Great Tips on How to Find a Roommate

Moving into your first (or second or third) Davis apartment with a stranger can feel a bit dicey. If you’re lucky enough to move into a Tandem property that has a roommate matching program, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good year. You may not become besties, but you’ve both been interviewed and checked out and you have the wholehearted support of the Tandem group to help you. But if you need to start from scratch and invite a total stranger to share living quarters with you, here are some tips on how to find a roommate from


First, I would recommend networking. Start with your friends. You might think none of them need a roommate, but you might be wrong. Or one of your friends might know someone who’s in need of a roommate – and then you’re connected. Tell everyone and anyone that you need a roommate – it’s free, it’s easy, and if you find someone, you’re in luck. And don’t limit yourself to talking to friends face-to-face. Remember email, texts, Facebook, Twitter … and remember to ask colleagues, extended family, classmates, anyone you can think of that might know someone you might want to live with. This is by far the best way to find a roommate situation that will work out. When the referral is from a known source, chances are high that many types of weirdos and undesirables have been already weeded out in the process.

School/Alumni Resources

Also, if you’re a recent college grad, consider putting a posting in your school’s newspaper … it’s quite possible that graduating senior or two are looking for a roommate. And, reach out to the alumni association in your city – they often have message boards for just such a scenario.

Roommate Websites

If networking isn’t turning up anything promising, like anything else in the twenty-first century, there’s a website for the problem. Not just, but many websites, in fact. Two sites, Easy Roommate and Roomie Match are nationwide. Also, search in your area for roommate matching services particular to your locale.


That said, the big Kahuna in roommate shares is still craigslist. In most big cities, there’s a robust market for shares. What are shares? It’s when you and one or more people share an apartment, but don’t necessarily know each other before moving in. Usually, one of you has lived in the apartment for a while, and the other is taking the spot of someone who is moving out. The easiest (and cheapest) way to find digs is to go on craigslist and start setting up appointments with people who have an opening in their place. 

For the uninitiated, craigslist can be stressful … but it’s very common practice and often works out well, if you’re thorough in vetting the situation. Personally, I’ve been on both ends of it – I’ve found places via craigslist (and obtained new and previously-unknown roommates) and I’ve also put an opening on the market and had my choice of potential roommate-move-ins. While both situations take some work and can be a touch nerve-wracking, they can also be very successful. And the alternative – never living anywhere unless you’re good friends with everyone involved, can be unrealistic, particularly if you don’t have a lot of cash.