4 minutes by Valerie Mellema
It's the second most wonderful time of year; moving season. Woohoo! In the US, 60% of moves occur during the next three months. While most of the 15 million adults packing up and moving stay in-state, there are quite a few people moving to new beginnings.
If you've found a job somewhere new or are just ready for a new adventure, then it might be time to use a roommate searching app to find someone who will help you in your new place of residence. Having a roommate helps lower the cost of living and can help you adjust much quicker. However, as most of us can relate, roommates can also come with challenges.
Therefore, it is important to ensure you have the right roommate and someone you can trust. That’s where roommate searching apps can come to make things easier for you.
Roommate Searching Apps
Having a roommate can be a life-changing experience. You can offset a higher cost of living. You can make a new friend or have someone around to experience a new city. You can simply just have some activity in the house and not worry about being lonely.
However, roommate satisfaction is no trivial pursuit. Only about one in four new roommates are satisfied with their living situation with common concerns arising in cleanliness or payments for common bills, like rent. Friends of friends, coworkers, or even folks entirely new to you help to expand your network, but it's important to properly screen to avoid the worst.
We strongly recommend meeting for coffee or a Zoom chat to get a good read on a potential roommate. However, to find quality roommate candidates, there are a few tools we highly recommend to weed out the scams or bad roommates. Read on to learn about the benefits of some of the best roommate searching apps.
Previously, we reviewed how to ensure a new roommate situation is successsful and how to find a new roommate. If you are looking for a new roommate, we recommend you pay extra attention to how you screen potential candidates. In addition to carefully reading listings or responses, we highly recommend a screening and validation tool, like WellPaid's identity protection service.
To prevent copying of identities or fake listings, WellPaid has a 60 second identity verification tool that lets you prove your legal identity. It isn't a full background check or credit check, but it does prevent someone copying your name, listing, or roommate post. Only the website URL you allow can access your profile. Therefore, if others validate their identity, you can rest assured it is really them.
For you, you can stand out as a trustworthy roommate and not lose out on the right fit for the year ahead in seconds. WellPaid's profile can be added to any roommate or rental property search by simply pasting your profile URL and allowing that website to access your profile. Avoid the scams wherever you decide to find a roommate or apartment.
Now let's see where you can find the perfect roommate!
Craigslist is a great free resource for seeking out roommates. It’s easy to use, it’s widely popular, it's simple, and you can also use it to search for furniture and jobs in your new location. You can use it to filter specific price limitations, home sizes, and even put up a profile of yourself.
However, because of how accessible it is, it can be hard to know if you’re being scammed or not. When using Craigslist, make sure to do some research on any listings. Apartmentlist.com conducted a study and found 43% of renters encountered a listing they believe is fraudulent.
Therefore, we recommend weeding out the potential scams and proving you're trustworthy by adding a 60 second WellPaid identity. After you've messaged with someone that seems reasonable, then we also recommend meeting in person to get to the know the potential roommate before signing or sending in money. Remember, even if it isn't fraud, you have to live with this person for a long period of time!
Facebook Groups is a great way to try and find roommates. So long as you have a general idea of where you’d like to rent a home, you can find groups that are specifically meant for people looking for roommates in that area.
First, you can join the local roommates group and make a post about what you’re looking for in a roommate and location. You can either wait for responses to your post or take matters into your own hands and look for existing posts where people are actively looking for roommates.
The service is simple and free. However, while fraud is a likely a little less than with Craigslist, we still recommend asking for validation before sending in money or wasting your time on scammers. Ask for WellPaid's check on ability to pay rent and legal identity to make sure someone didn't simply create a fake account.
Diggz is a free site that will help by matching you with roommates based on factors that you’ve submitted in your profile. Think of it as a dating app for roommates. You can “like” other profiles as you come across them, and if they “like” you back, you’ll be able to speak with them in the messaging app. In the age of dating apps, it’s a familiar type of service and users can connect a social profile to add social legitimacy.
Bungalow offers a great, and easy-to-use process for searching for roommates. They boast a streamlined process that takes the stress away from you so that you can focus on living your best life.
All the residents who use Bungalow are heavily vetted and then paired together via interests so that you can try to find someone who works best with you. Best of all, on finding the right location, the rental property is all-inclusive of wifi and utilities. No setup required.
Silvernest follows four easy steps to match you with a roommate. Match, connect, sign, and share. The service allows renters to share a home with roommates matched on similar preferences. You can message and interview with a home owner providing a room to see if the home share is a good fit for both parties. Use Silvernest without worry as they offer extra security measures to keep your identity proven and safe.
Roomies is a freemium platform that allows you to find roommates by creating an account and seeking out listings that seem interesting. It’s simple to use and you can start sending messages immediately. There are also paid add-ons for ID verification, background checks, and upgraded listings.
Roomster is a great app that will connect all your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and provide access to your potential roommates. Users can validate an ID for $14.99 or just see if they share friends in common. Roomster is a site that is used widely in the world, but it isn’t free if you want to message a prospective roommate.
- 3-days: $5.95
- 2-weeks: $14.95
- 1 month: $29.95
SpareRoom is claims to be the roommate app that sees the most traffic. SpareRoom is great because it has a live team that is looking over applications in real-time to try and pair you with someone who should suit your lifestyle. This means that if you use SpareRoom to also look for a house, you can rest assured that all the homes have been verified. They also host “roommate speed dating” events to get to know your prospective roommates before living with them.
The service can be free, but to access the best roommates or rooms, you need to pay $10.99 per week. This subscription has discounts for longer listings or renters, but the premium lets you respond to all listings within the first 7 days and doubles your listing views with bolding.
Citru is a service that works through a much smaller pool of potential roommates for you, however, they have a larger majority of verified users (which can prevent you from being scammed). View potential roommates via employment, education, backgrounds, and even phone number and check to make sure they’re real.
Listings are either $29 per month or $99 per year. Keep in mind that the usual selective preferences for roommate searching (smoking/non-smoking, pets, lifestyle, etc.) isn’t all there for you to select.
Roommates.com You can create a free profile to start seeking out roommates, but if you want to read messages, you have to pay for a full account. The person you are trying to message must also have a paid account if you want to talk to them, however. ID verification is additional and costs $2.99. Costs to message or read messages from other users is:
- 3-days: $5.99
- 1 month: $19.99
- 2 months: $29.99
RoomSurf is a great site that is specifically meant to help high school and college students find roommates. People will use their Facebook profiles to sign up and then take a quiz to figure out their compatibility for matches. However, if you want to see all your matches, communicate, or get access to the complete account, you will have to pay $29 one-time to upgrade. Validation is not offered at this time.
Once you’ve found your perfect roommate (no matter which site you’ve chosen), it’s time to figure out how to make your shared home a safe space for yourself, your possessions, and—of course—your finances. That’s where WellPaid comes in handy. WellPaid is here to help you work with your newly-found roommate to split the expenses. Have an honest and frank conversation with your new roommate(s) about what they can expect to spend on expenses, and then use WellPaid to automatically track together.
There are expenses such as Internet, cable, and other utilities, so it’s best to come up with a payment plan for how to reimburse one another and who will be in charge of paying for which service. WellPaid is a great way to stay organized and on top of your finances, no matter what your living situation looks like. Simply tag recurring charges to your house group and decide what percent or amount everyone owes. Then just settle up all at once or after any time someone is charged automatically.
With WellPaid, you and your roommate(s) will be able to stay on the same page about your living situation to avoid drama down the road.
Now that you know the best ways to search out a roommate, choose the app that works best for you and get started on this new stage of your life.