Sharing a home with someone else can have its highs and lows. It is important to get the mix right so you have more of the former than the latter.
As professional property managers, Prudential Real Estate (More Rent) have seen many house mate teams who have got it right. We have also seen some real disasters, so today we want to highlight the successful ones to you to help you find your best match.
The Initial Cull
There are several ways to go about starting the search for a house mate. The most popular way is to place an advertisement in the local paper. Word of mouth works well. You can even ask your agent if they offer this service.
When people start to call you can either take the calls straight away, have a conversation, and get a feel for the person.
Alternatively, you can get them to leave certain details on your voicemail. Place your recorded message to ask answers to basic questions like name, age, employment status and what they are looking for in a home or house mates.
All housemates should be involved in the selection process. It is a good idea to have a brainstorming session to give you an opportunity to find out what it is you are seeking. This way you are all on the same page.
Create a list of questions based on this session to ask each and every applicant you intend to speak with.
With the obvious out of the way such as age, gender and employment, you will want to include such questions as:-
• smoking and drinking habits
• food preferences and shopping style
• household and garden chore sharing
• references if they have shared before
• music tastes
• work ethic and hours
• entertaining and visitors
• required notice
• what are they looking for and expect
• boundaries with personal belongings.
Take a Step Back
Once you have completed your interviews you will want to consider each candidate and the answers. Take your time over this one. Discuss the merits and possible detractions of each contender.
Once you have made your decision take a step back. Just overnight, to give you time to relax into your choice.
Do you still feel the same about this particular person? If the answer is “yes” then go ahead and make that call.
If not, reconsider what it is that worries you. Discuss it as a group if there is more than one of you in the property already.