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Where to find a roommate | Everything you need to know

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


Finding a roommate in a city like Vancouver can be a real nightmare! You need to find someone who’s short term-life plan matches yours, but do their day-to-day habits complement yours? What’s their personality like and what about their social life? Will they be the kind of person who brings strangers to your place all the time, or will they completely disappear from the face of the Earth and remain in their room most of the time? It’s just too many variables!


Of course, we are not gonna be able to help you with all of them, but at least we are going to try to ease your pain a little bit. 😉 Here are 5 places where you can find a roommate and some things you should consider when doing so, regardless of you being the one looking for a place to stay or the one with the place and looking for someone to share the expenses with.


Where to look for roommates

Craigslist

One of the most commonly used platforms for, well… anything related to buying or selling online in Canada! Craigslist is probably the most used online marketplace in this city, and here you’ll find more than just old clothes for sale. You can find houses for sale, a room for rent, and it’s also a common place for you to find a roommate.

• Pros: You can find daily new postings of whatever you are looking for, it has great filters that help you narrow your search, and the communication happens through an automatically generated email account that protects your identity.

• Cons: It’s a famous site for scams because of its little to no requirements for people to post something on their platform, and the anonymity that I just mentioned in the pros. It is common for people to fall for multiple scams, so navigate this site with caution.

Facebook MarketPlace

For sure, it is the second most used online marketplace in the city. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to look for virtually anything you can think of. Roommates and rentals included!


• Pros: It’s way safer than craigslist as people need to have a real profile to post here. Plus, Facebook has recently been doing a great job at identifying fake profiles. This drastically reduces the number of scams! Also, its design is way easier to understand compared to Craigslist, so it has better navigation.

• Cons: Even though it’s an active site, it doesn’t get as many postings as Craigslist. So, if you spend a good couple of hours searching for a roommate on Facebook, you probably won’t find many more options the next day. You will need to wait a little bit longer than that.


Facebook Groups

Another alternative within the same platform. Facebook Groups are a great option to look for roommates. You can either search for groups with which you share something in common, like for example the country you are from (Filipino in Vancouver), or you can search in a specialized group like “Vancouver Rentals & Roommates.


• Pros: Interact directly with whoever might be your roommate and make the whole process of identifying the right person way easier. Also the advantage that you can post what type of roommate or accommodation you are looking for. In addition, people can also reach out to you, unlike in the marketplaces.

• Cons: The main problem with groups is that you need to be quite fast when it comes to you actively looking for roommates. You never know when the suitable roommate will do a post, and if you don’t take a look at the post in time you are done, you might completely miss it. So they require a lot of attention from your end.


Word of Mouth/Classmates

Never underestimate the power of word of mouth! Just ask people around you and you might be surprised by the number of doors that will open for you. And yes, we understand that as an international student you might not know many people in the city or anyone at all (we’ve been there). If that’s the case, we encourage you to look amongst your classmates, as the probability of them being in the same situation as you is pretty high.


So just ask! You can even print a couple of flyers with an “Ad” and paste it around your campus. It’s a common thing people do over here.


Online Platforms

Last but not least… online platforms that are specifically made for finding roommates! There are a few of them, and they have the potential to be a great option. They are easy to use, safe, and quite reliable! However, their main problem for the moment is the number of users. There’s no way for them to compete with a platform like FB, so the number of people there might not be enough, so it can take a while for you to find a roommate. You can try roomies.ca and roomster.com, or you can forget about all that and join our Slack community! We are building the biggest community of international students in Vancouver.

Regardless of which option you decide to try, keep in mind that you will need a lot of patience for this process, as finding the right fit for you is not an easy thing to do.


Be patient both when it comes to looking for roommates and accommodation. Also, be patient when you are making your decision. Make sure you ask the right questions to your potential roomie (how clean are you? How often do you cook? Will you be throwing parties?...Etc.) because if your day-to-day lifestyle in your house and theirs don't match… oh boy we have trouble!! So wait, give yourself a proper time to make your decision and look for the best match. Don't rush to the first option you have available. 😉






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