They often call getting married and moving into together as “taking the plunge,” but if you ask us, moving in with someone you know and love is a lot less scary than moving in with a stranger. Don’t go into the roommate interview unprepared; we’ve got the topics to consider before you both sign the lease.
Whether you are the one inviting a new person into your home or the one looking to get into a new place, there are certain things that just have to be discussed before a living arrangement is agreed upon. These are 10 topics we think you should consider before taking your own plunge. What are your deal breakers?
1) Cleaning habits Some people wash their dishes immediately after use. Others get to scrubbing only after the sink is overflowing/you’ve run out of dishes to use. It might be best to live with someone who’s in the same cleaning boat as yourself.
2) Sleeping habits A night owl and a morning bird can be roommates, but their nest probably won’t make for a happy home unless there are at least a few hours of sleeping time that overlaps.
3) Guest habits Will they have frequent game nights? Will you have frequent over night guests? What is each person’s definition of a “small gathering”?
4) Tendency to feed small wild/feral animals Stray cats are cute (to us, anyway) but to others they are loud, flea-ridden nuisances. Make sure all parties are on the same page when it comes to what to do with the wildlife. (This includes bird feeders, which can affect a night owl's sleep in the morning.)
5) How loud does one need music/TV Some people have to watch movies with complete surround sound, others are perfectly content to listen with headphones.
6) Food habits Dietary preferences can really clash sometimes. Make sure that if you’re a meat lover and they're vegan they’re okay with you having slabs of meat in the fridge.
7) Security Do they think it’s normal to leave the windows open or unlocked while they run out for coffee? Do you require all doors locked when indoors? This is something not many people consider beforehand, but could lead to heated discussions (especially since material/personal safety is at issue).
8) Energy/water consumption You spot a recycling bin while being interviewed by a potential roommate, but don’t make assumptions about energy and water habits—ask.
9) Whether you’re going to be friends or just roommates Some people aren’t just looking for someone to mumble hello to while passing each other in the hallway, whereas others are perfectly happy leading solitary and parallel existences. Discuss this beforehand to avoid hurt feelings.
10) Decorating questions If you read Apartment Therapy this is obviously going to be important issue. You don’t have to have it all figured out, but at least express what your likes and dislikes are, and suss out their interest level in decorating the place.
What topics to ask a potential roommate have we left off the list? Let us know!
Images: Adrienne Breaux