How To Find a Good Roommate

finding-a-roommate

Finding a roommate is a good idea for all kinds of reasons. Maybe you just bought a home and you want to rent a room out to help pay the mortgage down. Or maybe you’re renting an apartment with college friends or co-workers to share expenses and save money.

People seek out new roommates for all kinds of different situations.

Over the years, I’ve rented out rooms in my home to help offset expenses and pay my mortgage down quicker.

Below are some options to help you find your next roommate.

Find a Roommate On Craigslist, Remember To Use It Safely!

Craigslist is a great option for just about every town; it’s the modern-day newspaper classifieds site that started in the mid-1990s. It’s still my go-to resource for finding a roommate. It has posting categories for all major cities all around the world. PLUS, IT’S FREE.

A craigslist posting has information such as pictures and a description that a poster will write about.

The most important thing about Craigslist is to keep a sharp mind when using it and do your due diligence. It can attract many flaky and scammy people.

Some quick safety tips to remember for using Craigslist to find a roommate are:

  • Craigslist has an anonymous feature to hide your e-mail address. Make sure you use it and don’t initially release any personal contact information to anyone you chat with.
  • If you are extra paranoid try using a fake e-mail address using ProtonMail, it’s free and a great way to ensure no one can get your real e-mail.
  • If you are doing a phone chat with someone to interview them from Craigslist, try using a free Google Voice Number instead of your cell phone.

Note: These safety tips can apply to any website or app you use for finding a new roommate!

The Best Roommate Finder Apps Worth Trying

There are many roommate finder websites and apps to choose from; some cost money, and some are free.

Each big city like New York City (NYC), Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Miami, Portland, etc. will have a popular roommate finder app that will have a good selection of people local to you.

If you find yourself browsing through a limited selection of people, you might be using an unpopular roommate finder app for your area. So always be open to trying a few options.

A good roommate finder website will have the following features and characteristics:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other Social Media presence.
  • Plenty of profiles with people in your local area.
  • An iPhone or Droid Mobile app for you to use.
  • A reputable looking website with high-quality photos, and not cheap looking stock photos. User photos should also be of quality.
  • They should NOT use sneaky sign-up forms to get your email address or credit card!

If a roommate finder app does not have these characteristics you’ll be better off using Craigslist since it’s in every town, pretty popular, and is free to use.

1) RoomiApp

I like the roommate finder site Roomi. It’s also known as Roomi App and it’s a great option for finding your next roommate; it’s very popular with millennials.

Roomi has a clean interface, great photo options, and a complete profile for each user. It also has a mobile app you can download for your Droid or iPhone device.

I found the setup process to be streamlined and easy to follow. You can also use your Facebook account or email address to register, unlike with Roomster.

I’ve downloaded the mobile app, and the listings are displayed beautifully. It has a bit of an Airbnb feel to it, but most importantly, it loads everything fast, no waiting for pictures to load. 

There’s a free profile option and some extra services for a premium.

2) RentHoop

RentHoop came out in 2016 and is available on IOS and Android mobile devices. The layout of viewing potential roommates is set up with easy-to-find info like location, budget, roommate’s deal-breakers, and lifestyle questions.

One of RentHoop’s best features is that its search filters allow you to quickly find short or long-term leases (which is a big help when dealing with sublets.) You can also find people to go apartment hunting with, search by budget, and filter by college name.

3) RoomieMatch

Roomiematch lets you set up a free profile (with limited options) and does a good job of providing its user a roommate finder experience as a matchmaker using a curated feed.

It does this by having a clean, easy layout design and delivers potential roommate matches via email to your inbox.

To help cut down on spam and spam profiles, humans also review each and every account. It’s well moderated and serves Canada, and the U.S. If you want to enjoy full usage of the website, there is a cost.

4) Diggz

I live close to SF and Diggz is pretty popular here. It’s got a smaller client base and focus of just serving a dozen or so cities across the U.S.

It has some search filters for details such as your party lifestyle or sleeping habits. It’s free to use and will normally start you off with a batch of 10 matches to get started.

5) PadMapper

If you have already lined up a roommate, or you want to find a new apartment, condo, or home to rent with your existing roommate, check out pad mapper. Either though, this website is not roommate specific, it’s a great tool for finding a new place to live when your existing place is forcing you out.

You’ll find new places in your favorite city in the U.S. or Canada. It’s free and has an awesome map interface too.

6) Circle for Roommates

I recently discovered the Circled for Roommates roommate finder app and it looks very much like Tinder. It’s a swipe app for matchmaking with a roommate. It’s most popular in New York City and Los Angeles, but it’s growing in other big cities as well.

Each profile has short bios and pictures which is nice. You can also see friends of friends. It’s free to use and downloadable in the app store (it’s for iPhone.)

7) Rainbow Roommates

I also found rainbow roommates while researching roommate finders for this article, it’s specific to serving the LGBTQ community and operates in NYC (New York City). It’s a bit more on the expensive side at 15 bucks for just a two-week subscription.

If you have a room to rent, you can make a free listing. But, it’s definitely a premium option for people looking.

Alternative Options For Where You Can Find a Roommate

If a roommate finder app or website in the previous section does not work for you, try one of these options instead.

  • Reddit is a great option to find a new roommate if you can get lucky and find a subreddit focused on finding a roommate with the keywords of your city name/area. It might be a bit unorganized, but it can be a very good resource of people to weed through and hunt down a good roommate.
  • Facebook has many groups or pages set up in local communities all over the United States. There’s a good chance one might be set up that specializes in shared housing and finding roommates in your town.
  • Alumni networks for college are very popular, and a safe bet most of the time because of the referral connection it has. Most colleges have a listserv for alumni living in a major city, just monitor the list and seek it out.
  • Local Online Community Blog, Forum, or Website – Find a local popular blog, website, or online forum that has roommate listings. College towns will sometimes have a website like this.
  • 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. I would advise that you be extra picky and avoid referrals from friends, family, and co-workers who you don’t have good judgment with screening prospects, it’s just not worth the hassle of something going wrong.
  • Another obvious place to find a new roommate is a good old bulletin board at your favorite coffee shop, college, clubhouse, bookstore, gym, church, library, or favorite hang-out spot downtown (it can be a hidden gem for finding great roommates!)

Final Thoughts

Finding a new roommate is a great way to save money if you’re renting or you’re a homeowner who just wants to rent out a spare bedroom. For best results, it’s best to take your time with the process and carefully screen people out.

Be sure you ask your new potential roommate the right questions to feel out if you are compatible or not, and most importantly, make sure they are financially responsible!