Moving out can be a mighty exciting prospect, what with being able to finally have your own space, your own time, and your own…budget. That’s right, the pleasantries stop once you crunch those numbers and realize just how expensive a move can actually be. It’s no wonder that a study by Zillow on roommates revealed that nearly one in three adults in the US lives with either a parent or a roomie. But you want to make the right choice when it comes to picking a roommate—after all, you’ll be spending a great deal of time with them as well as splitting the rent. Read on for a resource guide on the best platforms to find a roommate for your move.

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1. Roomster

This user-friendly, easy-to-navigate roommate-finding platform started in 2003 and is now present in over 190 countries across the globe. Roomster also has an app that can be downloaded, helping you find your ideal roomie with a tap of your thumb. What makes Roomster stand out from other platforms is that when potential roommates sign up to be listed, they can link their social media accounts. So when you’re going through the list, you can get a glimpse into the personality of the person as well.

Lastly, every pet owner would know the struggles of finding a place to rent that is pet-friendly; luckily for you, Roomster helps you with that search by giving you a search filter to find pet-friendly places and people.

How To Use Roomster

Sign up with Roomster with either your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn account, or an email address. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll need to fill in some basic information about yourself. Enter an address, neighborhood, city, or a ZIP code to see the list of potential roommates there, and that starts your search. Roomster also makes your search faster by showing you rooms in popular cities. Each profile will have some photos, a headline, and a brief description.

Roomster has a free and a paid version. Browsing with the free version lets you post a listing with photos and allows you to receive messages from paid subscribers. You’ll need to pay to send messages via the Roomster mailbox feature and to view listings’ social media profiles.

2. Roommates.com

So you have the cash and the willingness to spend in your search for a great roommate? Head over to Roommates.com. They’ve enjoyed an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, so you know they’re worth it.

When looking for roommates, a major worry is coming across potential scammers and people who run in bad company. Roommates.com deals with this worry since they boast of a fraud detection system that ensures scammers stay off their system. Additionally, their secure messaging center makes your interactions safe and all their users are verified through several sources. This results in a top-notch safe and secure way to go about finding a roommate.

How To Use Roommates.com

Simply sign up with your Facebook or Apple account, or an email address. You’ll be asked whether you already have a room of your own and are simply in search of a roommate, or whether you also need a room. Their automated matching system will run your search and ensure you only see relevant listings.

You can create a profile on Roommates.com for free, but messaging other paid users will require you to pay. Plus, paying lets you use their iPhone enabled app.

3. Diggz

A relative newcomer to the scene, Diggz stands out from its competitors with its completely free nature. That’s right, there are no additional bonus features that only subscribing gets you access to—Diggz is completely free. You may not be able to use Diggz since they’re currently only offering their services in a handful of major cities including Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Vancouver. But if you’re a young 20-something looking to save up on every penny, you’ll be in luck since you’re bound to find similar people on Diggz.

Don’t be put off with the completely-free feature, since Diggz still offers things like security, an advanced matching system, and of course, scammer screening to stay as secure as possible. Users are screened with Diggz’s A.I. software and verified against their social media profiles among other measures.

How To Use Diggz

Diggz is super easy to use and get started with. Simply create a profile and enlist your preferences in certain areas like your sleeping and work schedules, cleanliness, and your preferences when it comes to drinking and smoking. Similar to a certain popular dating app doing the rounds, if you click a “Like” button on a match and they “Like” you back, you can begin chatting with them through the platform’s secure messaging service. Take your time and get to know them before sharing any personal information or having a face-to-face meeting.

4. SpareRoom

SpareRoom first started in the UK in 2004 and is currently one of the busiest online platforms for finding roommates. Over 18 cities in the US are listed on SpareRoom and if your search falls in one of these cities, we recommend giving it a shot. SpareRoom takes its users’ safety very seriously which makes it one of the most secure platforms to use. A team of real people, not robots or A.I. softwares, screen each and every listing to ensure there are no scammers. Messages are all screened via their automatic filtering software, and potential scam messages are quarantined.

If you’re in New York and looking for a roomie, look out for their speed “room-mating” events – similar to speed dating events, this helps people meet potential roommates in a face-to-face way.

How To Use SpareRoom

Simply register via Facebook or email on their website or their app, and create an account. Put up your posting and wait for someone to spot you. You can do all this for free, but if you’re in a hurry, you can upgrade your listing to a “Bolded” status that increases your visibility by a fair bit. You can opt for a paid subscription for 7 days or all the way up to a year.

5. Circle

When looking for a roommate, it’s not surprising that you’re likely to prefer a familiar face or a recommendation over a complete stranger. Someone perhaps from your circle of friends. Circle makes use of exactly this concept using your Facebook account. However, it only serves the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. There’s a super easy, user-friendly iPhone app to use, but Android users will have to stick to their website. The good news? Circle is completely free to use.

You’ll be able to view social media connections and see bios with photos, personality tags, and short descriptions. Once you “Swipe up” on a match, you can open communication if they also swipe up on your profile. Circle has an authentication process using a driver’s license and users need to pass a background check—this ensures the platform is secure.

How To Use Circle

Once you sign up with Circle, you have to link your Facebook account, and that creates your profile. You’ll also have to add in a short description of yourself along with some photos. Remember to Swipe Up on a profile of someone you’d like to have as a roommate!

6. Roomi

With an app that’s just as user-friendly as its website, Roomi is your answer to a secure roommate search. Roomi asks users to add their social media links in order to ensure they’re not scammers, and each user must pass a background check. When looking for potential roommates, make sure you look at the badge that’s displayed on their profile – this shows you how much of the verification process they completed. Once you spot someone who appeals to you, strike up a conversation through the platform’s secure internal messaging system.

Roomi takes a step further than other platforms – once you spot something you’re interested in, you can book your space by paying the first month’s rent. The payment happens via a top-notch secure online payment system and the listing is removed from the website. This secures your new flat and roommate.

How To Use Roomi

You can sign up on Roomi using your Facebook account or an email address, and can also download their app enabled for both Android and iPhones. Make sure you pass their background checks – it costs $15, but is a big step towards finding roommates faster. Once your account is created, you can post your listing, scour the site for other listings, and also message users, all for free. You also have the option to boost your listing to the top of the search results by paying a one-time fee.

7. Rainbow Roommates

Anyone part of the LGBTQ+ community knows the importance of having a safe space where you don’t feel threatened, or like you have to hide your identity. Rainbow Roommates is the perfect place to go to for your roommate search. As the name suggests, Rainbow Roommates is a platform for people looking for LGBTQ+ safe spaces and roommates. You won’t have to worry about hiding who you truly are with your new roommate!

How To Use Rainbow Roommates

Sing up with Rainbow Roommates using your Facebook account or email ID to create a profile. Put up a listing with a few photos and a brief description of yourself, and scroll through the other listings. Once you see one you like, you can contact the person who posted the listing. You’ll need to pay a subscription fee of $45 that lasts over 15 days, but you can also purchase the 90-day subscription that costs $140.

8. Craigslist

We end with the old classic: Craigslist. Craigslist works like any other platform when it comes to looking for a roommate—you post an ad listing out your requirements and look at people’s listings. You send potential roommates a message when you want to strike up a conversation, and take things from there. Just be mindful of scammers and you should be good to go.

How To Use Craigslist

In order to post an ad on Craigslist, click on the top left corner on their homepage, on the “Post to Classifieds” button. Choose between “housing offered” and “housing wanted” and fill in the necessary details and photos. When you’re done, hit “Publish” and your ad will go up in around 5 to 15 minutes. Make sure you check your email for the confirmation from Craigslist.

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What To Remember When Finding A Roommate

Getting excited and nervous when finding a roommate is completely normal, and who knows, you might just be at the start of a lifelong friendship. But this anticipation can soon turn to regret when you’re paired with someone unpleasant. As much as you should focus on matching your personalities, try to keep a few things in mind. Your roommate needs to be reliable and compatible. You’ll be splitting a lot of responsibilities with your new roommate, so make sure they’re the type of person to pay the rent on time. They should also be responsible enough to help around the house, and tasks like cooking, cleaning, and dishwashing should be split with no hassles.

When finding a roomie online, make sure you exchange social media handles only once you’ve established a sense of familiarity with the person. Trust your gut, and if something feels wrong, inform the person politely but firmly that they’re no longer in consideration. Finally, when setting up an in-person meeting, make sure you don’t have even the slightest doubt that they’re a scammer. Meet in a public location in broad daylight, like a restaurant or park. Lastly, don’t exchange any money unless you’re absolutely sure of the other person and their intentions.

FAQs

Is There An App For People Looking For Roommates?

SpareRoom, Roomi, Roomster, and Circle are all roommate-finding platforms that have apps for their users to make use of. There are also several others you can try out. However, not all platforms have free apps; while you may have to pay for an app, you may also be restricted if the app isn’t compatible with your phone’s OS (Operating System).

How Do I Find A Trustworthy Roommate?

Make sure you make use of a reliable platform to find roommates to ensure your search remains safe and secure. All of the platforms we’ve listed have some form or the other to make sure your safety as a user is prioritized. Additionally, asking for the social media handle of the person is a good way to ensure they’re not scammers and to gauge their personality.

Alternatively, make use of a platform like Circle that shows you listings from friends and acquaintances.

Is Finding A Roommate Online Safe?

Just like any other service to find roommates, online roommate-finding platforms are often exploited by scammers. They often pose as people looking for roommates and having a room for rent, making excuses to not meet in person, and disappearing after collecting a deposit. Apart from using services that have safety measures in place like the ones we’ve mentioned, use your own discretion, refuse to send money, and immediately call it off if you suspect you’re being scammed.

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See also: Best Moving Companies in the United States