Favorite Questions to Ask a Potential Roomie

Hey, guys, how’s it going?  As an update to my last post we had the roof replaced, none of my stuff was damaged, and it’s been fairly calm around the house.  My roomie is still hammering away at things, but he’s also been working outside on the landscaping a lot so I guess that’s why it has felt a little more peaceful.

I’ve decided to write this post about things you should look for in a potential roommate.  After all of my strange, crazy, and out there roommates over the years, I feel like I can provide a great list of things you either want in a roommate or don’t want.  Here are some great questions to ask someone you are thinking about living with:

1. What is your daily routine?  This is just to get a feel for what a typical day will look like for each of you.  If you like to sleep in on the weekends and they say they get up at 5am to practice drums, you’re probably going to be annoyed very quickly.

2. How often do you clean and what are your favorite cleaning chores?  As long as you both agree on the level of cleanliness you are comfortable with, things should work out.  You could also discuss hiring a professional cleaning service if neither of you like or have time to clean but feel it is important.

3. Do you like to have friends over or do you prefer to go out?  This will help you determine if your potential roommate plans to have guests/parties all the time.  If you go to sleep early, it’s best to find out something like this so you don’t regret your decision a week in while you’re trying to sleep in the middle of a huge house party.

4. Are you still friends with your old roommates?  This answer will say a lot about how they got along with past roommates.  (I’ll be sure to not mention this blog to my next potential roommate!)

5. What do your friends say is your best quality?  Your worst?  Friends usually know each other best, so it’s always good to hear what their opinion is of the person.  Your potential roommate’s answer will also help shine some light on how well they know themselves and listen to their friends.  If they say they don’t have any friends, well, that’s a huge red flag.

6. Do you have any pets or are you planning on getting a pet?  It’s best to discuss pets or the possibility of pets before signing the lease.  If you’re allergic to dogs and your potential roommate has two, you’ll be miserable.

7. What do you do for a living?  If they don’t have a stable job, how do you know they’re going to be able to pay bills consistently?  An extension to this question is to ask how long they have been at their job or if they are planning on changing jobs in the near future.  All financial agreements need to be discussed in detail and you need to know you can count on them to pay their part.

8. Are you dating anyone?  If they’re in a serious relationship, you can count on having an unofficial third roommate that stays over frequently.  Not only will this make you feel like a third wheel, but it can increase your utility bills as well as the level of messiness.  Even if you’re ok with having a third person stay over often, be sure to discuss them paying a little extra when it comes to utilities to make up for it.

9. How often do you cook?  Whether you’re into cooking or not, this is still a good topic to discuss so you’ll get a feel for how you will get along.  If you both like to cook, you might step on each other’s toes in the kitchen or you might be able to share recipes and bond over your love for cooking.  If you guys are opposites, one person might become resentful that they cook all the time while the other doesn’t.

10. What are you looking for in a roommate?  This can help you determine if you are a good fit for each other.  If they’re looking for someone to hang out with all the time and you’re not into that, things can get frustrating really quickly.

I could list another 20 questions to ask a potential roommate, but I think you get the point.  Communication is key to finding someone you are compatible with.  Make a list of your pet peeves and ask questions related to them.  Just remember, no one is the perfect roommate, including you.

I wish I had known what I know now about living with people, but then again, I wouldn’t be able to write this blog if I hadn’t had all of my crazy experiences with roommates over the years!

Until next time,

Sarah