There are some good and not-so-good ways to find Boston roommates and rooms for rent.
From new "roommate finders" to bad ol' Craigslist, we'll walk you through how to find a roommate in Boston.
Eureka! There are finally some people trying to innovate in the roommate space. For a long time, it was pretty dark for roommate search, with Craigslist being king. There was an app a couple years back that tried to match people with roommates based on connections in their Facebook network (called "Roommates"), but it fizzled out.
Now, there are some new entrants that are trying to help people find open rooms and roommates in Boston. Check it out!
Viemate — for the young and the bold.
The team from Viemate reached out to me recently to introduce their product. Looks pretty sweet to me and they already have a fair number of roommate + "room for rent" listings available. Here's the description of their service in their own words:
"Viemate is an easy to use platform created to serve students and young professionals who are looking for roommates or rental sharing in the Boston area. If you are looking for a place to rent, we provide easy access to a map of verified, quality listings. If you don’t find what you want, leaving a post with your needs will have renters coming to you. Viemate is conceived as a two-way street, where renters are equally empowered through accessing our trusted community of potential roommates, where the platform helps you find a compatibility match."
Here's a preview of the Viemate experience below — as roommate finders go, it's one of the cleanest experiences I've seen. And you can read up on them in BostInno as well.
Roomi — coliving made easy.
Roomi is a super slick, venture-backed iOS, Android and web app that streamlines the open room and roommate search. They just launched in April 2016 and have their sights set on being the gold standard for roommate finders in Boston and beyond.
Check out the interface below:
Also, definitely ping your personal network.
Roommate finders can be helpful, but the best roommates are the ones you know and trust. Try reaching out on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. to see if anyone is looking for roommates (either in their current Boston apartment or if they're also looking for apartments Boston). Feel free to get a refresher on tips for locating who you know in Boston.
Not sure who you might know in town? Check out Connect!
Connect is a pretty awesome website/app that easily lets you find your Facebook network on the map. As you can see from the image below, it's pretty straightforward — it might help you find someone from the past that you didn't even know lived nearby.
Of course, you can always just check Facebook yourself.
Facebook's "OpenGraph" search (i.e. fancy name for their search bar) lets you easily see all your friends who live in Boston. Just click this fancy button below to see for yourself!
...and there’s always Craigslist.
Regardless of how much you hate it (or have heard how people hate it), Craigslist is still the best way to find roommates in Boston. Obviously be careful and do your research before reaching out/communicating with people.
To help you out, we’ve put together some IFTTT recipes you can use to find new roommate posts on Craigslist that match what you’re looking for (for instance, people looking for roommates in a 2BR in Cambridge for 9/1). Here’s the most commonly sought-after roommate ad:
BUT WATCH OUT!
I've seen reports lately (starting around May 2016) that the "roommate finder" Roomster, which I've only heard negative things about, is running a spam campaign on Craigslist.
See the details in the reddit post below, but it sounds like they're automating texts that just redirect you to something called "mybunky". If you find you're getting these kinds of texts, block the number in your phone and report the ad on Craigslist if you can.
...or check the /bostonhousing subreddit.
There aren’t a ton of people posting/looking here but there are definitely legit roommate leads.
Did you know? Finding a roommate or a room for rent can save you 25-53% on housing costs in Boston.
The more people, the less each person pays for rent. Here’s the breakdown of average rents by apartment size:
- Average rent for studios and 1BR in Boston (per person): $1,734
- Average rent for 2BR in Boston (per person): $1,297 = 25% less than 1BR
- Average rent for 3BR in Boston (per person): $1,034 = 40% less than 1BR
- Average rent for 4BR in Boston (per person): $805 = 53% less than 1BR
Lovely actually claims that even one roommate can save Boston renters over 40% on their housing costs. Dang!
Image source: Lovely
And just for fun.
The following "infographic" isn't really that helpful in the grand scheme. Apartment List put this together as a tongue-in-cheek way to capture the "essence" of what residents in certain Boston neighborhoods might look + behave like.
Click the image for the full-sized version!