Best of Craigslist – This Could Be You!

It can be a pretty difficult situation when you end up losing a roommate after you’ve signed a lease.  Whether they’ve gotten a new job in a different city or you two just didn’t get along, trying to find a new roommate with 6 months left on the lease isn’t easy.  Your choices are limited, and you could end up wasting a lot of money either trying to break your lease or paying the entire rent.  Luckily, there is a quick fix to this problem: Craigslist.  Anyone can get online and post information to find a roommate replacement or someone willing to sublease. 

While it can be very convenient, the fact that “anyone” can post is a little scary.  After looking through some local roommate postings, I was really discouraged by the misspellings, poor descriptions, and awkward capitalization.  So today I am having a “guest blogger” do my job and tell all of you looking for roommates how to properly post on Craigslist.  Now, unfortunately the blogger is anonymous because I found this under “Best of Craigslist”, but I think he/she does as good a job as I could have at breaking down some pretty awful posts on Craigslist:

First posted a month ago? Still no roommate? (New York)

Many of you posted your first ads on here a couple of weeks ago, a month ago, or even longer ago than that. And you’re still posting. Are you wondering why you still don’t have a roommate? Read on.

1) Great Fort Greene apartment?

If all of you who claim your apartments are in Fort Greene or Clinton Hill really lived in Fort Greene or Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill combined would be the size of Wyoming. There’s nothing wrong with Bed-Stuy, but when you lie about the fact that you live there, you make it seem like there is. If your nearest stop on the G is Bedford-Nostrand, you do NOT live in Clinton Hill or Fort Greene. So stop lying!

2) 15 minutes to Manhattan?

This is one of my favorites. All of you in the nether regions of Bushwick claiming to be 15 minutes from Manhattan have been inhaling those industrial fumes for too long. Um, maybe if you live in the station agent booth, and your final destination is the station agent booth on the other end, and the train arrives four seconds after you pass through the turnstile, and the train skips a few stops en route, maybe it’ll be close to 15 minutes. Even according to the MTA’s L train schedule, from Myrtle Ave to First Ave is 15 minutes, but you’re saying you live close to Halsey or Wilson. What gives? What is the usual commute, given the walk to the train, the wait for the train, frequent changes in service, trains often being held before being allowed to proceed, and so on and so forth?

3) You must be neat and clean?

HA HA HA. Before you demand a “neat and clean” roommate, take a look in the mirror. If I had a dollar for every apartment I’ve seen with a grease-covered stove, hair decorating every surface in the bathroom, and dead plants lining the window sills, I’d have close to a month’s rent.
4) Please email for pictures?

Don’t be lame. This process is laborious enough on both ends. Don’t add time-wasting steps. Some of you claim you couldn’t take pictures because the room was still occupied. So? Is it barricaded? The outgoing roomie refused to let you in? Please. My favorite was the post from “two photographers” – THEY had no pics in their ad. Put pics in your ad.

5) You think I don’t know what a subway entrance looks like?

OK, many of you did include pics, but WTF? A pic of the stairs leading down to the train? How does THAT help? If craigslist allows four pics, here’s the deal: the available bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room. Simple. (And not thumbnails, unless they’re clickable.)

6) Rite Aid, Starbucks, Duane Reade, Dunkin Donuts…?

What is with the rundown on local chain stores? When you don’t even describe the basics of the living situation? We’re living in New York. The chains are available almost everywhere. Plus, if you don’t lie about the location of your place (See number 1), we can find out easily enough which stores are nearby. What we CAN’T find out on our own is the following: How many people live in the apartment? What is the size of the available bedroom (not as in “big” or “medium” – but actual measurements)?

7) Is punctuation a big bore? Accurate spelling just for nerds?

OK, so you’re not being graded on your ad by your Freshman Comp instructor. But give the poor reader a break. On a typical day there are hundreds of new posts to slog through. A few well-placed commas and periods can make the process so much smoother. And what is the deal with all the “quite apartments”? Quite what? Quite clean, quite stylish, quite far from the nearest coffee shop? Quite quiet? Please.

Have a great day.

Thanks for all the tips, anonymous.  Hopefully we’ll start seeing some changes to the posts people are leaving on Craigslist!  And it’s nice to know that someone else out there enjoys sarcasm as much as I do.

Did you post a roommate ad that was less than stellar?  Own up and send it to us at!


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