5 Questions to Ask Your Next Potential Roommate

There are many reasons to get a roommate, the most common of which is to reduce the cost of your rent. Generally in the real estate market, an apartment with two or three bedrooms is only slightly more expensive than a one-bedroom place.

Having a roommate allows you to spend less each month, though the savings come at the cost of some privacy. A roommate may also permit you access to better amenities than the ones usually available in one-bedroom apartments, a washer and dryer for instance, or a larger kitchen. Other reasons are to have the companionship of other people and to share the work of household maintenance.

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Even with all these benefits, it’s necessary to ask some key questions before settling on a roommate.

  1. Do You Work From Home?

If your roommate works from home, you might see an increase in your electricity bill, water bill or other utilities. One advantage of a work-from-home roommate is that you’ll always have someone on hand to receive the cable guy. They can also help in receiving all kinds of deliveries.

caption: alsdj (Manik Rathee via Flickr)

Nothing to sneeze at: Be sure to find out if your potential roommate has any pet allergies (even if you don’t have a pet yourself) or if there are any foods you should keep away from their side of the fridge. (Manik Rathee via Flickr)

  1. How Do You Relax, Sleep or Study?

Find out if your roommate needs music or white noise to fall asleep, whether or not distractions and noise are acceptable when studying, and how comfortable all occupants of the apartment would be with overnight visitors on weeknights.

  1. How Often Do You Clean?

A dirty apartment can be a source of conflict between roommates. Instead of just asking whether or not your potential roommate cleans (very few people would admit to being too dirty), try asking how often the person cleans. Find out which chores they despise and be sure to disclose your own pet peeves as well.

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  1. Do You Have Any Allergies?

People have different lifestyle and health needs. Some people hate having pets at home, or are allergic to certain foods or substances. Knowing the answer to this question could prevent a lot of conflicts with your roommate.

  1. Do You Smoke?

Some people find it difficult living with a smoker, and this is a question you should ask. You should also find out if the landlord allows smoking indoors, as many apartment communities nowadays do not. If you smoke strictly outside, maybe your roommate would be fine with that.

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