Finding a responsible roommate online or offline is always a challenge. You talk with your friends, family, and Colleagues for referrals. You search the internet and Social Media for the perfect roommate.
With so many options it’s hard to know which one is the best one for your situation or the town you live in. We’re going to discuss all the best ideas for finding a new roommate below.
1) Ask your Friends, Family, and Colleagues
The first consideration you have for finding a new roommate is to ask your friends, family, and colleagues. This option makes a lot of sense because you trust them and they’ll help screen out creepy or crazy people for you.
You can assume that meeting any new potential roommate can go one of two ways; it could go great, or like the worst blind date you ever had!
I would advise that you be extra picky and avoid referrals from friends, family, and co-workers who don’t have good judgment with screening prospects who are clean, responsible, and not crazy.
If people you know are not able to hook you up with a good match for a roommate, it’s OK, lots of people have this problem.
Sometimes it’s best to forget about trying to get referrals and move on!
Don’t feel so bad either, because, in my experience, 85% of all my successful roommates were always with complete strangers.
2) Local Community Resources
There are tons of resources in your local town for finding roommates.
Let’s review the list below for some examples
- Bulletin board – The bulletin board at your favorite coffee shop, college, clubhouse, bookstore, gym, church, library, or favorite hang out spot can be a hidden gem for finding great roommates.
- Local Roommate Facebook Page – Search Facebook for a page that specializes in shared housing and finding roommates in your town.
- Local Online Community – Find a popular blog or online forum specific to your area. Where people post wanted ads for finding a roommate, some colleges even have their own website for shared housing.
- Craigslist – Craigslist is a great option for just about every town; it’s the modern day newspaper classifieds. I have a whole article dedicated to Safely Finding a Roommate on Craigslist, check it out!
I would recommend asking other people who recently found a roommate in your area if one type of resource works better than the other. For example, maybe there’s a hot bulletin board everyone uses at your favorite bookstore.
3) How to Find a Reputable Roommate Finder Site
There are many roommate finder websites and apps to choose from; some cost money, and some don’t. The idea of using one of these sites might make you feel a bit awkward and scared at first, like when you first go to an online dating site.
Follow me below, and those weird feelings will go away!
A good roommate finder website should have the following features and characteristics:
- A Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media presence.
- An iPhone or Droid Mobile app for you to use.
- A confident looking homepage with high-quality photos, and not cheap looking stock photos.
- A free account sign-up with full search access for finding other profiles in your town. (Why would you be interested in paying for a roommate finder site if there are no listings in your city?)
- They should NOT use sneaky sign-up forms to get your e-mail address or credit card! That is never a good sign!
Whether you use a free or paid roommate finder site does not matter. Both options are good if it’s able to deliver you a great lead. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to find someone that fits your standards within 15 – 30 days.
Believe it or not, the process is pretty straightforward and very much the same on all these different sites. But to do it successfully, you’re going to have to filter through lots of people that might be posing as scammers or con artists.
Scammers and con artists are always going to manage to find their way on any successful website that offers a service. That should make you want to be on the site even more because it means you have a decent selection of honest people too!
Finding a roommate online is a numbers game, you have to filter through the good and bad. So be careful and use your best judgment, a bit of common sense will also go a long way too.
Even when you do find a match, people may renege and not respond to your message. The worst is when someone sends you an offensive message during a conversation that seemed to be going fine.
Quick Tip: Make sure you skip the listings without a photo!
Each roommate finder website will perform better in some locations than others. You’ll have to find out through your own experience or ask another person in your town if they’ve had success with one vs. another.
Roomi App, Roomster, and Craigslist are my favorite roommate finder sites!
RoomiApp and Craiglist are 100% free, and Roomster is free with some limited features that do not include messaging other members.
The sign-up processes is really straightforward too. Roomi App will allow you to register with either an e-mail address or your Facebook account. Roomster will only let you register using a Facebook account.
Creating a profile, searching, and reviewing listings on both of these sites is streamlined and easy to do on all these platforms too, so there really great options! And they all came up in my google search, which we’ll review as the last idea for you.
Read my full reviews for Roomster and Roomi App below:
4) Using A Google Search
To find the best roommate finder website options in your area I like to use Google. Try a simple search with the words “roommate finder.” If you don’t get any good results, put your city name into that search.
I recently did a search on Google to see what would come up. For my keywords, I did “roommate finder Oakland” (Oakland is the local city name).
Google will adjust its search results for the local city you that live in with this type of search query. On my search page, I found eight results, with some paid ads at the top. After reviewing my options, I narrowed it down to five that looked promising.
The five I felt were the most valuable was: Craigslist.org, Roomster.com, RoomiApp.com, a local city shared housing Facebook Page and an online forum for San Francisco (SF) State.
For my final two, Roomster and RoomiApp really stood out to me because they have a Facebook Page, and a mobile app you can use. Craiglist is a close third, and if I were a college student going to SF State, that online resource would defiantly be at the top of my list.
As you can see Roomster, RoomiApp and Craiglist seem to be the leading reputable roommate finder sites in my opinion. The Google search says so and so does Social Media.
After reviewing these ideas, I hope it gives you a confident start on your search for a new roommate. For where I live in the SF Bay Area, all of these ideas are terrific options and work for people of all ages.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Check out my other Roommate Advice articles.