If there’s one thing the classic 90’s sitcom Friends taught us, it’s that having roommates in New York City can be a wonderful, crazy, eye-opening experience that creates long-lasting bonds with friends who make this big city feel smaller. In reality, though, most of us (read: all of us) don’t live in a sitcom, and finding a new roommate after college can be stressful (not to mention scary and/or weird). Thankfully, roommate hunting has evolved a great deal in the last 20 years, and there is no shortage of resources aimed at setting you up with great roomie candidates.
- Perfect Strangers of NYC: It’s the dating site for roommates. A questionnaire focuses on pinpointing your roommate needs and living preferences so their matchmakers can set you up with the best potential roommates. You can also view apartment listings and potential roommates, all pre-screened.
- EasyRoommate: This website is free to post your roommate ad or property search, and is self-proclaimed as the web’s largest roommate finder. EasyRoommate is also easy to navigate, which is a plus when you’re on the urgent hunt for a space or a potential roomie.
- Diggz: Diggz is for roommate hunters in New York only. Users can scroll through a list of available rooms and roommates, and read testimonials from happy users. They’ll also connect you with partners to help you simplify your move (like movers and rental insurance). Users can “Like” and “Chat” to contact someone, and the platform encourages users to safely get to know one another.
- Rainbow Roommates: An LGBT-friendly roommate site that boasts a speedy two-week turn around for a majority of its users. This is also more expensive than most others, costing $75 for a 30-day subscription. On the plus side, users receive a free month of service if the roommate or space they found with Rainbow Roommates doesn’t work out within two months.
- Roomi: One of the best advantages of using Roomi is that all listings and users are verified before going live to ensure that they are in fact real places and real people. Taking a page from the iPhone hand book, people can see when you’ve received and read their messages. Roomi focuses on roommates getting to know each other first, so you can be sure you like your roommate before taking the plunge.
- Metro Roommates: Designed just for subletters, the rooms available and people looking for space are all on a short-term basis. This allows users to test out a new area or a roommate to see if they’re compatible.
- BangItOut: A humor and lifestyle site targeted to Jewish New Yorkers, BangItOut hosts an house hunting section that helps apartment seekers find available spaces for rent, or renters find roommates who share their faith.
- Craigslist: Stay with us on this one. Craigslist has tons of options for finding roommates, apartments, and everything else you need (plus a lot of things you’d rather not see). There are a lot of Craigslist roommate success stories, but proceed with caution; we’ve all heard the horror stories. If the description sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The most important thing to do before starting the search is to think about what matters to you in a roommate. Are you looking for a new best friend to hang out with into the wee hours of the morning, or just someone to peacefully coexist with? Does a mess push you into a rage, or are you the experimental cook leaving surprising splatter on the walls? As long as you and your prospective roommate are upfront and honest about (and accepting of) each other’s lifestyles and quirks – because let’s face it, we’ve all got them – the rest should fall into place. And really, at the end of the day, the most crucial attribute in a roommate is that they pay the rent on time.