How to Find a Roommate in a New City
A roommate is more than just someone to split your rent with. They’re the person you’ll see every day, sometimes hang out with outside the apartment, and (perhaps most importantly) someone you’ll be sharing a kitchen (and maybe a bathroom) with. In other words, your roommate shouldn’t just be a roommate—they should be a trusted friend (or at least someone who will remember to put the toilet seat down).
If you’re moving somewhere new, it can be helpful to learn more about how to find a roommate in a new city. Moving means experiencing a lot of changes—such as starting a new job or even finding a new corner coffee spot—but having a great roommate can make your transition much easier.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the many approaches you can take to find a new roommate, including:
- Using your existing networks
- Employing roommate-finding resources
- Vetting your options
Let’s get started!
Using your existing networks
When you’re moving to a new city, it’s easy to feel like you’re on an island. You’ve yet to discover any of the must-visit places or meet any new people. It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed.
Luckily, the world can often be smaller than we give it credit for, which is why the first place to reference when you’re trying to find a new roommate is the people who are already in your life.
1. Ask friends and relatives
When moving to a new city with no close friends, it’s easy to assume there will be no familiar faces. But that may not be the case. Ask your friends and relatives if they know anyone in the area and set up an afternoon coffee date or bike ride around the city to make a new friend and get to know your new home.
Even if they aren’t looking to rent a room alongside someone else, they may have some tips for finding someone who is.
2. Go to social media
Social media allows you to make connections beyond family connections and friends of friends. Consider posting a listing on a social media site, where you detail the type of person you’re looking for, any deal-breakers you may have, and information about your apartment or neighborhood that may entice a future roomie.
You can use numerous social media sites for your cause, including:
- Facebook: This is one of the easiest platforms to post to if you’re looking for a prospective roommate. If you see someone interested, you can check out their profile to see if they’ll be a good fit. In addition, there are different Facebook groups such as Gypsy Housing that are dedicated to helping people find someone to rent with.
- Instagram: Not everyone is on Facebook these days, and even people who are may not see your post. That’s why it’s smart to branch out. Instagram posts and stories are a good way to expand your search and see if you get any hits. Just remember: While you may get a good amount of views for a story, it disappears after 24 hours, so you may need to repost a few times.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional site, not somewhere people are likely to advertise for roommates. However, you can check it to see if anyone you’re connected to lives in your new city. This may be especially beneficial if you’re a working professional looking to rent a room with someone like-minded.
- Twitter: If you’re looking to broaden your search, Twitter could be your best bet. Posting about your search and asking people to retweet can be a quick way to broaden your search. You can also search some city-specific hashtags to help you find potential leads.
3. Join an alumni group
Consider browsing through your college alumni group online to see if you can find any leads. You can post directly onto the page or message individuals directly to find connections in your new city. When searching among alumni, you can try:
- Joining an alumni social media group and posting there. Especially in larger cities, people are often looking for roommates and apartments that you can easily connect with.
- Reaching out to an alumni coordinator and seeing if your query can be listed in an online newsletter or alumni website.
- Take advantage of any groups you were in during college. This could include sports teams, arts groups, or a fraternity/sorority. Utilizing these close-knit connections may yield promising results from people looking for a room.
Additionally, if you’re still a student, your university should have online groups that can help facilitate conversations with other people looking for college roommates.
Employing roommate-finding resources
You’ve exhausted your existing networks and still haven’t found the right fit. Now what? Thankfully, there are many apps and websites dedicated to helping people find roommates that can help during your search. Some examples of roommate finder sites include:
- Craigslist: What can’t you find on Craigslist? A classified section of the newspaper for the internet, Craigslist has listings for everything from jobs to gardening services. And yes, you can find roommates here. Just be sure to practice caution and meet your potential roommate in a public space if you think you’ve found the right fit.
- Roommates.com: Craigslist is an option for general posts, but Roommates.com gets more specific. It has existed since 2001 and allows you to create a free account and browse potential roommates in different cities. By creating a profile and searching based on certain preferences, you can maximize your chances of finding your ideal roomie.
- Roomiematch: A roommate finder option that caters to people who are wary of scammers, Roomiematch screens each potential profile to root out any with potential red flags. There is a paid and a free option. However, you will not be able to conduct your own search if you subscribe to the no-cost option. Instead, you’ll have to wait for potential roommates to find you.
- Diggz: Diggz offers another approach for finding roommates. Each Diggz profile goes deep, allowing you to match with compatible roommates based on your lifestyles. You can set up a free profile in as little as three minutes. Although, for added features like unlimited messaging, you will need to opt for a paid option.
Vetting your options
Let’s be honest, finding a person isn’t the biggest issue in a roommate search—finding the right person is. So, how do you separate your new best friends from the characters who will make you scared to leave your room? Here are some techniques to follow:
1. Meet in person
When you’re moving to a new city, it can sometimes be difficult to meet potential roommates in person. But if you can, it’s worth it. You’ll get a better sense of someone talking in person than you can over the phone or through messages.
When meeting with a potential roommate, preparing a few questions ahead of time is a great way to gauge whether they’re the best fit for you. Consider the following:
- How clean is the other person?
- What does their schedule look like (night vs. day job, social schedules, etc.)?
- Do they have a partner who will be spending time at the apartment? Conversely, will they be spending nights at a partner’s apartment?
- How do they intend to split bills such as electricity, internet, cable?
- How did things work with previous roommates?
- Are they introverted or extroverted?
- What are their interests?
- Do they have good experiences with paying their rent on time?
There are no wrong answers to any of these questions. It doesn’t make someone a bad person if they don’t do the dishes every day, but it may mean they’re not a good match for you. Be honest with yourself and with your potential roommate. You don’t have to be a perfect match in every way, but you should try to find someone compatible with how you like to live.
It also doesn’t hurt to establish some ground rules for both of you. That’s why you should consider drafting a roommate agreement. Some of the rules might be how to clean up after yourselves in the shared space, which parts of the apartment are considered common areas, when rent should be paid by, and even what the vetting process for a new roommate should look like if one of you decides to move out.
2. Stay vigilant of red flags
As with any online correspondence, it’s important to stay vigilant to avoid any scams or dangerous encounters. To that end, research potential roommates online and be sure to meet with them in a public and safe environment. In addition, look out for the following:
- Job instability: A roommate who frequently leaves jobs may not be the most stable option for you if you’re looking for a living partner that provides consistent rent and utility payments. You’ll want a trustworthy roommate who can pay their share every month so you’re not left to foot the bill.
- Incompatible lifestyles: If you’re an introvert who loves to spend Saturday nights curled up with a good book, a roommate who prefers to round up all their friends for a weekend bash will not be the best fit.
- Your gut feels like something’s off: If your online correspondence or face-to-face meeting has you feeling like something’s not quite right, trust your instincts and broaden your search to other roommates.
3. Consider pandemic safety
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful on everyone in myriad ways. Finding new housing and a roommate is no exception. It is important to talk to your roommate about handling the pandemic.
If you’re uncomfortable having people over during these times, that’s something that needs to be established. If your roommate works in a public-facing job and that makes you uncomfortable, it’s better to discuss it ahead of time.
This conversation may feel awkward, but it’s necessary to avoid living situations in which you feel unsafe.
Get to know your city with Landing
Finding a good roommate match can be difficult. When embarking on the roommate search, always stay vigilant of potential scams or situations that may make you uncomfortable. If you’re looking for a living situation that gives you peace of mind, consider renting from Landing.
We offer fully furnished apartments in over 375 cities throughout the U.S., all with flexible leases that make moving easy. Found a good roommate? Stay for as long as you’d like! Or, if you’re looking to live with someone new, that’s fine, too—we just need 30 days’ notice to switch to a new apartment.
Finding the right roommate in a new city can be difficult, but by renting with Landing, you can take just some of the stress away. Browse our furnished apartments today!