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Need a compatible roommate? Five apps and sites to help you search

I’m no Type A personality, but I can say that there are few things worse than living with a terrible roommate. One of those is having to find a new roommate, fast.

But finding a compatible roommate can be a long, hard quest. To help ease that burden, we scoured the Internet for roommate-finding apps and websites. Here are some of the best we found.

Roommates: Finding the perfect roommate is comparable to finding a significant other. That’s why the Roommates app by ApartmentList, a rental real estate search engine start-up, took a few pointers from online dating services that sync to the user's Facebook account to build a profile and pre-screen potential dates -- or, in this case, roommates. Think of the Roommates app as a matchmaking algorithm. 

Users can add a monthly budget, preferred neighborhoods and hobbies to help find potentially compatible roommates.

Similar to dating app Tinder, roommate seekers can tap through others’ profiles, which will note if they have any mutual friends. Once two users have expressed interest in each other, they’re matched up and connected via chat.

The free Roommates iOS and Android app currently covers Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago.

Roomster: The Roomster website and its Facebook app encourage users to write lengthy profiles -- up to 10,000 words -- to increase the chances of a match. Users can find potential roommates by keyword searches, such as personality traits, interests and preferred locations.

The free basic service allows access all the site's features and sections, but users need to pay a fee, which starts at $5.95 for three days, to access its messaging service and connect with a potential roommate.

Crashpad: Crashpad is a free website for people who are searching for roommates or have an available room. Users can browse through potential roommate profiles, which show pictures of the potential roommates, the roommates' first names and the apartments or rooms being offered.

There are search tabs to enter criteria including location, monthly budget and other requirements (such as permission to have a dog). Once you find someone you like, you can message the person privately.  

With the app it's easy to get all the important information at once: It's all on the main page; no need to open numerous tabs to review the options.

Roomsurf: If you’re a student looking for on-campus housing or need to fill an extra room for your off-campus place, Roomsurf tries to do the work for you. After logging in with Facebook Connect, users complete a questionnaire to be connected with the most compatible roommates, based on the percentage of similar responses.

When you pick a match, you can send a message to that person via Roomsurf or Facebook. Roomsurf charges a one-time $19.99 fee for students at schools with which it doesn't have a direct partnership.

The majority of Roomsurf users are incoming college freshmen, but the site also includes transfer students and others looking to live off campus.

Livewith.us: For those would rather use Craigslist to find a roommate, the livewith.us website aims to speed up the vetting and application process.

It's kind of a hassle to copy and paste the same description of yourself into email after email. The livewith.us widget does that for you and quickly sends a profile when you're viewing a Craigslist listing.

The free website also has a slick interface that helps manage all your applicants, bookmark Craigslist listings and easily send applications.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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