Is It Time To Find A New Roommate?
Life goes on, even during trying times like this. For many people out there, life will be entering a transitional period soon. The summer is coming and following that comes fall. With those two seasons comes the height of the real estate world’s busiest time.
But how will the pandemic affect the real estate business? Well, we have yet to fully see. In some cases, it will stall or outright halt people from moving out of their homes at the end of their rental leases. For others, the lowered prices on real estate will make buying a new home a very enticing option. To back those statements with numbers, Curbed states that “web traffic to real estate portals like Zillow and Redfin dropped by almost 40 percent in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. New listings of homes for sale initially dropped by as much as 70 percent in some markets like New York and East Bay, California. Weekly mortgage applications dropped 17.9 percent in early April.”
But what does this mean for people who will have their rental leases end? What if you need to find a new space or new roommates to fill empty space? Well, it means that there may be some frustrating circumstances in your future. But lucky for you, that’s where this article comes in. If you need tips and advice on how to find a good roommate during this pandemic (or any time really), check out our thoughts down below.
Where To Find Potential Roommates
There are three solid and stable options that you can use for finding new roommates. (While there are many more, these are the three we recommend). The options start out personally and then branch out to more foreign spaces from there.
- Asking friends. The first easy avenue to finding a good roommate is asking friends if they know anyone. Most likely, a potential roommate found through a friend will be someone you can get along with. After all, your mutual friend means that there will be a commonality between you two. Of course, keep in mind that your friends may not always recommend a friend.
- Asking Facebook. Most likely, your Facebook is a place where you connect with family, friends, and acquaintances. Facebook, after all, tends to be more personal than other social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. If so, consider posting to your Facebook that you’re looking for a roommate. It will be like asking your friends personally but with a wider scope.
- If you want to go even broader and are comfortable with looking for roommates that are total strangers, consider joining Facebook groups. Facebook groups are a great place to apply for affordable housing or to find new roommates in your area. This is especially helpful for people living in cities.
How To Interview Potential Roommates
Once you’ve found a pool of potential roommates, it’s time to interview them. But how? Well first, you have to keep in mind the social distancing guidelines. In this unprecedented time, it might not be the best idea to invite every stranger that stated interest in your home. Instead, have the first round of interviews done through video chats. Get on Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facetime to talk to potential roommates from a safe distance. If you don’t want to room with them, no harm done. If you want to see more from them, then consider a face-to-face talk.
As for when you’re interviewing people, make sure to ask or inform important topics like the price of utilities, amenities in the space, living styles, social styles (are you into having guests? Parties?), cleanliness requirements, cooking styles (house meals? House groceries?), how to address conflict, move-in time requirements, and more.
How To Set Up The Move-In
Once you’ve got all that conversation over with and decided on a roommate, you’ve got to figure out the move-in process. This is especially true if you have a roommate moving out before the new person moves in. This in-between phase has always been awkward for renters. But, it needs to be figured out.
First, talk to your old roommate to see if they can move out earlier? Or, if they need help to move their stuff in a timely manner. If they need to keep some stuff in your spot for a time, write up a quick document to ensure an enforcement of when that stuff is moved.
Then when your new roommate comes into space, ask them to disinfect their stuff. You don’t want to bring in the coronavirus, so make sure to wipe down these new items into your space. Also, help your roommate move in to help the process go faster. And if they have any other friends, family, or hired workers helping with the move, ask those people to disinfect/clean every time they come into the house.
How To Adjust To Your New Normal
After everything is moved in, it’s time to get situated with the new person in your life. That is the easiest and hardest part. Given the fact that many people are living at home longer than usual, you will have a lot of time to get used to each other. With that, you may find yourselves hitting a stride fairly quickly.
But at the same time, you’ll probably get more than a little frustrated with the constant interaction. In order to combat that, make sure to get enough time outside of the house. Go on walks or jogs, visit parks, take a drive around your area. Do all of this to not avoid your new roommate but enjoy some pleasant time apart.
But just as you need that alone time, you also need to make time to hang out. Watch a show together, play a game, or just listen to music and talk. You must have picked that roommate for a reason, so we’re sure you won’t be clawing at each other. Find a balance between that and your alone time, and you’ll find a great way to enjoy your new normal with your new roommate.