8 tips for finding your ideal housemates
Living can be messy. Sharing a home can be messier!
It is certainly not uncommon to have a bad housemate experience.
Whether they are late on rent, unreliable on household chores, untidy, or eat your food, most people who have lived in sharehouses have experienced their fair share of lousy housemates. However, sharehouses can be a cost effective and fun way to live as long as you carefully consider your housemates before moving in together.
We’ve outlined 5 key tips to consider when trying to find your ideal housemates.
1. Be clear about what you’re looking for
Take time to figure out your ideal living situation and be clear about this when looking for housemates.
Figure out what area you’d like to live in, what price you’re willing and able to pay for rent, and importantly, what type of housemate you’re looking for.
2. Choose the right home
Some homes are designed to be shared. A few simple features and amenities will go a long way in creating a peaceful household. For example, separate bathrooms or at the very least a separate toilet helps with the morning log jam.
Similarly bedroom walls that are not adjoining ensure nocturnal disturbances go unnoticed. If a bedroom wall is connected to the main living allocate that to the heavier sleeper.
Features such as an outdoor area can help housemates let of steam without waking up the house. Similarly a separate laundry and outdoor clothes line helps reduce bills and keep washing out of the shared areas.
3. Align on the fundamentals
Long term housemates often have the same fundamental beliefs and needs so discuss the living situation suits you best.
For instance, clarify whether you’re hoping for a social household or prefer a home that’s a quiet respite. Chat about each other’s privacy requirements for example whether friends can visit or intimate partners may stay overnight.
Be clear about your personal ethics, for example, if you’re passionate about living sustainability, find housemates that share this passion.
4. Find housemates that live a similar lifestyle to you
When searching for housemates, try and think of people who work similar days or hours to you, or enjoy similar interests. You certainly don’t have to live the same lifestyles, but it helps when trying to narrow down your search.
It is important to also find out how your future housemates’ like to have fun or wind down, this is a good way to know whether they are likely to throw fun parties and whether they drink or smoke.
Make sure to also ask whether they are prepared to sign the lease agreement with you and share the responsibility for rent and damages so it’s not your sole responsibility and bond at stake.
Keep in mind lodging the bond in a share house and updating the beneficiaries of the bond can be time-consuming with paperwork and multiple signatures required.
5. Look within your own social circle
Before advertising for housemates online, ask your friends, family, and people you trust to see if there’s anyone they recommend also looking for a room in a sharehouse.
Often, this is a great way to start looking for housemates, although this may not be possible if you’re living in a new area.
6. Advertise on community rental groups
If looking within your own social circles isn’t possible or didn’t work out, there are other ways to find housemates!
There are websites designed to help you find your ideal housemates through an advertisement at a small cost and then potential candidates will message you directly, such as Flatmates.com. Alternatively, there are some great rental community groups on Facebook.
In Melbourne, Snug operated Fairy Floss Real Estate Community has over 270,000 renters looking for rooms and housemates.
7. Arrange a house meeting
Once you’ve found a few potential candidates, it’s really important to meet up and discuss all these above tips to get to know them. Having a coffee or meal with someone can really help you navigate whether you think this person would be good to live with.
Try to ask each candidate the same questions and write notes to compare later.
You can do this individually with people until you find your perfect candidates and then try and arrange a meeting for everyone.
8. Create your household on Snug
Once you’ve found your housemates and you are all ready to start applying for rental properties, you can create a joint application to apply for any property on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au or homely.com.au using Snug.
Firstly, create your Snug Renter profile by visiting snug.com, add your address history, income, employment or Centrelink, and complete a background check.
You’re now ready to start applying to properties!
Create a household application and invite your housemates-to-be by entering their email address in the joint application process.
You can also use Snug when a housemate moves out and there is a change of tenancy.
Find out more: https://snug.com/renter/