Deciding whether to have a roommate or to live alone should be settled on before you even begin hunting for an apartment. A very common mistake students make is thinking that moving in with a friend is a great plan that doesn’t require serious talk or consideration. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. No matter who the candidate is, you need to sit down with your potential roommate and go over several things before making a final decision. Some important things to talk about are: the logistics of who will be paying, the neighborhoods you’re willing to live in, and your expectations about cleanliness and guests. While every little detail doesn’t have to be figured out between you and your potential roommate, you need to be clear and honest in your expectations. Once your name is on a lease, your credit is on the line. So if you aren’t firm about not wanting parties at the apartment, or ensuring your roommate has a viable job that can pay rent, you may lose your security deposit, or worse. Initial discomfort when talking about tough subjects will pave the way for an easier time farther down the road.
If living with a friend isn’t an option, then there are plenty of resources to find a roommate online. Facebook and Craigslist are two great sites. And you can also print out ads and post them around your school. Some schools even have resources that help you find roommates as part of their off-campus housing department. Just ask around and don’t worry that you’ll end up settling for a roommate who’s not a good fit. At any given time, tons of students are looking for roommates, so you’ll find your perfect match. Just give yourself time. Generally a month or two is enough notice.
Additionally, if parents are going to be involved in paying for the apartment, it might make sense for you to meet them as well. It will give you peace of mind, knowing how much financial support your roommate is getting. And if your roommate is going to be paying rent himself or herself, don’t hesitate to ask questions about her work and income. While these aren’t the easiest things to go over with a stranger or friend, minor discomfort now will prevent any miscommunications or issues when you’ve moved in and signed a yearlong lease.
By Alex Agahigian
Alex Agahigian was one of the Campus Clipper’s talented publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to find an apartment in NYC. Follow our blog to read more chapters from Alex’s e-book and use her advice to make your own apartment-hunting more fun and easy. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.
At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!
Stay tuned for more tips from Alex on apartment hunting, check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.