(photo by Tim Guow https://unsplash.com/@punttim)
1. What type of person are they?
Are you an extrovert who loves to go out and meet new people? Are you an introvert who would rather spend time alone chilling and watching Netflix? It’s important to understand what type of person you are and what kind of person your potential roommate is. Your personalities don’t have to match completely, but it’s important to realize what things you differ on before you sign the lease and move in together.
The roommate that you want has to be able to pay the rent (don't forget utilities if they are not included). Meet with your potential roommate and discuss who will be paying what bills and make sure that the cost of living is within everyone's budget.
Recognize that your roommate has to be able to afford all of the additional costs of living as well: food, electronics, furnishing, etc. Additionally, remember that many people are not okay with sharing food. Go over all of these things with your potential roommate.
3. Cleaning Habits
When talking to potential roommates, ask them about their cleaning habits. Cleaning habits can lead to a lot of arguments between roommates. Remember that your concept of “clean” and your potential roommate’s concept of clean are most likely not the same. Do you do the dishes often? Or do you let the dishes stack up in the sink? It’s important to ask yourself these questions before you sign your lease.
Also, if you’re ever hanging out with a potential roommate, check to see whether they have clothes everywhere, whether there are dishes in the sink, or whether they have a lot of trash out. They may say that they are clean but the evidence may prove otherwise.
For some college students, a clean dorm or apartment is extremely important to their mental well-being. Others, however, don’t mind some clutter. If you and your roommate have opposite expectations of cleanliness, arguments about the state of your living quarters are likely to erupt at any minute.
4. Open Communication
(Photo taken by Greg Raines)
Arguments are inevitable when you live with someone, no matter how much you get along. It’s important that you and your potential roommate are willing to discuss things even when they aren’t going well. You and your roommate will have responsibilities: cleaning the apartment, doing the dishes, buying food, paying rent etc. It’s important that you and your potential roommate are willing to talk about these things honestly.