As rent prices keep climbing, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to afford an apartment on your own — especially if you’re still in school or you just recently graduated. One of the best ways to keep your living expenses down is to have a roommate who can split the cost of the rent and utilities with you (not to mention keep you company after you get home from work in the evenings).
But what do you do when you’re trying to move to another city for a new job? Or what if all of your college friends moved away and you don’t know of anyone you’d like to live with? Or maybe you had a roommate, but they moved away to go to graduate school in another state?
Searching for a roommate should be more than just putting out an ad and hoping that someone sane answers — this is a person who’s going to be sharing a living space with you, after all. Here are two of the best places to find a new roomie (sans that one famous online listing site):
The website Roomiematch.com promises to “help you find a roommate without scams” and tells you immediately that “slimeball rip-off artists are screened out.” Unlike many other roommate-matching sites, Roomiematch.com is completely human-moderated. They even run an IP Address Actual Location Analysis for all subscribers, which shares the cities in which potential roommates are truly located. This means that you can avoid any spammers, scam artists, and con artists who are just looking to deceive you and get money for a rent deposit. The website’s “About” section reads: “Unlike most ways you could find a roommate, we are paying attention to this information, and actually making use of it to decide which roommate profiles are worth accepting and which are probable scams.”
In addition to screening out scam artists, Roomiematch.com makes sure that everyone who has a profile is still actively searching for a roommate and regularly checks in with those who have made a profile to ensure that there aren’t any inactive accounts.
The site also asks you some routine questions about how you keep house, what kind of company you prefer, and what you like to do for fun in an effort to give you an accurate Roommate Behavior Rating. This rating will tell other potential roommates whether the two of you would be a good match for living together. The closer your Roommate Behavior Ratings are, the better roommates the two of you are more likely to be (theoretically, anyway).
Roomiematch.com has two kids of plans: a free option and a “cheap roommate search” option. The free plan allows you to create a profile and receive a Roommate Behavior Rating, but it only allows you to be contacted by others who are interested in your profile — which means that you aren’t allowed to reach out to anyone. A “cheap roommate search” is $19.95 yearly and gives you the option of being able to contact anyone on the site who matches up with your profile.
Most major metropolitan areas are covered on Roomiematch.com, so it’s likely that the city you’re moving to will also have the service available.
The Roomi app promises to help you find a “roommate who gets you.” The app is designed to help you find a roommate in a new city or fill an empty room in your current apartment by connecting you to verified people all over the world.
Roomi is currently only available in Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, Austin, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, and Washington D.C., but keep checking back to see when the app will be available in your particular area.
Unlike Roomiematch.com, the Roomi app is more list-style and less data driven. More specifically, it allows renters who are looking for a place to live to scroll through available rooms and see all of the amenities, house rules, and interests of the people who already live in them. They’ll also tell you how much the rent is per month and where the apartment is roughly located in the city. All of the users on the Roomi app are verified, having to go through a very thorough approval process before joining, which means that you can search for a new roommate on the app with total peace of mind. Best of all, there’s a chat feature that you can use to communicate with your potential future roommates directly through the app.
It’s completely free to join the Roomi community, but if you’re planning on listing a room in your apartment, you do have the option to boost your listing for an additional fee. Boost it for one day for $17.99, four days for $49.99, and seven days for $69.99.