Renting in California: How to Find the Ideal Roommate in 3 Easy Steps

Young women taking a break on moving dayAre you tired of living with your parents? Are you craving for a higher level of privacy and independence? If so, you could consider renting in California. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a spacious luxurious palace with valet parking to feel satisfied. People who can spare around 1,000 dollars a month can definitely find a decent place to rent in some of the greatest Californian cities. But when you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, this amount represents your very own definition of a small fortune. How would you be able to rent a house in your all-time favorite neighborhoods without having to settle for the darkest, tiniest, creepiest unfurnished cottages? Find a roommate. Even if you’re desperate to move in as soon as possible, don’t skip the screening process to eliminate candidates who are insane, potentially dangerous, unstable or simply incompatible with you and your lifestyle.

Go Online. Hit up your friends and rely on word-of-mouth to discover new people who may be interested in sharing indoor space with you. If this search doesn’t return any favorable results, start to call on online ads and post your very own ad on different websites. Be very specific when it comes to the rental in question (if you already have your heart set on a property), the expenses it involves and your basic requirements.

Ask the Right Questions. Time-effective interviews via Skype, phone calls or emails are a great start and enable you to separate the loonies from the stable people with serious intentions. During this phase you should ask a few essential questions that would allow you to assess the overall level of compatibility between you and your potential roommates. Do they smoke? Do they have pets? Do their have weird working schedules? Do they count on a constant source of income? Are they involved in any illegal or potentially dangerous activities? Do they plan on throwing wild parties at their place 7 days a week? Make a list of questions and another list of pros and cons associated with every single candidate that you manage to interview.

Set up Some Boundaries. Once you’ve finally found the ideal roommate, create and implement clear boundaries to maintain a healthy relationship. If you have to study or work from home, establish quiet hours based on your schedules. Find the best way to divide and assign chores. For instance you could design and install a chore wheel, which would work best for people with multiple roommates. Furthermore, bring upyour strict policies related to parties, overnight guests, pets, smoking and the nature of your relationship. Are you looking for a buddy or are you strictly interested in reducing your housing expenses by finding a reliable roommate? Flexibility is always a plus, but in this case clear guidelines and regulations could help you avoid potential conflicts that could turn your apartment into a war zone.


Sep 2014