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Finding Roommates on Craigslist

Craigslist is a treasure trove and a one-stop shop for almost everything you might be looking for. From apartments to furniture, to kitchen appliances, to guitars and people offering services, it seems like you can find everything you need on that platform.

As wonderful as that sounds, you should also understand that more often than not, there are scams on the site. There are also very weird people using the site as evidenced by the hundreds of horror stories people tell about their encounters.

Does this mean you should not place an ad for a roommate on Craigslist? Absolutely not. For every weird person on the platform, there are scores of other genuine people you can possibly share a room with.
That is why we have put together this guide to finding a great roommate on Craigslist.🤓

How to Find a Roommate on Craigslist: Important Tips

Before you begin looking for a roommate, here are a few things you should know for your overall safety and well-being.

Know What You Need in a Roommate

It is very important for you to figure out exactly what you are looking for before beginning your roommate search. Ask yourself important questions like:

  • What kind of person would I like to live with? Would I want to share a room?
  • What housing options are available?
  • What are deal breakers in a roommate relationship?
  • Would I be able to handle having pets in the apartment?
  • Do I want to live with someone with a different lifestyle than I have?
  • Do I want to room with someone that is the same gender or the same age?

These questions help you to narrow down your search and save your time.

Set Up an Email Account Just for the Search

Just as you wouldn’t give out your personal email address to just anyone on the street, you shouldn’t use it for your roommate search.
When you set up a new email account for your roommate search, it helps keep your information safe from the hands of stalkers and quite possibly hackers.
Having a separate email address also helps you stay organized. The only emails you’ll get will be from Craigslist, which means you won’t have to search through so many emails to find a response from a potential roommate.
When you have developed a good rapport with your potential roommate, you can decide if you want to give him your personal email address or your phone number.

Don’t Only Respond to Posts: Make Posts too

Chances are there are a lot of people who also have the same idea as you and will respond to the same post as you do. It’s even more likely that you won’t be on the radar of someone you think is your perfect match.
One way to control that is by making a post. When you make a post, you are in charge and you can weed through potential choices and find your perfect roommate in no time.

Be Careful About Scams

No platform is completely free of scams, and Craigslist is no exception to that, unfortunately. One way to stay alert is to trust your instincts and to be suspicious of things that seem too good to be true.
Don’t exchange money with people without meeting in person, and posts with too many errors should be seen as suspicious. Protect your space at all costs.

Ask Potential Choices to Follow You on Social Media

This is a good way to gauge who a person is, and it also helps you see if you have any friends in common with them. Scroll through their pages to get a feel of who they are and how they interact with others. This will help you in making your decision.

Meet Up With Potential Candidates Before Signing a Lease

This goes without saying. You have to meet up with them to ensure they aren’t scams, and that they are who they say they are. This will save you tears, time, and money.

Talk About Money

It’s always awkward talking about money, whether it’s to a friend or a stranger, but this conversation is necessary because it helps you get a handle on where the other person’s head is at in terms of how much they can pay for rent, utilities, and other expenses that will come up while living together.

Trust Your Instinct

This is the most important tip. If something feels shady and suspicious, chances are it probably is. Save yourself regrets and missed chances by recognizing red flags and steering clear from them.

A Step-by-step Guide to Craigslist

Now that you’ve been armed with safety tips, here’s a guide to start your roommate search on Craigslist.

Create your free account

Keep in mind our tip about not using your personal email and phone numbers to be safe online.🙃

Make a post

Be precise in your posts. Specify the location, the housing option, how many rooms are available, what gender the candidate should ideally be, if pets are allowed and if there are any other important rules for the apartment. Also mention upfront the monthly rent, the type of lease, and how you share utilities between roommates.

Conduct a Search

In addition to posting your own ad, scour the ‘Roommates’ section for roommate ads. Who knows if you might find the perfect roommate there?🤔

Narrow the Search Down.

Once you’ve gotten a few responses, you can narrow your search down. Make a list of people you think you might be compatible with, and then conduct a phone interview. Ask them what they want in a roommate, and if the answers are compatible, invite them to see the house.

Ensure that there’s someone else in the house when you invite them, just for safety. It is also important for you to do a background check, and ask about employment to be sure that the person can afford to pay the rent.

One Last Word

Craigslist can be a beautiful place to find almost everything, especially roommates. The key to a fruitful roommate search is to be specific in your search.
Take your time. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to find a roommate, and always prioritize your safety. Use this article to guide your roommate search.

Happy questing and may you find the best roommate for you! 😜