5 Tips for Finding Roommates in China

5 Tips for Finding Roommates in China

Finding an apartment as well as finding roommates in China isn’t as easy as it seems, albeit much easier than in your own country. Strangely enough, most of us end up living with complete strangers out of necessity. In our own countries, usually we can’t imagine ourselves checking out the classifieds for roommates. For one thing, in the USA, even though we have lots of great and mild tempered normal people, you could be moving in with a crackhead-ax-murderer-child-molester, and I’m sure those exist elsewhere as well, I am just presently speaking for my own country for fear of reprehension. Here in China, we end up finding apartments with roommates we don’t know, or have to move to a city alone to find one. Here are some tips for people for finding roommates in China because we know that just like everywhere else, there are bad roommates in China as well, both expat and Chinese.

First of all, go meet the roommate, and be realistic. If you don’t get along with them within the first few minutes, it’s probably not going to work out. Some people can grow on you but it's better not to take the chance.

1. Be open-minded but be realistic- Be open to living with people from other cultures but be aware of what kind of person you can live with. If you hate cat people, living with someone who has a litter of kittens is a bad idea. If you are a hardcore vegetarian moving in with a butcher, this might cause problems. If you don’t like the way girls act, don’t live with girls. If you think that guys are messier, then maybe it’s not smart to live with guys. If you hate smoking, be up front about it.

2. Discuss expenses upfront- If you want to pay for cable TV, make sure everyone else does too so you aren’t pushing people to buy something they don’t want. If you want to pay to have a house cleaner, make sure it’s something everyone else is willing to pay for as well or you will end up paying alone.

3. Discuss “friends” up front- Let’s be adult for a moment because many people get into confrontations about this. Many single people sometimes bring people home with them or have a girlfriend or boyfriend who stays over a few nights a week. It’s a good idea to be clear about it from the beginning, otherwise you have people inviting their girlfriends to move in without consulting you, or maybe you have some dude on your couch for a month.

4. Discuss parties up front- If you don't like parties in your apartment be clear about this from the get-go. Some people like them, some don’t. You need to be honest about your lifestyle. Be straightforward or you will run into lots of trouble later if you are the one who comes home from work or wakes up in the morning to find drunk and loud people sitting in your living room.

5. Be honest- This is the biggest mistake people make when they first meet their roommates. If you smoke, don’t hide it and then later hang out in your room puffing away. If you get off work and like to go to bed early and don’t like noise, you need to mention that. So many problems can be avoided by being up front. If you like to go out right after work and sleep in late on the weekends, then discussing your schedule is a good idea if the other roommate likes to wake up and practice the flute at 7am Saturday morning. Don’t paint a rosy picture of yourself as an obsessive compulsive cleaner if you don't even know how to use the mop.
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