Looking for a roommate is a treasure hunt. When you conduct a treasure hunt it is a good idea to have a map of the area and a few supplies for the journey. This is also a good idea when you are looking for a roommate.
Your map is composed of what you want and can’t live with in a home situation. The first things to consider are the physical things about the space and the amount of money involved. Then you need to think about how you want to use the space and what you expect from your housemate. You can use the free worksheets.
For supplies you need the interviewing checklist, a telephone, references, and your willingness to be honest and authentic.
The Interviewing Checklist prompts you on your habits in the key areas of housemate cooperation. With your answers in hand, you will be prepared to interview. If you and your potential housemate have both completed the checklist you can compare your answers and talk about these important aspects of living together,
A telephone allows you to communicate with potential housemates. Talk on the telephone before making an arrangement to see the space and meet in person. In your telephone conversation you want to find out if the other person meets your criteria about how you want to live. In other words, you use the map you made about what you want and can’t live with. If you feel that it won’t work, then you simply tell the other person that it’s not a good fit and wish her luck with her search. Only if you like what you hear should you go onto the next step of actually meeting in person.
References are important. If you moving into an established home, you should give your potential housemate contact information for two references. One reference is someone who can vouch for your ability to pay the rent. Your supervisor/manager is an obvious choice. The other is someone who has lived with you and knows what you are like as a housemate. If you are already in a home and interviewing, you also should provide a reference. This is less common but I think it totally fair. Watch out for anyone who isn’t willing to provide references gladly.
Finally, and most importantly, tell the truth. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. If you are a slob, don’t move into a house that is immaculate. If you love listening to opera at full volume when you make Sunday breakfast, say so. If you have a girlfriend who will be visiting you twice a month, say so. All the important information about how you live and what you expect should be talked about before agreeing to live together. Once you agree to live together there should be no surprises.
Note: For much more information buy a copy of the book.