How College Students Can Write the Perfect Craigslist Roommate Ad
Looking for someone to split the costs of an apartment with? It can be a pretty tricky business. Still, finding the perfect person to live with isn't impossible. With Craigslist, you can put up an ad and the potential roomies will come to you. But what sort of information should you include, and what information should you absolutely leave out?
By Laura Allan
What the Living Space is Like
One thing that every potential roommate is going to want to know is the kind of place they'll be moving into. What part of the city is it in? Will they have their own room? Is it a furnished space? Perhaps most importantly, will they have to share a bathroom? Make sure to include all of this information in detail in your ad. It will weed out a lot of people who have specific standards on where they're going to live, especially if you put the number of rooms right in the title.
Your Sleep Schedule
It's one thing to say that you get up early and don't like to be disturbed when you sleep, but you've got to be more exact than that. Give your potential roommates an estimated bed time and wake-up time. If you work super early, make sure you mention that so potential roommates who like to party late into the evening won't try to contact you. If you wake up early and watch the news, write that as well so those who like to sleep in and are light sleepers will leave you be.
What Noise Level You Can Tolerate
Everyone is going to say that they're a considerate and quiet person in their responses to you so, yet again, let's get specific. Do you hate the sound of whistling? Does loud music bother you? Think about what sort of noise irritates you the most, and at what hour. If a person learns that the sound of their favorite music or TV show rubs you the wrong way, they'll likely leave you alone so you can focus on more suitable options.
Chores They'd Have to Do
If you have expectations of what your roommate will do to keep your apartment in working order, don't skip those details. If you cannot stand dirty dishes in the sink, include that. If you hate vacuuming but want to make sure it gets done, maybe a roommate who doesn't mind it will be right for you. If you actually don't mind a little dust here and there or some dirty dishes, you could mention that as well.
Most people have at least one allergy, so be sure to include yours. You don't want a peanut-butter loving roomie if you have an extreme nut allergy. If you can't tolerate tobacco smoke, make sure you ask for a non-smoker. Any strong or life-threatening allergies should be in the ad. You should also include whether you have any sort of pet, just in case your potential roommate has an allergy to fur or dander.
This is pretty basic. If you have a preference for a female or male roommate, make sure to mention it. One of the best things you can do is include that preference in the title of your ad - that way you thin out your options as early as possible.
Do Not Include:
Your Full Name or Address
Craigslist is free for viewing by any person on the Internet, so it pays to be a little careful. Never include your full name and address online. People will know a lot about this apartment by the time you're done, so telling people exactly where it is can be a bit dangerous. They'll also know a lot about you, so giving a full name simply isn't wise. A first name, e-mail address and/or phone number should be plenty of information.
General Qualities You Want
Everyone is tempted to put down general attributes, but think again. Words like nice person, quiet, understanding and friendly aren't exactly helpful adjectives. Anyone can define themselves as that pretty easily, even if it's not entirely true. By being exact with qualities you want and that you have, you're more likely to get what fits. Rather than saying you want someone geeky, say you want a Star Trek fan. If you don't you might end up getting someone who loves My Little Pony instead, a whole other sort of geek-dom.
The Little Things
It could be that you like the toilet paper turned a certain way or that your favorite color is green. While those are good things to know, they don't need to be in this ad. This article has stressed the importance of being specific with your wants and needs, but you also need to remember to skip the really little stuff. The ad is already going to be pretty long with everything you include. You don't need to make it any longer by explaining that you have posters hung on the walls and want them to always be straight no matter what.
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