The way we live is changing. There continues to be fewer single-family homes by the year, with more and more people living in multigenerational homes or with roommates. A sizeable 15% of Canadians between the ages of 20 and 34 have reported living with roommates. Not only that, the fastest growing segment of the real estate market is living with roommates, with single family households and single person households continuing to shrink.
The idea of roommates makes plenty of sense. The cost of living and rent continues to climb seemingly every day. But living with someone else is also a way to help your own health. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we became aware how important being with others is to our well-being. Being near one another is something humans have always strived for. Increasingly, we are seeing people become aware of the financial and mental health benefits of living with a roommate.
But, having a bad roommate is an awful experience. Did you know that only 38% of roommates are considered a good match? What if we told you there was a way to beat those odds?
Where to Find Roommates?
There was a time when finding a roommate might have involved seeing an ad posted on a community bulletin board or reading a newspaper and knocking on a door. However, times have changed. There are seemingly unlimited ways to find roommates now and it can be overwhelming where to even start.
Now that you have decided that you want to have a roommate, where can you go to find them?
Of course, you can meet people through your day-to-day life – fellow students at your university, coworkers, friends of friends. The people that have those direct connections to your everyday life that could work out as roommates too.
This obviously has a big benefit of actually knowing the person you would be a roommate with for some time before moving in together. You could spend a semester in the same class, working on projects together. You could bond at a job, sharing the same experiences. These shared experiences can go a long way to connecting with a potential roommate.
Unfortunately, this can also take time. Finding those right people you connect with enough that you want to share a home together is something that typically takes months. Sometimes, this just isn’t an option.
- Guaranteed to know your lifestyles mesh
- Get to know somebody before moving in with them
- Creates a safe space to speak openly and honestly
- Can take months
- Can cause rifts in established friendship
- Heavily reliant on interpersonal skills
We live in a world where we have endless connections and information at our fingertips. Of course, this allows us to be able to search for a roommate without ever leaving our desk. There are Facebook groups, Reddit posts and entire websites developed to just help find roommates in your area.
Social media gives you the benefit of quickly searching and finding a potential roommate quickly. Bringing people together that are both in a similar situation and looking to find a more financially sustainable living arrangement. Plus, they are often hyper-local, with these platforms looking in specific cities, and even neighborhoods, for their perfect shared home situation.
There are obviously some drawbacks to finding a roommate on social media. The process tends to move fairly quickly, which is one of the positives, but this can lead to some friction in the future. Oftentimes, you will simply forget to ask or talk about a certain situation or lifestyle choices. That can quickly lead to the realization that this new roommate doesn’t really match your lifestyle.
- Can find potential roommates quickly
- Uses websites you likely already frequent
- Looking at posting history of other’s can provide insight into their personality
- No way to truly vet potential roommates
- Roommate compatibility not emphasized
- Likely requires checking various platforms regularly
Classified sites, such as Kijiji and Craigslist, are a wonderful resource for finding basically anything you might want. But many also have a “Room rentals” or “roommates” section. Here you can find people posting both rooms for rent and others looking for shared housing accommodations.
Sites like Kijiji have been around since 2005 and most folks nowadays have found their way to the website before, which means the search won’t feel too daunting. You have the ability to see pictures of potential rooms and read about potential roommates. And, of course, many of these classified sites give you the opportunity to speak to the person who posted the ad before you ever meet in person.
Though one of the best ways to easily find potential roommates, classified sites do suffer many of the same issues that finding someone on social media can come with. You can obviously speak to someone but will likely run into some incompatibilities that you could not have foreseen.
- Can quickly find potential roommates
- Gives you the opportunity to speak to others before meeting them
- Established website that many feel comfortable using
- Roommate compatibility not emphasized
- Does not provide support beyond initial connection
- Finding roommates is not their intended use
Happipad is an alternative to many of the longer standing ways of finding a roommate. Not only does Happipad focus on creating affordable and sustainable housing, it also puts a big focus on the individual.
During the process of creating a Happipad profile, a user will be asked about their preferences and lifestyles and habits. By doing so, you are able to understand what you are looking for in a roommate. This also gives you the ability to match with potential roommates based on these preferences, as you can filter others in your area based on those preferences.
Additionally, Happipad goes the extra mile to help make sure you and a potential roommate are comfortable when starting your journey together. In the app, you can generate a roommate contract to help, again, ensure there are no future issues between roommates. And if you and your potential roommate do find yourself at an impasse, Happipad offers conflict resolution to help come to fair and agreeable solutions.
Happipad does have some sticking points based on personal preference. The account creation process can feel long when you are eager to start searching for potential roommates. With that in mind, the process of generating a roommate contract/rental agreement can also take a little longer than just verbally agreeing to be roommates like on social media or Kijiji.
- Focused on finding best roommate connections possible
- Real time availability with the booking calendar for each property
- Provides benefits beyond connecting potential roommates
- Account creation can be lengthy
- More regulated and structured, process can take longer than other options
- Only accommodates shared housing