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The amount of time, effort, and money you put into finding a roommate has a lot to do with your needs. There are a number of different scenarios you could find yourself in, some of them listed below. The following are a few common situations, with suggestions on ways to go about advertising for roommates:
Retired, single, looking for someone to share the bills and some of the household responsibilities. This person may need someone capable of doing some basic fix-ups around the house, helping with light housekeeping, etc.
Roommate Matching Suggestion:
Consider registering with a site that offers more than just a Roommate Wanted posting. With many fee-based sites, you can fill out a detailed questionnaire to really hone in on the type of roommate you're looking for.
Recently divorced, widowed, or separated. This person might have a room to rent simply to help pay the bills. He/she might not be looking for a friendship per se, but needs someone they can trust in their living space to help with the rent or mortgage payment.
Roommate Matching Suggestion
If time is an issue and you need a roommate as soon as possible, consider using a variety of methods including posting old-fashioned newspaper ads, along with using an online roommate matching site.
Visit a free online roommate matching site and post your ad. You'll have to weed through the responses, and make your own decisions on who you want to interview.
Whether you're a student, widow, retired single, or single working professional, how you find a roommate is essentially up to you. If you're too busy to do some of the background work (references, etc.), find a matching site that does it for you!