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the Great 
oommate SEARCH 
by Stephanie Blydenburgh
  1 2 3

If the word "roommate" conjures up memories for you of bad residence hall food and communal showers, you're not alone.  Many of us can’t wait to get away from sharing our living space with someone as soon as those college dorm days are over.  Unfortunately though, it isn’t always feasible to make that immediate leap to solo living.  There are just too many practical advantages to living with a roommate-- lower rent, split utility bills, as well as the sheer fun of getting to know another person.  So if you find you have to suck it up and share your digs with another, here are some tips to make the search a lot less frightening.

1. Don't necessarily live with your best friend 
You've known her since high school, and the two of you have always had a blast hanging out together.  She already knows everything about you – so wouldn’t she make the perfect roommate?  Well … maybe.  But don't fall into the trap of just assuming that things with your best friend won't change once you share the same roof.  The honest truth is that sometimes you won't be able to stand the way she leaves her dirty dishes piled up on the kitchen countertop for a week, or eats those yummy leftovers you were saving for lunch tomorrow, or sleeps until noon every single weekend.  The things you love about her as a friend might – and probably will – start to grate on your nerves when she's living with you. 

2Don't be afraid to put out an ad, or answer a roommate wanted ad
Put aside your Single White Female-esque fears and go ahead and pick up the want ads.  This is one of the best places to place a roommate ad, or to search for an open room.  You immediately get all the pertinent information (price, utilities, and what the other person is seeking) without having to do a whole lot of sleuthing.  However, be warned that in today's low vacancy world there will be scads of people calling this person, wanting that place just as much as you do.  So be prepared for some disappointment, and...

3. Start searching early!
I can't stress this one enough.  This is probably because I just endured 2 long months of helping my boyfriend find a roommate. He looked at apartment after apartment, talked to one potential roomie after another, until finally finding a place, a mere three weeks before he needed to move.  If you know you need to vacate by a certain date, be sure to start looking for a place to move to a couple months in advance. 

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