Roommates in NYC: How to Get a Good One!

Roommates in NYC: Finding one can feel like finding a very special needle in a very big haystack. You may want to give in and just choose the first person who hands over the rent. Don’t do that; you could end up in a living situation you’ll want to exit.

Ah, looking for roommates in NYC. If you could go back in time, race to your college registration office, and zap yourself out of going for that double philosophy/French lit major and instead go on a career path that would actually help you pay your bills, you would. As it stands, you know that in order for you to continue to pay for your fabulous NYC apartment — or even your kind of average one — you’re going to have to get a roommate. We’ve all heard the stories: New Yorker gets new roommate, new roommate eats pillows. These are the stories that make the news or hit the big screen, but the roommate experience doesn’t have to end up like that.

Choose Wisely

Getting a roommate is becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity in New York as the city becomes more and more expensive. It’s even true for people who are at a time in their lives when they traditionally would have been living on their own. Having a roommate can help you live in the neighborhood or the apartment of your choice. It’s not worth it, though, if living with a roommate causes you stress, anxiety, and depression. You need to put as much effort into finding someone to live with as you put into finding a home.

Choose a roommate with the meticulous detail you’d bring to filling out an profile and the brutality with which you approach the Tinder app. It may seem cheesy to use the dating analogy, but it’s completely appropriate in this case. You’re looking for someone to live in your home with you, or you’re looking to live in someone else’s home. You need to be a perfect match.

  • Find out if they’re party people or if they’re the types that keep to themselves.
  • Ask them what their work schedule is like: Will they be working long hours out of the office night and day; do they work out of the home; or do they have a regular nine to five?
  • Determine if your potential roomies are the types of folks who jump up excitedly when you get home from work, patting a space beside them on the sofa, giggling with anticipation as they wait for you to share every bit of your day. Or if they’re the type that you’d never see even when you were in the apartment at the same time. Don’t waste your time; if it’s not a good match, left-swipe it.

Make Use of Roommate Services

There are several really amazing services out there that are designed to help roommates in NYC find each other. Some, like InsideDigs, help people who aren’t looking for roommates right away but who will be in the near future. People like because hands-on administrators immediately flag questionable ads, saving roommate seekers precious time. You can place your apartment on the site, or you can look for a roommate on the site.

Craigslist … Yes, Craigslist

craigslist storefront and sign

Image Source: Flickr/Anne Cloudman

Some people avoid Craigslist like the plague, but there have been some amazing scores on the site. The best way to approach Craigslist is to take every ad listed with a grain of salt. If you’re listing your apartment, be as clear as possible, and take as much information from potential applicants as possible before they show up to your home. Being as clear as possible on both sides cuts down on disappointment.

Main Image Source: Flickr/henrys54


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