Eventually it's time to move out of your parents house and you'll most likely need a roommate. We all know Toronto is a pricey city, it's almost impossible to afford living alone.
At first you may think you found the "perfect" roomie but with time, all hell can break loose. You end up arguing over the dumbest things, such as who took the last cookie from the jar.
Sometimes people can't simply live together because they're unable to adapt to one another. Certain people just click and are able to find a resolution to any given problem, while others feel like ripping each others hair out when an argument arises.
If you're in need of a roommate and are unsure of how to find one, here's a guide that will help you notice the red flags and determine whether or not you should move in with the "potential roommate":
1. Avoid moving in with friends
Often times, friendships can break once you live with your bff. Everything can be amazing between the two of you but once you move sh*t can hit the fan. If you're set on moving in with a friend, make sure you discuss the pros and cons of living together, and set boundaries as well as rules in order to keep your friendship strong.
2. Explore your social circle
It's more ideal to move in with a friend of a friend, as in oppose to a random person. Post on your social media platforms or ask your friends around. You never know who you could end up with!
3. Choose your hood
King Street, Liberty Village, The Annex, Lakeshore? Where do you want to live and which neighbourhood is convenient for you? If you don't have access to a car, perhaps look into living near the TTC or see if your future roommate has a vehicle to grab groceries.
Toronto Roommates is an online guide that will help you find the right person to live with. The site provides a variety of links to roommate listings posted on the web, by dividing listings into categories such as neighbourhood preferences, habits and rental budgets.
5. Check out websites: (other than Kijiji or Craigslist)
6. Create a Questionnaire
By having a questionnaire ready for your potential roommate, you'll be able to get straight to the point by asking direct questions with yes or no answers. There's no reason to run around the bush, just simply question the persons habits, interests, lifestyle and preferences on paper. The questionnaire will help you decide whether or not you would like to meet with him/her in person.
7. Meet in a public place
Set up your first meet and greet in a public space such as a coffee shop, to discuss further details. Elaborate on the answers you received from the questionnaire, for example "what does your day usually consist of?" Meeting in a public space will guarantee you safety and the opportunity to leave at any given time if the "potential roommate" is freaking you out.
8. Go over to their current place
Once you've met the person in a public place, you can now go over to their house to observe their living situation.
9. Pay attention to details
Are they clean? Don't miss the red flags because those are vivid. Are there stacks of dishes in the sink? Is the garbage taken out? You don't want to live with a skunk, these things really matter.
10. Decide if you want to share a bathroom.
Sharing bathrooms can be a huge issue. Who wants to see their roommate's hair chilling in the sink? Sharing a bathroom may also lead to a conflict between different sexes (a girl will take longer to get ready) - that you should take into consideration.
11. Money talks
Talking about money can be a tough topic, but you need to discuss finances before you move in with someone. Do they have a steady job? How will the bills be managed? Will you split food costs? Money can really get in the way and become a huge issue amongst roommates.
12. Find out why they need a roommate
It's important to figure out why your potential roommate needs someone to live with. You don't want to be stuck alone in the middle of your lease because he/she decided to run back to their ex.
13. Don't be scared to ask questions
Keep in mind, this person will be sharing personal space with you, therefore there should be no unanswered questions in order to avoid surprises.
14. Go out
Get to know your roommate from a different perspective before moving in together. Go out for a round of drinks or bowling to discover each others personas. If you're one to party and hit up the clubs on King, a roomie in a nutshell probably isn't the perfect fit for you.
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