Navigating your way through the crazies, stalkers, predators, and absolute weirdoes of roommate-wanted ads is no easy feat. Chances are you've been tricked at least once by an innocent sounding listing and ended up with your door padlocked and sleeping with one eye open for the duration of your 3-month sublet. If it hasn't happened to you, well, you're probably the creepy roommate everyone's afraid of. Sorry.
To help you prepare for your next foray into roommate hunting, we bring you 10 translations of real roommate queries and available-room notices. Half the trick is knowing what to watch out for.
Real roommate ad 1:
"I'm 24, vegan, easy to get along with. I tend to be a bit clutter-happy, but keep the common areas tidy. I like to have guests over now and then, yours can come too! Would like to keep the kitchen vegetarian if possible."
Translation: I'm 24, passive-aggressive and self-righteous. I'm a hoarder, but if you push my stuff out of the way, you can sit down on the couch. I like to have guests over at all hours. Yours can come too, but should be willing to engage in vegetarian activities. Don't dare bring meat or milk into my apartment or I'll slaughter you in your sleep. Did I mention I was vegan?
Real roommate ad 2:
"Looking to share my comfy, artsy and modest home to an outgoing and fun female roommate! Are you barbecue friendly (wink, wink), into cooking and maybe drinks now and then, watching movies / tv at night? No priss's need apply! I am a responsible hard working person and fun! The house is wired for internet and has a washer / dryer. If this sounds interesting email me! Good luck in your search!"
Dude, pass the pipe! Image courtesy Capt. Tim (via Flickr)
Translation: Looking to share my cramped, Urban-Outfitters-decorated studio with a female roommate. Are you down with doing illegal drugs at all hours, cooking while I sit on the couch and drinking round the clock, then watching Harold and Kumar again and again until we both pass out? No one stable (or clean) need apply!
Real roommate ad 3, via the Stranger.com
“ Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high. There’s a place that I dreamed of, once in a lullaby.” I found it guys and a big old house didn’t even have to crash down on me….Yes, I’m ready to live with sweet old Munchkins that flourish in that wonderful, beautiful and urban settlement called Seattle, Washington. So Dorothy, rest those dirty rubies cause I’ll be stepping the yellow brick on this trip to the Emerald City….
I'm seeking a nice well painted abode with nice big windows to hang my numerous plants…. I’ll be arriving in Seattle via Amtrak because I like my wings on the ground. If you don’t hear any breathing from my abode, I’m not dead but simply deeply involved into some writing project.… I’ll even barter for some rent decreases with household maintenance offers."
Mmmm… smells earthy.
Translation: Are you the Tinman to my Dorothy, the Lion to my Scarecrow? One day, you'll have to walk through a labyrinth of jungle plants only to find me near-dead under a pile of papers from my typewriter (did I mention that I'm the next L. Frank Baum?) Being my roommate can be scary – especially when I frolic through the apartment in my ruby slippers. Also, because I can't afford rent, I'll just clean up the place once in awhile. Hope you're ok with that. Must be ok living with flying monkeys and an incontinent pug.
Real roommate ad 4:
"Yes this is for real I am a 26 yr old single gay male. I have a 3bed 2bath house and my own company. I am looking for one or 2 younger guys who may need a helping hand. I will let you live with me rent free and make sure you have food etc .. so hit me up with ur pics and info and let's talk!!! "
That statue could be you. That's right. Come to papa.
Translation: "Yes, I'm really this weird, in case for a second you questioned it. I'm a 26-year-old single gay male in a huge house and own my own company (ok, so it's my dad's business – so what). I'm seeking two younger guys as roommates so I can easily take advantage of them. Don't reply to this ad unless you're willing to make-out with me at least twice (a week)."
Real roommate ad 5:
"I am about to rent one room in my home, Currently going to college full time and I'm home most of the time if not attending (I have no life) my girlfriend lives at my place and works full time. I'm a dude 29. Nonconformist. I listen to heavy metal, drink beer and smoke on occasion. The dishes will get done when they get done mentality. I work on my car (when I'm not broke), play guitar. And I'm a firm believer that life is short, lets not take it too seriously."
1st and last month's rent up front we'll talk about security deposit and utilities because I'm flexible and haven't thought that far ahead."
They'll get done, eventually. Maybe. Just rinse 'em?
Translation: Too-lazy-for-apostrophes, 29-year-old burnout needs roommate so he doesn't end up homeless. Goatee probable. 18-year-old girlfriend pays the bills with a waitressing gig but even she's getting sick of it and sick of him. Breakup looming. Dishes never done.Dreams of becoming the next Slash unfulfilled. Life is too short to work, so he doesn't and hopes you will.
Real roommate ad 6:
"I am a 32yr old professional, very clean and neat, very respectful of you and your space and extremely easy going. I cook great if you don't mind doing the dishes! I have a very friendly personality and get along with anyone. The place comes with: Free wi-fi, HDTV w/HBO, Landline and use of the place like it's yours (within reason of course)!"
I think I remember telling you NO LONG DISTANCE CALLS!
Translation: I'm a serial killer.
Real roommate ad 7:
"We are a young married couple we have one son so you must be kid friendly. We live in a pretty nice app. We are looking for a female because my wife is home more and I don't want her at home with a man. Not that I don't trust her. We want an easy going nice laid-back woman. As for rent, you can work and pay $400.00 or you can stay home and keep up the house and baby sit that's all up to you and something that can be talked about at a later time."
We're young and fun! Really!
Translation: "We are married teenagers, live in squalor, and want you to watch our kid for us while we go to the bars. I don't trust my wife at home with a man and I will probably hit on you after a few weeks."
Real roommate ad 8:
"I added a room to my house by adding a divider to three walls. This room does not offer a lot of privacy. This house has it all! The kitchen has granite slabs and heated tile flooring! The living room has Brazilian cherry flooring
We have an open kitchen but it costs 5 a day or 150$ a month. For this you get an open kitchen and home cooked meals…we take turns preparing and cleaning and it works out great! Delicious meals 1st and last month’s rent plus cleaning fee (I am willing to be flexible on making monthly payments for last month's rent and fee) Pet fees will also apply and vary depending on pet."
You could walk out of your room, but it will cost you.
Translation: I put a piece of cardboard in my parent's living room to create two "rooms" and charge rent. This is where you'll sleep –expect me to come trouncing through your "room" with all my friends at all hours of the night. But you'll barely notice because of the gleaming granite slabs and heated tile floors.
Oh yeah, and not only am I charging you rent for your "room," I'm also going to charge you an obscene rate to use the kitchen – including the granite slabs. Also, pet fees will apply and vary – your goldfish or pet cricket will cost you an extra $500.
Real roommate ad 9 via Best of Craigslist:
I am a plastic surgeon, single straight male, and am wealthy but rather lonely. I could keep this house to myself, and have for about a year, but I've realised that life is much better when it's shared with people who are conscious (as opposed to my clients and my nursing staff!). (This is not to say that my nursing staff is unconscious obviously they are not! It's just very difficult to become friends with a staff that is somewhat dubious of my methods. I'm no rogue, but I do have Eastern-influenced techniques that some find odd and/or disconcerting but I do have a 99% success rate! In any case, it doesn't make much sense to mix business and pleasure.)
I request that you listen to all music via headphones. I have mild tinnitus and the sounds from most Hi-Fi equipment sans headphones really irritate me…
If you are going to cook, please do not use the following spices: curries, paprika, anything Cajun, and dill. The smells of these things turns my stomach…
You must brush your teeth at least twice a day. If there is anything I cannot stand it's filthy teeth.
I have fresh produce delivered from an undisclosed location to my home every Wednesday afternoon. Please do not purchase fruits or vegetables and bring them home. You can request any that you desire and I will add them to my order queue. (I am fastidious about potential-GM produce and pesticide usage I will not tolerate either!) Also, if you insist on preparing red meat dishes in the home, do cook the meat thoroughly. IT MUST SIZZLE.
That's the summary of my requests! I do actually have a handbook which I will provide for your perusal during our interview (yes, there will be an interview for final-stage candidates) that outlines all of my more particular requests.
Welcome to the desterilization room. The plastic walls will protect my house from your filth.
Translation: I have severe OCD and was recently lost my medical license for being a complete and utter psychopath and practicing shamanism in a Western hospital.
Did I mention I need a roommate because all of my previous roommates have had sudden, unexplained accidents?
Real roommate ad 10 via College Times:
"$300 Place to share. For Single Lady I'm a single father of two.
It's a one bedroom mobile home. We would share the back bedroom and my kids sleep on a day bed in the living room. The place is no Shang ra la but it is a roof over your head and a shower and kitchen. There is an A/C in the back bedroom but not in the rest of the house. Once I get a roommate I will be able to ad an A/C to the rest of the house. The stove works but we are in need of a new oven. We have a microwave. It's like I'm still living as a bachelor with two kids. We got the place from a friend and as that goes it's tough to get them to fix things that are wrong before I move in.
There is a pool. I have my own washer and dryer.
I don't have a dish but that is something we can work on getting together. I'm very easy going and laid back. Im 6'1 158 lbs. Tall and thin. I have long hair."
Translation: Ladies I'm a real catch. Have my own trailer. It has a shower. And a kitchen. No more than one tiny bedroom, but has a pool. You bring the oven and I'llbring the microwave.
Amanda Halm writes for Padmapper.com – a website that helps users find apartments for rent.