Living alone in a city like NYC is a tricky business, primarily because its cost of living tends to shoot through the roof! So, New Yorkers’ only practical solution is to find a roommate to live with and share the expenses. The good news is that forty percent of adult renters in NYC live with a roommate who they’re not married to or living with. The bigger and more important question is what options you have at your disposal to find a roommate in NYC. Let’s explore some of those roommate search options.
1. Friends and relatives
Ask people in your friend circle and your relatives if they know anyone who’s looking for a roommate. You’re likely to come across many leads because everyone you know is likely to know more than one person who needs a place to stay in NYC. Make sure you speak to as many people as possible because it takes time for word to get around in a city as big as NYC. You could also consider asking a cousin or an old friend to move in with you. The pro is that you know them well enough to feel comfortable living with them, but the con is that living under the same roof can lead to conflicts that may damage a close relationship.
After 25 years in the business, Craigslist still seems to be one of the most popular places to search for a roommate. Despite its stories of people being scammed, it’s still managed to retain and attract potential roommate seekers. You can start with the New York City Rooms and Shares page and create a listing for your space, highlighting roommate requirements and preferences like gender, age, rent, waking hours, lifestyle, employment, among other details, and add the same information about yourself. Then go to the NYC Wanted: Room/Share page and use a series of keywords to search for your ideal roommate, using vertical bar separators. But remember that you can never be too cautious when you’re trying to find a roommate via Craigslist.
This is another popular place to search for a roommate in NYC. Regardless of the number of people looking for roommates, you may need to browse through long threads and click on “see more” buttons citing irrelevant information before you find what you need. Also, Reddit might be more trustworthy than Craigslist, but you never know where you might encounter scammers, so be careful!
4. Social Media
There’s nothing you can’t do today using social media. So, use your connections, old and new, on social media platforms, namely Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to help you find a roommate. It’s more than likely that your connections or people in their network will know people who’re looking for a place to live. While putting up a post on a social media website, think of it as a classified ad. Mention what you’re looking for, add a few pics, and request people to share it with their networks.
5. Facebook Groups
Besides Facebook posts on your wall, you can search for roommates in public Facebook Groups as well. Look for and post on some of the most well-known NYC Roommates Facebook pages, but carefully consider your safety and privacy as well. A few of the notable groups are Rooms and Roommates in New York City, Apartments For Rent New York City, and New York City Sublets. You could also search Facebook Events to check if there are any roommate finder meets near you and attend them. You’ll get to interact with a lot of potential roommates in person!
6. Apps and Websites
Is there anything we don’t have an app or website for today? Not likely! So why not one for roommates, right? It seems to be the most effective way of finding a perfect roommate, wherever you may be. For NYC, there are apps and websites aplenty. Some apps are broader in scope and include everything, while others are more specific in terms of audience, location, facilities, and lifestyle.
One of the most reliable roommate finders in recent times is Cirtru. It operates on two principles: Safety and trust. The filters used on the app comprise another notable feature. They allow you to choose from multiple options that include fields for the rent, the period of stay, the gender of your potential roommate, the type of place you want to rent out, and the house rules you want to set with your roommate. Neat, isn’t it? As far as NYC’s concerned, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that the city has over 1800 rooms for you to look through to find a roommate!
Some other pretty popular apps include Roomi, which is known mainly for its people-monitored security. Inside Digs is a paid app customized for those who have a place and want a new roommate or someone to fill in for an older roommate moving out. Rainbow Roommates is a site primarily for the LGBTQA community, although anyone can use it. Roomie Match is an app that caters only to roommate seekers. Roomster is a unique app that puts together the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles of users so that roommate searchers can vet them for safety and security reasons. Finally, iRoommates specializes in lease-holders searching for short-term leasers and sub-letters.
7. Real-life stuff
While apps and websites are helpful in their own right, you can step out in the real world and meet people who might turn out to be potential roommates. Speed Roommating is an organization that throws get-togethers at bars twice a month, where you can network with plenty of people over drinks and get to know them well. The group is split into the room-seekers wearing pink name tags and the mate-seekers wearing white name tags, so you know whether you’re talking to a person with the right requirements.
8. College alumni network
Regardless of when you graduated, almost every NYC college or university has an active alumni club, a website, or even a Facebook page that can be maximized to find a potential roommate. Add a post on your alumni club’s Facebook page about your roommate requirements. If you happened to play sports in college, play in a marching band, or even been a part of a university club, you’d have a more extensive network to tap into to be able to find a roommate. Use them!
9. Expat community
NYC houses over three million immigrants that include permanent residents and visa holders and naturalized citizens, and the numbers going up every day. In case you’re a non-U.S.-born-citizen or resident, looking through your country’s expat community is a perfect way to find a roommate. Although there are several websites dealing with expat communities, InterNations New York is a noteworthy one. New York immigrants and students can use this platform to connect with each other, attend events, and find roommates.
It may seem overwhelming to go through the entire process of searching for an ideal roommate in a massive city like NYC, but you have the luxury of multiple options, such as apps, websites, and connections to help you find what you’re looking for. Once you’re sure about who you want to live with, remember to run the essential credit and background checks so that you feel comfortable when your roommate eventually moves in with you.