Top 10 Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate
Find Your Perfect Roomie Match with these Few Questions!
The summer before my second year at university, three of my friends and I decided to move into a house together. This would be our first time living away from home, and we were beyond excited to begin this new chapter of our lives. Since we had been friends since the first day of school, we assumed we’d all be compatible sharing a living space. On the day of the move, we went shopping for home decor and furniture. We sat in the cafeteria at Ikea and made some important decisions; the couch would be a green sectional, we’d put up LED lights in the kitchen, and each of our rooms would feature matching duvets. Shopping bags in hand, we felt ready to take this leap together. It wasn’t until later that night that we realized maybe we had forgotten something important. It was 9 PM and one of us was getting ready for bed, another had just invited her friends over, and the other was setting up the living room for a study session. I was standing in the kitchen preparing to cook my dinner.
Our experience that night marked a crucial lesson for us. We had forgotten to ask the important questions. Some of us were early birds, and others night owls. Each of us had a unique living style. To ensure we would respect each other and live harmoniously, we had to sit down and have a discussion on our needs, wants, and expectations. As I entered other living arrangements throughout my years, I learned that the best time for this discussion was early on during roommate selection. I wish there was a tool at the time that could have helped me sort out roommate compatibility. The team at Sparrow knows how frustrating it is to find the ideal roommate all on your own. To simplify this step for you, Sparrow offers compatibility matching. Sparrow uses a proprietary match scoring system that factors in your interests, habits, and lifestyle to recommend high-quality and like-minded matches.
Once you’ve found potential roommate matches, here are 10 great questions to ask them:
- What is your cleaning style?
A compatible cleaning style is one of the best indicators for a successful match. After all, you and your potential roommate want to feel comfortable spending time in the common areas. You can take this fun quiz together to find out your cleaning personality.
You may want to ask these questions to get the ball rolling:
- When do you wash your dishes?
- What is your definition of clean?
- How often do you vacuum?
- Are you typically tidy or messy?
- How often should the washroom be cleaned?
2. What are your expectations for chores?
Some people prefer to follow a chore chart with outlined tasks and predetermined dates. Others take on more of a nonchalant attitude towards their responsibilities. There is no one right way to combat chores, but it’s important for roommates to be on the same page to ensure those tasks get done.
To keep the conversation flowing, here are some questions you can ask:
- Would you be open to following a chore chart?
- How often should household chores be done?
- Which chores do you prefer? Which do you like the least?
- Should chores be done together or separately?
3. What is your typical daily schedule?
The goal of any homesharing arrangement is to save money while living comfortably with a roommate. It can be frustrating to live with someone whose schedule counteracts yours. Having an idea of your roommate’s schedule will give you a glimpse into sharing a home together. There should be enough compatibility so that roommates can easily accommodate each other.
Make sure to touch on these points during your discussion:
- What does your weekend look like?
- Do you work from home?
- What do you do in your free time?
- When do you wake up and go to bed?
4. What spaces and items are you open to sharing?
Sharing common spaces and items requires a mutual understanding from both roommates. It’s best to discuss your expectations on sharing right away. By discussing boundaries with your potential roommate, you take the first step in establishing a relationship based on communication and mutual respect. Not sure how to prepare your shared spaces? There are several effective ways to get ready for a new roommate.
If you’re not sure how to bring up this topic, here are a few pointers:
- How would we split the storage areas?
- Would kitchen supplies be shared?
- Would we share a washroom?
5. How often do you have guests over?
It is a good idea to clarify how frequently each roommate likes to have guests over, and how long these guests typically stay. Establishing ground rules on overnight guests and visitors is key to avoiding any surprises down the road.
Some good questions to get the conversation started are:
- Do you have a significant other?
- How often do you have friends over?
- Do you like to host parties?
- What is your policy on overnight guests?
6. What is your communication style?
Healthy communication is a crucial part of the relationship between roommates. In fact, it is key to overall well-being, happiness and success. There is no “one-size fits all” for communication styles, so you may want to talk to your potential roommate about how they like to communicate. Knowing your roommate’s communication style will give you valuable insight into how you would resolve conflict and make mutual decisions. You can learn about your communication styles by taking this fun quiz together.
If you’re stuck, here are a few pointers:
- Do you prefer face-to-face conversations or text?
- Do you prefer assertive communication or more passive communication?
- What is the best time and place to have important conversations?
7. What is your ideal house temperature?
This might seem minuscule, but it is an important preference that should be addressed with your potential roommate. You’d be surprised at how many opinions there are about ideal temperatures. If you and your potential roommate’s preferences fall on opposite sides of the spectrum, have a discussion on how you would come to a happy compromise.
Here are several questions to reveal your roommate’s temperament on the topic:
- Do you like your home to be warmer or chillier?
- Do you bundle up at home?
- Do you sleep better in a cold or warm environment?
8. How will bills be divided?
It’s worthwhile to ask your potential roommate how they would split bills and household costs. Knowing this information will help when both of you are designating shared items in the house.
You may want to ask:
- Will we take turns purchasing essentials, such as toilet paper, dish detergent, and garbage bags?
- How will we split utilities such as hydro and internet?
- Whose name will the utility bill be under?
- How will we keep track of shared expenses?
9. How do you feel about pets?
You may want to ask about allergies or any concerns regarding pets. If your building does not allow pets, it is still worth discussing this with your potential roommate in case circumstances change. Bonus — you might discover you and your roomie are both avid cat lovers!
Here are a few questions to start the conversation:
- Do you currently have a pet?
- Are you thinking of getting a pet in the future?
- Do you have any allergies to pets?
- Would you be okay living with an animal?
10. What is your favourite comfort food?
While this is hardly a dealbreaker, asking your potential roommate what their favourite comfort food is may bring you two closer together! The only thing better than pizza after a bad day is having someone to share it with. This is also a great way to start up a conversation on dietary restrictions, allergies, and food lifestyles.
How does your potential roommate feel about:
- Pineapple on pizza?
- Favourite cupcake flavour?
- Fish tacos vs. steak tacos?
- Is a hot dog a sandwich?
If you’re searching for a roommate in Toronto or Vancouver, check out Sparrow to find your perfect match: https://sparrowshare.com/
Written by Yasmine Haik