Reality is, we can’t all afford to live alone. But finding the perfect person to cohabit with can be tricky business.

We’ve all heard the horror stories:

  • There’s the guy who consistently drinks your Red Bulls and leaves dirty dishes in the sink.
  • There’s the girl who always has friends over and plays her music too loud.
  • Then there’s the cat person.

While you may never be lucky enough to find a roomie relationship as perfect as that of Joey and Chandler’s, there are ways to make sure you avoid winding up with a housemate horror story of your own. Consider these 5 factors before signing a lease with someone.

 

1. Sleeping Patterns

Happy Gilmore sleep quote

Much like teenagers and forethought, night owls and early birds aren’t always the most compatible pair. You may think having opposite schedules is a good thing, as it means you avoid awkward run-ins and small-talk. But let’s see how you feel about that when they’re cranking out the intolerable dialogue of The Big Bang Theory while you’re trying to snooze.

Find someone with a similar sleep schedule to you.

 

2. Relationship Status

I'm dating myself

Are you looking for one roommate or two? Because some loved-up gals and guys can make sleepovers a permanent thing, and you can be left feeling like a third-wheel who pays half the rent between three. If you’re not keen on coming home to a couple binge-watching rom-coms on your couch, make it clear from the start.

Tell your loved-up roomie their regular plus-one is gonna cost ‘em.

 

3. Hobbies

Eating is my hobby

Reading, drawing, or plotting an attack on their ex? All fine, so long as they’re being quiet. Practising an instrument or playing the PlayStation in the living room? Not ideal if you’re not a fan of noise. You’ll either have to learn to deal with it, ask them to play at a time that suits you, or continue your roommate hunt.

Reading = good
Drumming = bad

 

4. Privacy

Stay out of my territory

While living with strangers can be a great way to make new friends, a lot of people look for housemates for one reason only: to split rent. If you prefer a quiet night in without anyone around, don’t choose a roomie who likes having friends over on the regular. If you’re a social butterfly, be sure to choose someone who doesn’t mind having other people in their house.

Don’t want randoms coming and going? Pick a roomie who respects your privacy.

 

5. Cleanliness

Never does the dishes

No one likes a neat freak or a slob. Sure, a neat freak will ensure your place is spotless at all times, but you’re also likely to cop snide remarks for that coffee mug on the bench or toothpaste in the sink. And when you live with a slob, you’re forced to either do twice the work or live in filth. Find someone who shares your level of cleanliness, and be sure to ask if they’re a smoker. If you smoke, be sure to bring it up so they can decide whether they want to live with it.

Choose a housemate on the same page as you when it comes to cleanliness.

 

Want to know if you and your potential new roomie are as compatible as Joey and Chandler? Take our quiz to find out which Friends character you are.