Choosing a roommate
Choosing a roommate isn't like choosing someone to buy your car - you don't just take the first person who comes along. Choosing the right person to share with can make the difference between a great roommate and a nightmare. So, what are the things you should be bearing in mind?
What are you looking for in a roommate?
Do you simply need someone to help pay the bills or are you looking for someone to hang out with? Don't expect your new roommate to become your new best friend automatically, they'll have their own social circle. On the other hand some of the strongest friendships are formed by living together so picking the right roommate may be the start of a lifelong friendship (we've even spoken to a few couples who met as roommates and are now married!).
A word of warning though, don't choose a roommate based on finding them attractive and hoping they'll feel the same way - it's far better to ask them out on a date. If the attraction isn't mutual living together will be awkward - if it is you'll be living together from day 1, which could be equally weird!
Are your lifestyles similar?
If you're just looking for someone to pay the bills then this might not matter but if you keep very different hours it could be disruptive. If one of you works night shifts (or works from home) it'll affect the other so ask a few questions about working hours/social habits to be on the safe side
How clean are you?
Hygiene is one of the biggest causes of arguments in shared accommodation. Be honest about how clean you expect your apartment to be and how tidy you are - an apartment is only going to be as clean as the messiest person in it.
Boring we know but it's worth discussing this sooner rather than later. House rules can cover anything from who buys the milk to how often partners can stay over so if there's anything that could make things awkward have a quick chat about it before moving in together. Some people's rules list is short and some are longer than the credits for Lord of the Rings - whatever works for you is the order of the day here.