Living with strangers can go two ways - great fun when you all get along or a never-ending nightmare when they drive you crazy. That’s why it’s VERY important to pick the right people to live with.
Flat hunting can feel like a job interview or a first date – and often takes a few attempts to find the right match. It takes time, energy and the ability to sell yourself. Who wouldn’t want to live with you, right? Fortunately, the time of blindly replying to adverts in shop windows with no idea of what you are letting yourself in far is behind us. There are now numerous websites and apps to help you meet potential flatmates and together hunt for the perfect flat share. A quick search on social media will also give you an idea if they are the sort of people you want to live with...
Search on sites
There are plenty of flat sharing websites around, from Gumtree to Spareroom and Easyroommate. These UK-wide sites make your search simpler - advertising spare rooms, flat shares and fellow flat hunters. Spareroom has a handy video option, where you can upload a clip of yourself for prospective flatmates to watch – useful for getting your personality across. Easyroommate is used in 25 countries and its advantage is that real people - yes actual real people - check adverts first to weed out scams and old ads.
If sharing a house with a complete stranger is a tad nerve-racking, then why not get to know them better beforehand? A site called Idealflatmate has a different approach. They say 83% of flatmates look for people with the potential to become lifelong mates. First it asks you to complete a survey of 20 questions about yourself and then matches you to suitable flatmates. Next you chat on the site’s forums – also a place to put together a group for a house share. After this you meet face-to-face before committing to living together.
Vet potential people
Research by flatsharing site Weroom reveals 28% of people in flatshares are aged over 40. As we get older, we get fussier with co-habiting criteria, so have a good set of ‘interview questions’. Do they have a job? Unpaid bills are NOT cool. Are they tidy and clean? Make sure their standards match yours. Will they be out a lot or have overnight guests – similar lifestyles are really important. Do they smoke/have pets / play loud music? Make sure you meet all the flatmates first. Leave one out and there might be a scary surprise come moving-in day. And remember to keep things safe: meet on neutral ground. Do all this and you’re bound to find your dream flatmate - #searchover.
Try ‘speed flatmating’
Fancy trying something a little fun? If you live in London then you could try a ‘speed flatmating’ event to find your new housemates. Started by the Spareroom team, London’s speed flatmating events are like speed dating without the romance. It’s a good way to size-up potential sharers in one evening and more personal than a keyboard. Not living in London? The company’s website says they are branching out into other UK cities soon.