As you traverse the net in search of a room to share and potential roommates, you’re going to come across a lot of different styles of ads. Some will be from legit people looking for a good situation. Others . . . not so much. Here is a helpful guide on what to look for in room share ads so you can assess whether the person is for real or up so something scummy.
Price Points: Reasonable Rates, Or Too Good To Be True?
When you see low rent in New York City, it can feel like wandering the Sahara desert for forty days and forty nights and stumbling into an oasis. Your heart races, your eyes grow wide, and with a wild whoop of joy, you race towards it, exhaustion forgotten.
Now, in the cartoons, this always turns out to be a mirage. And the over-eager wanderer ends up with a mouthful of sand.
New York City is crazy expensive. But the rates are that high because supply and demand allow it. With a strong emphasis on demand. New York is so incredibly awesome, so rich in opportunity, that people are willing to pay through the nose to live in one of the greatest cities on Earth.
So, there are two lessons here, really. One. Don’t wander around deserts without water, a map, and a camel. That’s just science. Two. If someone is posting really low rent, you should be very, very cautious. There’s a good chance they’re up to no good.
Room Share Details: Quantity Has A Quality All Its Own
Let’s compare two different room share ads. One says, “Brooklyn. $1000 a month. Got floors. A window. Thanks.” Okaaay. Not super detailed. Hopefully, the ceiling is included with this amazing package deal. The other ad has offered lots of helpful info about the lease, stressed the roommate’s lifestyle choices, and added a few free-written paragraphs about the room. Like this well done article on Roomiapp.com. Nice! Lot’s more information here.
The obvious advantage is that you can get a better understanding of the room. But there’s a second, less obvious reason to go for the well written article and avoid the sparse one. The person who wrote a detailed ad was willing to invest their time.
If someone isn’t willing to put in a little effort to write up a complete ad, what’s that say about them? They don’t seem very respectful of your time. They expect you to do all the work. Heck, they may even be hiding something. That would explain why they are treating their room share ad like an interview with the police and offering as little information as possible. Not good signs. So always look for well written, detailed, complete ads that show the individual is honest and willing to put some effort in to make you feel at home.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
So ten pictures are worth, like, ten thousand words. Throw in twenty pictures, and we’ve got a novella. If an ad reads well and the price is right, but there aren’t any photos, buyer beware. This isn’t to say there needs to be hundreds of photos to qualify as a good room share ad. There could be five if they’re chosen from helpful angles. You should get a sense of the entryway, the main room, the bedroom if it has one, bathroom, and kitchen, at the very least. If there are fitfy pictures of the main room and not a single one of where you’ll be sleeping, then approach with extreme caution. Maybe they didn’t take a picture of the bedroom because if they opened the door, all the stacks of pizza boxes and ramen noodles cups would tumble out. And the cockroach colony hates that because they labored for days to arrange it all into a miniaturized village.
Hey. It’s New York. Anything could happen.
What do you look for in a great room share ad? Post your comments below.