Find a Roommate: A Look at the Top Roommate WebsitesApril 28th, 2008 by Oh My Apartment
Finding a great roommate can be a crucial part in your quality of life. A bad roommate can make living downright miserable. A roommate that you can’t trust can add unwanted stress to your life. Finding a trustworthy, fun roommate is much easier than in the old days where you had to put an ad in the newspaper or hang a flyer on a bulletin board with your phone number on 15 tabs of paper. There are many websites that can assist you in finding exactly what you are looking for.
From what I found, most of the roommate websites work basically the same way. I concentrated on the sites that get the most traffic, or exposure, to possible roommates. The sites all offer the opportunity to look for a roommate for your place or to look for a room to rent with someone else. One site even assists you in hooking up with a roommate to find a place together.
Roommates.com, from what I found, is the largest website dedicated to finding a roommate. According to Quantcast, they receive approximately 344,000 unique visitors per month in the U.S. They take a wealth of information from you including age, likes, dislikes, sexual orientation, etc. If you are honest about what it is exactly what you are looking for, this website can save you a lot of time by narrowing your search drastically. This site also features Match Plus which can help you find a great roommate first and then you two can find the place to rent together. This site is also used as a dating site, so be aware that some people are looking for more than a roommate. One of the aspects of this site I did not like is within the first 24 hours I received about 10 emails to my personal email that told me “You have mail.” All of your mail goes to your roommates.com mailbox, so you have to go to the site to retrieve it. You may look at the listings with your free account. If you want to communicate or “unlock” your email, you must become a member. It is $5.99 for 3 days, $19.99 for 30 days or $29.99 for 60 days. Be aware that there is also a website called roommate.com that does not have the “s”. This site, I am guessing, depends on the misspelling and only receives less than 2,000 unique visitors a month.
EasyRoommate.com receives approximately 78,000 unique users per month, according to Quantcast. You must create an account to use the site. You can create a free account, but you will be limited in your capabilities. You can send notes via the website to other members with listings. You can’t read any of your mail unless you upgrade to a premium account. With a premium account, you also get access to the member’s phone numbers. Premium memberships are $9.99 for 5 days, $19.99 for 10 days and $29.99 for 30 days.
RoommateClick.com receives approximately 36,000 unique users per month, according to Quantcast. You can browse this site without creating an account. The listings that you will see are very basic though. With a paid membership, you will have the ability to do advance searches, send emails, use the toolbox and view the full profiles. The memberships are $4.95 for 7 days, $17.95 for 30 days and $28.95 for 60 days.
RoommateLocator.com does not get as much traffic as the other sites but I think it is worth trying before a paid membership to the others. It gets approximately 3,300 unique users per month, according to Quantcast. The aspect of this site that I liked is that there are features that you can use with your free account. You can actually get email addresses, view photos and get phone numbers with your free account. The email addresses are actual personal email addresses, not site mailboxes. You may wonder why anyone would pay for a membership than on this site. A membership gives you higher search results, meaning you will ideally come up on the first page when someone searches a city versus on the fourth page. You also get an enhanced listing with more features. The memberships on this site are $9.99 for 1 week, $15.99 for 15 days or $29.99 for 45 days.
The last site I found is not a roommate-dedicated site, but I think it deserves mentioning. The traffic is larger than all the others and it does assist users in finding roommates. Sublet.com receives approximately 561,000 unique users per month, according to Quantcast. It offers a variety of services from finding roommates, renting rooms, subletting, etc. You have to enter basic information to search the site. A membership on this site varies on the location you are searching. I entered Atlanta, GA as a location and received a price quote of $39.99 for 90 days and I entered Omaha, NE and received a price quote for $9.95 for 90 days.
I spoke with Marie in Virginia Beach who used Roommates.com to find a place to rent and she was very happy with it. She said that she purchased the minimum membership time frame and found a place very quickly. She was very happy with the number of choices she had. She said that she would use that site again if she needed to find a roommate or a place to rent.
Whatever site you do decide to use, remember to be safe. If you are imagining living with your brother the same as rooming with any male, you may be naive. Try to communicate via email or a cell phone that may not be registered to an address. If and when you do meet, take a buddy and meet in a public place, like a restaurant. Take your time when you make a decision and don’t ever feel rushed into a decision if you are not comfortable. You are putting a lot of trust in this person’s hands.
Note: ApartmentRatings.com has an affiliate relationship with Roommates.com and EasyRoommate.com.