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Few people can afford to buy or even rent real estate in cities like Toronto when they're students, but if you want to be close to your university living in the downtown area is unfortunately necessary. To keep from draining their student loans dry just paying the rent, most students live with roommates. If this is your first time living off campus and you're not sure how to find a roommate, this article will give you some tips.
The first step in your roommate search should always be to canvas family and friends. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, so most people prefer to live with friends than strangers. Even if your friends aren't in the market for an apartment, they might have a friend or relative who is also looking for someone to share. This step should be completed several months in advance of moving in or you may be forced to accept a roommate you don't like or live in a too-expensive apartment for the first few months alone.
If you don't know anyone who would like to be your roommate, you'll have to start the process of searching for one among strangers. The best place to start is with your school. Most schools have message boards or matching sites where people who are looking for roommates to share their place can post details about their apartment and people looking to move into a shared apartment can post about themselves. Easyroommnate.com is one example. Often landlords are allowed to post apartment details here as well, which can help you and your roommate find a place to live.
Other sources of roommates include ads posted on Craigslist or Kijji or in the local newspaper. You might also try to get an ad in the student run newspaper or post some notices in public places around the school, such as on bulletin boards, telephone poles, and walls. Canvass other students in your classes, clubs, and orientation groups about their house plans to see if they or someone they know is looking for a roommate and ask them to pass along your details. Specify whether you have a place or are looking for a place.
Though your primary goal in finding a roommate is to make sure your real estate doesn't drain you dry, you should also make an effort to ensure you and your roommate will get along or you're in for a tense, stressful year. Factors to consider are noisiness, propensity toward partying, cleanliness, personality, helpfulness, and whether or not they are a nice person. Toward this end, you should always attempt to meet with a potential roommate before moving in together.