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Looking for a roommate on the internet. What sorts of questions should I ask?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by DPatel304, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. DPatel304

    DPatel304 Regular Member

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    First time ever having a roommate, and I'm just going at random and posting on craigslist. I've had friends who have had good experiences finding a roommate there, so I thought I'd try.

    Just want to know what sorts of questions I could ask. I'm meeting a potential roommate tomorrow at a bar. We've already talked a little bit about ourselves. We both work the same hours and are the same age. Tomorrow, I'm just going to see how well we get along, and try and get a feel for the guy. I'm staying in a relatively expensive area and charging quite a bit (also am asking for a sizable safety deposit), so I'm hoping that will weed out any dead beats.

    Should I try and lock them in for a year if we're both interested, or would that be too much of a commitment so soon.

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. 2live4tv

    2live4tv Junior Member

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    Never try and lock them in for a year, they could easily be psycho.
     
  3. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

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    I don't get why people go to the INTERNET of all places to find someone like a room mate. You're gonna be stuck living with them. There's a pretty darn good chance they could be a psycho, murderer, child molester, freak, creeper, weirdo, or all of the above.

    Then again, I don't do room mates to begin with.
     
  4. hatemachine

    hatemachine Regular Member

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    Do you spit or swallow?

    On a serious note, don't search for roomates on the internet.
     
  5. DPatel304

    DPatel304 Regular Member

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    I don't have any friends/acquaintances looking for a place, so not sure what other options I have.
     
  6. axus_auto

    axus_auto Power Member

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    Why don't you just get a girlfriend/boyfriend instead?
     
  7. zenoGlitch

    zenoGlitch Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I would really avoid roommates in shared spaces at all cost minus a great girlfriend, or your wife! There will always be issues with two males under the same roof.
    However ... Your chances are better if you are a college student, in a college town, with lots of fresh recruits coming in. If you are in a stagnant town with few people coming in the chances of you getting an extremely socially awkward room mate are higher.
    Questions aren't really as important as taking notice to behaviors such as courtesy, manors, personal hygene, and how he handles his liquor. These qualities are not really needed for good friends, but are necessary for good roommates.
     
  8. icering87

    icering87 Newbie

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    "Is there anything I should know up front before I submit this background check info?"
     
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  9. carlikito

    carlikito Regular Member

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    ^^^That^^^

    Check their FB/Linkedin profile, that should tell you a lot about their nature. Also get 3 references from non family members. Usually creepos and freaks dont have too many normal/real friends, any decent mate should have no problem getting 3 people to vouch for them.

    Good luck.
     
  10. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I haven't seen this much retardation so densely packed in a single thread in a very long time. There should be some kind of reward.

    They could also be serious, stable people that need the security of living in a single place for a significant amount of time. Graduate students, for example.

    You "don't know anything about roommates", but yet here you are on the "internet". Are you a psycho, a murderer, child molester, freak creeper, weirdo, "all of the above", or just plain stupid?

    Stupid joke that wasn't funny. Someone should neg rep you just for general purposes.

    Sounds like a good idea, but is incredibly hostile and for no reason. A "background check" isn't going to discover that your roommate is a whore and brings tricks to the house in the middle of the night 5 nights a week, like one roommate I had.

    My experience with roommates is extensive. I'm appalled at the stupid of supposed "internet marketers" that somehow thing that people on "the internet" are somehow worse than the general population. Guess it just goes to show how truly stupid most people really are, and how susceptible to the mass-media scare tactics that are employed to manipulate the opinions of the general public. I just pray none of you vote or breed.

    Using the internet is THE way to weed through as many different people as possible in order to find the best-possible match. Long before you actually meet with them, you can find out via email all manner of things about prospects. You can describe yourself, and lay-out all the things that you want & don't want, like & don't like etc... and people generally have a tendency to move toward situations that are a good fit, and away from those that are not.

    Don't like drugs? Don't like parties, loud noise, smokers, pigs that won't clean, people that don't flush the toilet, people that come in at 3:00 am drunk and loud. You say all that in the ad. You can also build any language you like in the lease, and evict any tenant that violates the lease. Smoking, for one example.

    Some of the best people I ever met were roommates. One was a Cambodian refuge on an accelerated course in radiology; he moved to this town specifically to do 2 years of school in 1 year. HE had to have a 1 year lease. The most disciplined person I ever met. So that retarded post about the 1 year lease was especially stupid. You never met a more courteous, clean, punctual, hard-working person as this guy. On the other hand, one girl was a craigslist prostitute and she would bring home guys in the middle of the night. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I'd have to wait for the John to get out of the shared bathroom before I could use it. One roommate was GREAT, the only "thing" was that every once in a while he liked to do 'shrooms and other hallucinogens. I'm pretty anti-drug, but despite that it was okay. He just talked and talked and talked all sorts of crazy shit, and then talked some more.

    Too many cars in a driveway is something to think about. People that HAVE to have a stereo or TV blaring 24/7. SMOKERS are disgusting. They stink even when they don't smoke in the house.

    Meeting in a bar is kind of dumb. I would think the tenant would want to see the place. I rejected several room-for-rent situations. Once because the woman just HAD to tell me that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES were she & I going to get sexual. Something about that statement SCREAMED "crazy", and I did a hard U-turn. In another situation I was all ready to rent from a guy, and he just up and decided to tell me he was gay, and was that going to be a problem.

    If it was going to be a problem, I would have said something. The fact that he mentioned it made me feel pretty creepy, so that guy was a pass.

    In another situation, I moved out because the guy raised the rent $40 a month, despite the fact that in the 1 year that I lived there I did more than $2,000 worth of work for him, just because I am generous. Installed a storm drain in his back yard so that rain water wouldn't make a 10 ft. pool in his back yard. Turned his backyard from pure weeds & vacant lot to beautiful grass. Car repair. Did 100% of the housework. Etc....

    Then he raises the rent $40.00. I was gone the next month.
     
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  11. DPatel304

    DPatel304 Regular Member

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    Thanks everyone for the helpful responses.

    Great post. Two reasons why we are meeting at a bar:
    1) I don't own my place yet. In the process of buying it. Closing date is September 29th. I've told my potential roommate this, and he is fine with this, as he is not looking to move out just yet. I've told him as much as I can about the place, and made him aware that there won't be any furniture right when I move in.
    2) This is our first meet in person. Even if I were living in the condo already, I'd feel better meeting up with the person in public first. I'm sure he would also feel the same way. If it goes well, then we can take a look at the property.
     
  12. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Seems kind of desperate that someone would even consider talking about a place to live when it really doesn't exist yet. Truthfully, it sounds flaky. The landlord/tenant relationship is a two-way street, and tenants are also vulnerable to landlord's "flakiness".

    You haven't bought the place yet, but you are already looking for roommates. First thing I would wonder is if you can afford it. So, basically I'm saying that if I were you, I would worry about a tenant that would even be willing to talk to you. You haven't even got a place yet, but he's going to talk to you about renting it when you get it. Screams "flaky" at me. I would have run away screaming. The fact that your prospect does not makes me wonder if he's a flake also.
     
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  13. DPatel304

    DPatel304 Regular Member

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    That's actually a good point.

    Well, honestly, I posted an ad saying that I did have the place. I simply did this to see how much I could charge potential roommates. I got about 7 responses fairly quickly, but I immediately advised them that I actually won't be moving in until the end of September. Half of them weren't okay with it, but 3 were.

    But you're right, I do come across as sketchy for wanting to rent a place that I don't own and can't show the guy just yet.
     
  14. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I understand. I do the same thing myself, using ads on craigslist to "toe the waters" and see what kind of response I get. Not for rentals, but for example I might get a business idea and want to see if anyone might want whatever it is I'm thinking about selling. Fake diplomas was one idea that FLOPPED before I put any effort into it, thank god.

    Renting rooms is a really good way to pay the bills. What works best is a 4 BR where 3 of the 4 BR's just about cover the mortgage, or a little bit more. I really can't understand how some people manage to lose their homes through foreclosure when the room-for-rent market is so hot. There is ever possible permutation you can imagine out there, in terms of what people want. 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, gay, smokers, partiers, loud people, quiet people, fat & slovenly game-playing people, old people with no family, recently divorced people, etc... they are all out there.

    While you are mulling it all over, I would make a prioritized list of what you want & don't want, then selectively pick-out which elements are worth mentioning in the ad. No point in going overboard in demands; that turns people off. Then a list of amenities. Here's what I look for:

    Use of washer/dryer.
    how much closet space, walk-in, reach-in, etc...
    any storage space in garage?
    full use of kitchen, refrigerator, etc...
    division of housework
    any bills shared, or is it included in rent?
    size of BR 10 x 10, etc..
    on street, on driveway, in garage parking?
    lifestyle of current tenants:
    partying 7 days, weekends only, special occasions or never
    smoking, drinking and drugs: where is the line drawn?
    overnight guests? how long is too long?
    shared cookware/dishware?
    when is rent due?
    what is penalty for non-payment?
    what is security deposit?
    how much of that is refundable?
    when/how is it refunded?
    pets?

    If it were my house, my policies would be:

    No smoking, no drugs, light drinking, no drunkeness
    No music/loud noise after 9:00 pm.
    overnight guests on occasion, no long term. PARTICULARLY no sob-stories about the "friend" that got kicked out, etc... etc...
    7 day eviction clause with written notice
    Cops will be called for any illegal activity.

    One guy I know had the local police show up in the middle of the day and kick down the front door. No one was home. All the bedroom doors were locked, so they kicked all of those down also. Completely ransacked the place, looking for drugs. The tenant in question had been seen by a witness purchasing narcotics a few days prior in a completely different city, and the Police had a warrant to find those drugs. Spaghetti and rice all over the kitchen floor. The little college girls room with all of her posters and pages of art, paper etc... was turned upside down. All her little figurines were on the floor. Her mom showed up that night and moved her back home. They never found drugs. About $500 to repair the damaged to the kicked-in door frames.

    And no, the cops aren't required to pay for the damage. Lesson: Don't have druggies in your house, Reason #473.