How To Find Quality Roommates & Tenants
Pros and cons of winter house shopping
The best ways to find roommates and tenants for the house you live in.
If you follow my blog, you know by now that I’m a big believer in “house-hacking.” Simply put, house hacking is getting other people to pay the mortgage payments on a house you occupy. This is done by renting out the other units or rooms. The most significant concern I’ve heard from people who are interested in house-hacking is living with people they don’t know. If you buy a three bedroom house and want two roommates to help pay the mortgage but none of your friends are ready to move, you probably have to live with strangers. It’s funny because I didn’t realize this was a big concern for people. I forgot the pains of bad roommates because I developed a system that works for me. Duh! Of course this would be a concern for many people! We’ve all heard or have had roommate horror stories, and if that happens in a house you own, it can still feel like you’re trapped in a rental situation. Nobody wants that. In the following article, I’ll go over the best ways to find roommates and tenants for the house you live in. I’ll give examples of how to vet people so you can quickly pick out an excellent applicant and share the best places to post your ads.
Short term roommates for the win
When you buy a house with the intention of having roommates, you may only think of getting a roommate on a year-long lease. That may not be your best option. Personally, I’ve found that any “roommate issues” happen after somebody gets nice and comfortable, usually after a few months. So, I furnished a room in my house and only rent it out short-term (1-3 months). If I have a roommate who is toxic, messy or drinks all my wine…I don’t really care; they will be gone soon enough.
Creating a solid craigslist ad
This is very important! You want to be detailed and also let a little character shine through. People looking on Craigslist are just as concerned about having a good person to live with as you are. Have a personable ad and it will be well received. You can copy parts of your Craigslist ad and post them in different social media outlets, so, take the time to make one great post that can be used over and over again if necessary. One great tip is asking the person to send over their Facebook page; it can act as a social media resume. You can tell a lot about someone from their Facebook page. Another great tip is to ask the person to answer a few questions. At the bottom of the ad ask questions and tell them to please answer when inquiring. If they can’t even do that, it may be a red flag. The ad I posted below was for a room in my own house.
Other places to post your ad:
- NextDoor: NextDoor is an app where you can connect with your neighbors. It’s pretty resourceful! People post here for many reasons…if they saw a break-in, if they’re selling something, if their pet goes missing, etc. This is a great place to post your ad. Ask your neighbors if they have any friends looking to move into the neighborhood, you may get a few hits.
- Instagram: If you want a roommate you know or someone your friends know, Instagram and Facebook are great places to post. For subleasing my apartment, I needed somebody I trusted. I posted on Facebook and Instagram, but it’s where I posted on those sites that mattered the most! On Instagram, I posted a picture on my feed AND created an Instagram story. The Instagram algorithm doesn’t show everyone your posts, but everyone should be able to see your story pop up–you reach a broader audience by posting in both areas.
- Facebook Groups: Facebook groups have been very useful to me this past year. I’ve connected with many great people, found job openings for friends and used it to find roommates as well! Post your detailed craigslist ad on local housing groups, traveling nurses pages and craigslist groups.
- Linkedin: You may be thinking, who even gets on Linkedin anymore?? You’d be surprised at how many people still do. And guess what? When somebody likes your post, their whole network has a chance of seeing it!
The point of this article is to give you many options when looking into finding a quality roommate. There’s no reason to panic! You can pick and choose the best outlets for you to post in and don’t necessarily need to post in all of them. If you have a short-term roommate, you may be able to charge more money per month and won’t run the risk of living with a bad roommate for a year. There are many ways to get creative in real estate, and this is just one example! If you have any questions for me or need help with buying or selling a house, please feel free to reach out.