, then hit “Publish”.
Lastly, you will receive an email with a confirmation link from Craigslist… click the confirmation link or copy and paste it into your browser. You should expect your Craigslist ad to go live about 15 minutes after confirmation.
Sweat the small stuff.
When looking for a roommate, make sure you are paying attention to the details. How much time and care have they put into their ad? Are the pictures crisp? Are there a bunch of typos? Have they been specific about what they want in a roommate?
Someone who has put a lot of time and energy into constructing their ad is more likely to make a solid roommate than someone who hasn’t. Don’t allow the pressure to find a roommate cause you to make a bad roommate decision.
Look for shared interests.
This may seem like a no-brainer. But your roommate doesn’t just have to be the tolerable guy/girl that you share a space with and that’s it. If you’re willing to be choosy and take your time, you could end up making a great friend in your roommate. Sharing a space together is, after all, sharing a pretty big part of your life. Why not make sure that you will actually have some things to talk about and do with your roommate?
Ask if you can use the bathroom.
If you find a place and a person that you mesh well with, take an hour to meet up and see their place. When you do, ask if you can use the bathroom. While this may sound odd, the bathroom is a great peek into how clean and tidy they keep their apartment. If the bathroom is disgusting, chances are, they don’t do much tidying up.
If you want to quickly gauge how clean your potential roommate is, always check the bathroom(s).
How to Find a Roommate Safely
Before we see you off for the day, we wanted to touch on how to find a roommate on Craigslist safely. While Craigslist is a great tool, like any roommate finder, you need to be careful and you need be safe.
Never meet up at someone’s apartment alone. Always take a friend and always have your phone fully charged before heading over. Also, a good rule of thumb is to always meet at a public place first. Grab a cup of coffee and feel out the person before you agree to see their place. If you don’t like the person, there is no reason to see their apartment anyways.
Lastly, always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right about a place or person… it’s not… plain and simple.
As long as you use common sense and are safe about looking for a roommate on Craigslist, it can be one of the best tools out there.