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You found the perfect off-campus apartment and you’re ready to lease it, BUT you need to find a roommate first and you don’t know who to pick. Before you sign on the dotted line to commit yourself to a lease, make sure to consider these three before swiping right to find the perfect person to share your next home with.

choosing a roommate


I’m guessing you came to college mainly to learn a few things, but also to have some fun. Finding someone who shares your idea of outside-of-class pastimes is key. If your weekends involve dance parties and loud music, then choosing a bookworm or someone who wants to binge Netflix all weekend may not make for a great match. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate but having some things in common helps smooth the inevitable bumps in the road that come with sharing space with someone else.


In the decades B&A Realty Investments has been leasing to students, I’ve noticed the students who renew their lease for a second or even THIRD year have a few things in common: they live with people they knew before either from their hometown, the dorm or their fraternity or sorority. In general, living with your sibling or a relative makes for a good living arrangement because you know what to expect. If your sister always leaves a mess in the kitchen, well, you know that beforehand and you can adapt.  We have had several siblings share apartments over the years and they have chosen to live together for multiple years in the same place. Many of our residents who came from the same hometown also tended to renew their leases for more than one year.


The first two tips are important, but this last one is by FAR the most important thing to consider when choosing a roommate—do they pay their bills on time? Once you sign a lease with someone, their payment history affects you. If they don’t pay his or her rent, then you will be on the hook for that expense.  Finding someone who fulfills their financial obligations and can cover their monthly expenses is key to a successful home.

Using these three tips can help you navigate the important decision of finding someone to share that great apartment you found and help you to have a great experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the race to fill out a rental application and commit to the apartment before someone else takes it. Waiting to sign the dotted until after you’ve chosen the RIGHT roommate will make for a much better year. 

What factors did you use to determine the perfect roommate?