asu roommates sitting on couch using ipad

How to find the perfect roommate

Your mission: find the best possible roommate for your new place next year.

Start by thinking about what you are looking for in a roommate. Is it a best friend, a study buddy, a silent partner, or someone in between? Make a note of the things you can’t budge on, like if you’re allergic to pets, are a clean freak or need to be in bed by 10 p.m. Then, write your ad. Make it friendly, honest (include those non-negotiables) and add pictures of the space if you have them.

Next, reach out to your network. Even if your friends aren’t looking for a roommate, they might know someone who is. Try ASU’s Uloop, Roomi or any of these sites to find people looking for roomies outside of your network.

Once you start getting responses, choose a few people you think might be a good match and try to meet up somewhere convenient, like a spot on campus or a coffee shop. There are several guides out there with questions to ask a potential roommate. Read through a few and make a list of your own. Be prepared to answer the same questions in case they ask.

We consider these topics the biggies you’ll need to cover:

  • Money — You need to know this person can pay their share of the rent and utilities — don’t be afraid to walk away if the person sounds financially unstable.

  • Schedules and habits — You’ll want to know when you can carve out some alone time and when you might want to stay on campus (like during their monthly Minecraft competitions).

  • Overnight guests — Decide how much notice you need.

  • Noise policy — Whether you want one or not it’s something you need to discuss.

If you’ve decided you want a roommate contract, go over everything and agree on terms. Just remember to keep it flexible since you may need to make changes once you’re actually living together. You never know when one of these clauses from Sheldon and Leonard’s list will come up!

The final step is signing the lease. It is a binding legal document, so read it completely before you and your new roommate sign (we know, it’s long), and keep a copy for yourself. Also know your rights as a renter — ASU has resources to help.

Whether your roommate ends up falling under one of these categories or they become your best friend for life, you’ll learn something valuable from the experience. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles on moving this week, including what to ask when renting your first apartment and everything you need to know about renters insurance.

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