Shared Housing (Home-sharing) #2 Compatibility Checklist

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How do you find a compatible person or family with whom to share housing?  Carefully!  And here are some good steps to help you do that.  You want to get to know potential housemates as well as possible as quickly as possible, and with care.

Fill this worksheet out before you meet with anyone, then bring it along when you meet anyone face-to-face – use it to keep yourself honest.  Having your ideas in writing will help you focus on the important questions and the understandings you hope to arrive at by the end of your meeting. When meeting a second time use both this and “20 Questions” to move your discussions forward.

This worksheet will help you get to the business at hand, and will, at the least, give you lots to talk about. 

 A)  Personal & Family Traits:

 1. I’m used to a home being (check all that apply)

            __a pig pen                             __tidy                                      __messy

            __cluttered but clean               __”white glove” clean              __ loud and lively

            __quiet                                    __calm soft music or tv          

2. I clean up after myself (or my kids/pets) (check all that apply)

__Immediately             __ once a week           __ seldom       __ only if reminded

            __even if it’s not mine             __if it’s yours, I’ll let it sit ‘til it rots

            __I’ll teach whoever left the mess how to do it themselves next time

            __I’m oblivious unless I fall over it 


 3. I want to be able to smoke in my house    ___yes     ___ no          ___only outside

 4. I don’t want any smoking anywhere near me          __yes             __ doesn’t matter

 5. I’d like to share food in the house               __yes       __ never      __sometimes

6. Our / my diet is (circle one): vegetarian      omnivore     no pork     vegan

                                                           fast food          no sugar          no wheat         other (describe)

7. I /we eat:     ___a lot of desserts                 __some sweets           __no sweets

                        __deal with diabetes or special needs                                    __a lot of garlic

8. Pets __are wonderful - any type, size, or shape    

            __ bring up issues around allergies - let’s talk

            __are problematic, OK if small and quiet only

            __can’t be in the house, with, possibly, the exception of goldfish

            __ what would not be okay in terms of animal behavior or care?

9. Meals at home are:

            __ the very best, daily                                     __ OK, occasionally

            __OK, but I like to eat alone                __best with friends

            __sometimes OK to cook with others in the house


10. Alcohol in the house:

            __I drink some wine or beer occasionally

            __is a must.                             __cannot be tolerated             __in moderation

            __is a problem, since I’m recovering from addiction

            __Illegal drugs in the house – discussion is needed

 11. My behavior /personality changes when I drink alcohol    __yes              __ no

            When I take prescription / over the counter drugs     __yes              __ no 

12. I have had problems with alcohol or drugs in the past      __yes              __ no

            (describe, or be ready to talk about this)         

13. Someone would describe our family’s/my health as

             __normal        __rarely sick                __frequently ill                         __having ongoing problems

 14. Mental health issues:

            __depression  __ anxiety disorders    __non-existent             __other


 15. The most important social, political issues to me are:
        How might it be for me if my housemate held equally strong and opposing positions? 

16. Issues of religion and religious practices are:

            __important to me       __don’t matter to  me              __good for starting discussions

 B)  Schedules and Activities:

            __ Lots of scheduled activities

            __Home during the day

            __Lots of travel

            __Home weekends                 __home evenings

            __Some company                   __ hate company                    __Lots of company


            My style of living is: __hectic   __busy   __ flexible  __empty   __unpredictable                                                                        __undependable         __relaxed


            If there are children:    __I have custody of them (sexes & ages)

                                                __there is shared custody       ___Life is focused on them


            If there are pets:          __they are small & confined (breed: _______________)

                                                __well-behaved (or)__wild-crazy     ___As/more important as people


 C)  Relationships:

1. I have a boyfriend/girlfriend I like to have over ____times a week

                  __We usually have dinner, watch TV, talk

                  __I like to have her/him spend the night __times a week/month

                  __I’m not in a relationship right now but

                  __I won’t be in one, and can’t live with someone who is

 2. I invite the following people over occasionally or regularly:

 3. Overnight guests:
 __OK with advance notice     __Not in my space  __OK if occasional  ___not in the bathroom when I’m around

What defines that they’ve moved in? 

What has to be agreed upon ahead of time for this to occur?

4. I have left a domestic violence situation. __yes  __ no   How long ago?_________________

            I feel that there is still danger __yes   _no

 5. I presently have a restraining or protection order against someone  __yes   __no

 6. I’d like a housemate to be: (check all that apply)

    1. _____just a reliable person with whom to share  housing
    2. ___someone who understands & can share responsibilities
    3. __an extended part of the family
    4. __my friend (and one to my kids, if I have them)

 7. I think the relationship can change over time: __yes  __no

 8. I hope that this arrangement will last __________(how long?)

 9. I think that this is:
____my next adventure                __a last resort             __interesting to explore

D)  Communication: Answer yes or no to each

1. If there’s conflict:

      __I like to talk about things right away, staying away from blame

      __I take some time to figure out how I feel

      __I try to fix things on my own

      __I talk with others, outside of the situation, first

      __I want to move out and on

      __I want to figure out who’s at fault

      __I shut down


2. I would like to:

      __have regular house meetings

      __think all who are living in the house should participate

      __think “agreeing to disagree” can be viable

      __want to be kept informed about what’s going on in others’ lives

      __ to listen to complaints without getting defensive, even if they’re not presented tactfully

 3. I hate being asked “is something wrong?” ___yes   ___no.  If there is, I’ll say so ____yes   ___ no

 4. I hate the feeling that something is amiss, but the other person isn’t saying anything and even denies it ___yes __no

 5. If I ask, but am told nothing’s wrong, I put it out of my mind __yes    __no

 6. I like to write notes __yes        __no 

7. What really pushes my buttons is:

8. It’s frustrating when an adult:

9. It’s frustrating when a child:

10. It’s frustrating when a pet:

E)  Other:

  1. ___I have a current drivers license __yes      __no
  2.  ___I have a vehicle. Type?                            I will / won’t share
  3. ___I have current insurance __yes     __no
  4. The disadvantages of homesharing for me are:
  5. The advantages of homesharing for me are:
  6. If I own the home, I will try to make the other feel welcome by:
  7. If I am moving into someone’s home, I will make myself feel at home and help them feel comfortable by:
  8. When things get broken, how will I respond when it’s my favorite ___?
  9. If I want to get/receive service instead of paying, what could I receive? Offer
  10. I would want to end the arrangement if:
  11. How might prejudice limit the people I’m willing to consider?

The ideal homeshare would be: