Need to find a roommate but don’t know any friend, family member or co-worker who is looking for a new home? Perhaps you want to spread your wings and meet new people, but the idea of posting a classified and advertising for a stranger to live with you seems a little frightening. Finding a roommate through social networking sites is a possible solution.
How to Look
You can start looking on any social networking site of which you’re already a member, including MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, to name a few. Begin the search by telling all of your social networking friends that you need to find a roommate in your area or at your school and ask them if they can vouch for one of their friends. If you get no results, search for groups about looking for roommates at your school or in your area and post the type of roommate you’re looking for, the rent (if any), a description of the apartment and a little about yourself.
Take Some Time to Get to Know Him or Her
The advantage of using Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn to find a roommate is that you can get to know your roommate before you agree to move in together. Become friends online and then browse your potential roommate’s interests and photos. Look for photos that might give you a clue about possible problematic behavior: an excess of partying and drunken antics, for example-unless you too like to party. See if the potential roommate’s friends have good things to say about him or her. Exchange messages before you make your decision.
Ask About Finances and Previous Roommates
When you’re able to narrow down your potential roommate to one or two choices, send a private message asking about a few things that could give you clues to the person’s level of responsibility-otherwise you might soon need to find a roommate again. If you are out of college and rent is an issue, you need to find out if the person holds a steady job and if he or she is heavily in debt. You may also want to ask about any previous roommates and why he or she is no longer living with them. Did anything annoy him or her about the previous roommate?
Caveats of Using Social Networking Sites
Like using social networking sites to find a date, there’s always the possibility that your potential roommate isn’t the person he or she claims to be online. However, using social networking sites to screen potential roommates is less of a shot in the dark than a classifieds ad followed by a single meeting or a phone interview. Just be sure to look for any warning signs, including odd photos, no social networking friends who actually know the person offline and inconsistencies in information. When you’re hoping to find a roommate, social networking sites can help you befriend your new roommate before he or she moves in. Still, even if you’re friends on LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace, there’s no guarantee you’ll get along in real life. Knowing a bit about your roommate beforehand certainly increases your chances of getting along nicely, though!