Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

8 Tips for Roommates to Make a Home More Enjoyable
Posted on: April 27th, 2021 by Jen No Comments
A nicely decorated colorful living room with plants for Roommates

On FriendsMates, we’ve discovered that people are drawn to homes that look nice and have attractive features. Therefore, people want a home they are proud of and excited to return to everyday. So, how do you make sure that your home stands out from the crowd on FriendsMates and ensure you and your roommates have an enjoyable home? We’ve compiled a list of 8 things you can do – Try one or two, or dive in and implement them all!


1. Fill your home with aesthetically pleasing décor and furniture.

The look and style of your home is one of the first things people notice. Is the furniture in good shape or is it worn, varied, and set up in an inconvenient way? For example, you can aim to style your house like you would an Airbnb. It may sound intimidating if you’re not an interior designer, but there are budget-friendly ways to style your home!

Nice living room photo with good and pleasing decor


 2. Employ a housecleaner at least once a month.

Don’t underestimate the effects of having a monthly house cleaner. Unless you are all thorough cleaners, dirt and grime will easily creep up on you. Before you know it, your home won’t feel as fresh and clean as it once was. A regular house cleaner will help avoid one of those, “How did I get here?” moments. (Cue the Talking Heads song.)

3. Keep a clean and organized shared bathroom.

In a shared bathroom, the last thing people want is a lack of counter space, or a dirty one for that matter. Make sure there is enough storage space for everyone’s toiletries and keep dedicated shelves, drawers, or counter space for each person.

Image of clean shared bathroom


4. Have the option for filtered water.

This is especially important if you live in an area where the tap water is drinkable but not ideal. Invest in a sink filtration system, available on Amazon. You can also ask your landlord for help installing one, as they may prefer to handle any installation themselves.

A sink with water running

5. Grow your own food!

While this might sound like a huge responsibility, there are so many ways to grow herbs or other greens in your own home. Vertical gardens can help save space, and you can even use portable grow bags if there’s a chance you’ll have to move and take your garden with you.


6. Dedicate a space for work and relaxation.

Having at least one nice and peaceful area in the house where someone can sit and work or read a book is a great perk. A place to work outside of the bedroom is a big upgrade from most homes, especially as many of us are working from home.

Table outside with a computer on it


7. Compost your food.

Believe it or not, many people would do what is good for the planet if it was convenient. Setting up your own compost is not only easy but also significantly reduces the rate of the trash being filled up and gives you compost which you can add outdoors to the dirt or use it for growing your own food!

Roommate home additions- Compost bin outside of house

8. Install outdoor lighting.

If you have an outdoor living or entertainment space, consider adding some nice outdoor lighting. People love to spend time outdoors, especially with a few friends, and good lighting will set the mood. Additionally, there are a lot of other budget-friendly things you can do to make an outdoor area appealing.


These are just some of the easy ways you can make your home more desirable and increase your chances of finding a great new FriendsMate. If you have a larger home, you can go above and beyond and add amenities to your home like a jacuzzi, car-charging ports, outdoor fire pits, and more – but we’ll get to that in a later post. Until then, happy homemaking! We can’t wait to see your new and improved homes listed up on FriendsMates!


Attracting the Right Roommate to Your Home: More Than Just a Room

Things to Ask in the Roommate Interview
Posted on: April 26th, 2021 by Alvito Fernandes No Comments
4 people sitting in a living room talking

Choosing a new roommate can be like choosing a new partner, so it is important to do everything in your control to ensure you feel confident about the person.To do so, you should go through a roommate interview process to decide how compatible you and the potential candidate are. Here are some personal experience tips and tricks to help you as you navigate this decision.

First, make sure your potential roommate can:


  1. Afford the rent.
  2. Be responsible with the property and anything else included in the rent.
  3. Be a safe and trustworthy person to be around.


While many people may end the vetting process here, there are additional characteristics we highly recommend you consider.

A roommate (or as we say here, a FriendsMate) is more than just a person who physically lives with you. A FriendsMate is someone you will see on a daily basis and will share in all the costs of having a home. Your home is the basis of your life – your sanctuary. It is where you wake up, retreat to, and where you go to recharge. You need to feel safe to be your true self. That is why you need to consider more than just finding someone who can afford the rent.
So, how do you find someone who makes your home one that you love coming home to? Here is a list of questions to ask your potential FriendsMate:


Logistical Questions:


  1. What do they do for work? Are they happy in their careers?
    It’s a good idea to verify that they have a job, and it’s okay to ask questions that give you a sense of their stability. If they show signs of job instability, ensure that they have a backup plan in order to continue paying rent.
  2. Are they financially stable enough for your home?
    Make sure that the potential roommate is comfortable with the rent cost. If it seems like a tight budget, you may want to reconsider to avoid the risk of this potential person having to move out abruptly or having issues with making payments. For some people, tight budgets make them work harder to get ahead… for others it becomes a hardship they deal with until they decide they can’t afford it. Just something to keep in mind.
  3. Where are they moving from and why are they moving?
    It is important to know if they are coming from a harmonious living situation or a toxic and unstable one. An example of a harmonious reason is because they want to move closer for a job. An example of a toxic situation is if they had a negative experience with a past roommate.
  4. Have they had roommates before and what was their experience like?
    It’s helpful to know if they have experience living with others. Make sure they understand how to share in responsibilities around the house. For example, are they familiar with how to share a fridge, how to be respectful of each other’s quiet time or cleanliness needs?


Lifestyle Questions:


These questions help you understand your home-sharing compatibility. For example, if someone is a night owl and the other is an early and light sleeper, there could be scheduling issues. Here are some examples of questions to ask.

  1. What is their sleep schedule and morning routine?
  2. What do they do to relax?
  3. How do they spend time with their friends?
  4. Do they cook or eat out?
  5. Do they drink or smoke?
  6. What are their hobbies, interests, etc?
  7. Do they have a significant other? Or are they single or dating?
  8. How do they feel about overnight guests?
  9. Do they like to be social with their roommates?
  10. What is their idea of a happy home?
  11. How do they feel about house cleanliness?
  12. Do they cook often?
  13. Do they get along with most people?


As you go through the process of asking your potential FriendsMate questions, make sure to pay attention to their personality, emotional stability, and emotional intelligence when answering.

In conclusion, go with your gut and make sure to choose your next roommate based on compatibility and less on the need to have a room filled. While it is important that rent is covered and your house is filled, it’s even more important that you say no to someone who will not be a good fit. We’re sure that once you go through the vetting process, you’ll find your perfect FriendsMate!

If you’re looking to increase the desirability of your home, check out the tips and tricks to increase the perceived value of your home.


Attract Your Ideal Roommate With Good Photos!
Posted on: April 22nd, 2021 by Alvito Fernandes No Comments
Roommate - a nice apartment with a dining table and living room for attracting good roommates

If you want to list your home and attract the right roommate, try using good photos. However, if you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, here are 4 tips to get great images of your space from a professional real estate photographer.

1. Remove clutter, trash, things out of place. To illustrate, here’s a list of common things we see in photos:

  • Kitchen: Remove any pots from the stove, drying dishes, clutter against the walls, sponges, and other cleaning tools, anything over the microwave, etc. Bathroom: Remove all personal items like toothbrushes, makeup, brushes, hair styling items, etc. Also, close the toilet! Bedroom: If you have a desk, remove all clutter. Even if it means removing every item off the desk and into a box temporarily. Make the bed, remove any personal items off the floor. Don’t leave any items on the bed that don’t belong there. Living Room: Remove clutter from coffee and side tables. Straighten out any curtains so they don’t look sloppy.
  • Bathroom: Remove all personal items like toothbrushes, makeup, brushes, hair styling items, etc. Also, close the toilet!
  • Bedroom: If you have a desk, remove all clutter. Even if it means removing every item off the desk and into a box temporarily. Make the bed, remove any personal items off the floor. Don’t leave any items on the bed that don’t belong there.
  • Living Room: Remove clutter from coffee and side tables. Straighten out any curtains so they don’t look sloppy.


2. Make sure there is enough light. Open the curtains, turn on the lights. If you have to choose between the light indoors or being able to see outside of the window, choose to show the indoors best.

3. Horizontal photos are for clearly showing what a room looks like.

While vertical images help express a mood or style. For most images on your listing, aim for horizontal, as it shows more of a room. The only times we make exceptions are when we shoot small and narrow bathrooms with beautiful flooring, where it would be a shame not to get everything into the image at once.

Picture of bedroom

Picture of bedroom


4. Shoot straight ahead as much as possible and avoid tilting the camera

If you’re tall, don’t shoot down from your own height. Try to move down towards what a 5′ tall person would see when they walk in. Avoid slanting the camera too much to the right or left; try to stay as straight as possible.


Things to Ask in the Roommate Interview