Once you've finalized your first flat purchase with a bank like CB Online, a great way for a first-time buyer like you to pay your mortgage payments is to find a flatmate. But you've got to make sure you're compatible with any potential candidates, so here are some tips to help you find the perfect person.
1. Look to People You Know
Ask friends and family if they know of anyone who might be interested in renting a room in your flat. Because these people know you quite well, they're unlikely to suggest someone whose lifestyle or personality is incompatible with your own. If this doesn't turn up any suitable people, then you'll have to move on to finding a compatible stranger.
Put up a flyer on your local bulletin board advertising your place. You can reach more people by posting an ad on-line. Be sure to check your phone and e-mail messages several times a day so you don't miss out on any good applicants.
3. Do a Background Check on the Applicants
Since you're basically letting a perfect stranger live with you, you need to do your research on them. Have them fill out an application form that lists where they work, how much they make, and what monthly debts they have. You need to find out if they can afford to pay rent regularly. Don't just take their word for it - contact any listed employers to verify that what the applicant told you is true. You can also do a background check to see if their debt information is honest. It's also recommended that you find out if they have a criminal record - the last thing you want is to have a flatmate who is an ex-con.
4. Interview the Applicant
If the applicant looks good on paper, and you've verified everything is as good as they say it is the next step is to interview them. Since you'll be living with this person, you need to know more about their lifestyle. If you're a quiet sort of person, you don't want to live with a party animal. On the other hand, if you're the fun-loving party-type, don't choose a person who needs to get up at 5 a.m. for work every day since they won't appreciate your party lifestyle. Discuss rules and boundaries - are you ok with them having friends over to sleep on the couch? Are they ok with you doing likewise? Who will cook and clean, and when? Will you share groceries or each do your own shopping and cooking? All of these things need to be discussed ahead of time to avoid a bad match.
Make a Decision
After all is said and done, don't forget to listen to your gut. Even if the applicant looked good on paper, and said all the right things during their interview, if you have a bad feeling about them, don't take them in. It's not worth rushing into anything - take your time, and when everything not only looks and sounds right, but feels right too, make your final selection. Now relax, and get to know your new flatmate!