Freelance Blog + rants

Off-topic: the Great Roommate Debate

It’s that time of year again. Days are longer, flowers are blooming, and Susan is searching for yet another apartment. (You may recall that my current abode was originally dubbed “The Dream Apartment” but thanks to rising costs and a very persistent mouse that is no longer the case).
Here’s the deal: I know what neighborhoods I like, I’ve learned my lesson about trusting a real estate agent (at least the ones who deal in my price range), and I’m a pro at scanning ads on Craig’s List. The problem is not a lack of funds or available rooms. It’s narrowing my list. I know what to look for and what questions to ask, but everyone gives the same stock responses. “Mice? No mice here!” “I’m a non-smoker and I only drink on weekends.” “I think you’ll find that I’m a very considerate roommate. I’m pretty quiet.” “Our landlord is great. We’ve never had a problem.” Yeah, right!
I recently calculated that I’ve had thirteen different roommates since I moved out of Mom and Dad’s house. I’ve lived with friends, strangers, acquaintances, classmates, etc. And I know that statistically, not everyone is really as easy-going as they claim (heck, I’m not, but if I owned up to my neurosis from the beginning, I’d be stuck with a studio). So how do you choose between strangers? Any ideas?

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