Living with someone new is both nerve-wracking and a huge commitment: you have to share space, bills, and interact with one another. In college you may have been thrown into a living situation without much say, so now you may wonder — what makes a good roommate when you can choose who you share space with?

You want someone who is:

  • Open about deal-breakers — before anybody signs their name to the lease, make sure you don’t have any disagreements about major deal-breakers. It may be a smoking policy you set between each other, pets, budget (or way you pay bills together), major allergies, parties, having people over, etc.
  • Able to talk about money — if you cannot talk about finances with the person you intend to move in with, it might be a good idea to reconsider. Creating an atmosphere for open dialogue early can stop resentments from festering in the future.
  • Shares common goals — it is always great to live with someone with long term goals similar to your own. Common life stages like being a student, early in your careers, or an interim apartment before you purchase a property can help you stay on the same timeline so it’s easy to agree on location, lease duration, and daily schedules.
  • Is different from you — while it’s great to have things in common, having differences is another great part of having a roommate. Each person can bring their own ideas and energy to the home and offer new perspectives. The more time you spend together, the more time you can help one another learn and grow.
  • Is trustworthy — part of living with anybody is knowing they will be there to see you at your worst, at your most stressed, and your messiest. Keeping this in mind when interviewing and meeting with potential roommates will be necessary. We would even challenge their trustworthiness as far as being able to depend on them in an emergency.

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