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10 Tips for Finding Cheap Housing

Find a Roommate You Can Trust
Finding a roommate to split your living expenses is a win-win situation.
Finding a roommate to split your living expenses is a win-win situation.

It's simple math. Divide the cost of a house or apartment by two and you can end up spending significantly less money. Finding a roommate (or multiple roommates) to share your living arrangements and defray the costs can be a win-win situation. But, make sure you take the time to find a reliable person to share your digs. Otherwise, you could end up paying low rent for an unbearable living situation. Even worse, you could end up stuck with rent and bills you can't afford if the roommate decides to skip out on you.

To find a reliable roommate, ask friends and colleagues to see if they know someone looking or know who can vouch for someone's reliability [source: Apartment Guide]. If you use an online service like Craigslist, make sure you meet them first and ask them for references you can call [source: Fulmer]. Meet with potential candidates first to discuss your expectations for the living arrangement. Once you've found a good match, think about writing up a roommate agreement, a document that lists each person's share of the rent, expenses and any security deposits [source:]. If you both sign it, it can protect both parties in the event of a disagreement.

Finally, consider whether or not you want your roommate to sign the lease. If you and your roommate both sign, it will protect you if they end up breaking the agreement. Being the only one to sign gives you more control, but also more financial responsibility for making the full amount of rent if the arrangement doesn't work out [source: Fulmer].