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Questions to ask a roommate before you agree to move in together

No matter your age, living with another person can be tough.

There are written and unwritten rules to living with a roommate and regardless of how well you may know them, you could still find yourself in an unbearable living situation.

amNewYork spoke with Kelci Lynn Lucier, a Harvard graduate with 10 years of experience working with colleges and author of "College Stress Solutions," about the best questions to ask a potential roommate -- whether you're in school or not.

Save yourself a heap of trouble and consider these questions the next time you're in the market for a new roomie.

How often do you clean?

Cleaning, and how often it's done, can be
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Cleaning, and how often it's done, can be one of the most common issues that roommates argue about. Whether you're a clean freak who washes a dish immediately after use or someone who prefers to let your dishes soak for a few days, finding out if your potential roommate cares about cleaning on the same level as you do can help avoid major issues down the line. And as Lucier points out: "One important thing to remember, too, is that cleanliness and neatness are separate but important things to discuss." Follow-up question: What is your least favorite household chore?

What do you like to do on the weekends?

Whether you actually care about how this person
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Whether you actually care about how this person spends their time or not is irrelevant. "You and your roommate don't necessarily need to do things together on the weekends -- but you do need to do things that are in sync," Lucier says. Knowing if your potential roommate likes to host parties or is a couch potato who will never leave the house -- providing very little alone time -- can have an important impact on your decision to live together. Follow-up question: Do you have any hobbies?

What are your hours at work?

The answer to this question can offer insight
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The answer to this question can offer insight on many levels, including finances, scheduling and travel. For finances, this provides the opportunity to discuss whether your potential roommate can afford to pay their share of rent. And while living with a roommate on an opposite work schedule than you can almost seem like you live by yourself for half the rent, it can also make communication difficult as well as present problems with noise levels at certain hours of the day. "Additionally, it's important to know if your potential [roommate] plans to work from home," Lucier says.

How late do you stay up usually?

As Lucier explains:
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As Lucier explains: "It's not just staying up late; it's also what a potential roommate does while staying up late." No one wants to listen to their roommate blasting the latest episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" at midnight when they have to be up at 5 a.m. for work. Follow-up question: What do you like to do in the evenings?

Do you smoke?

Whether you're a smoker or a non-smoker, this
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Whether you're a smoker or a non-smoker, this is a deal breaker for many and should be asked about before move-in day to avoid any potential problems, according to Lucier. If you're a non-smoker who won't live with a smoker, then this should be at the top of your list when talking to a new potential roommate.

Do you have any pets?

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"This is important both for you, especially if you don't like animals or have allergies, as well as for your landlord," Lucier says. You don't want to put yourself in a position where you're hiding your roommate's dog or cat when the landlord is around. Follow-up question: Are you considering getting any?

Do you have a significant other?

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is not a
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Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is not a crime, nor should it be grounds to dismiss a potential roommate. But no one wants a third roommate -- who isn't paying rent -- stealing the remote every night. "Even if you move in with a single person, they could meet someone special a short time later," Lucier adds. "Having parameters at least discussed in advance can greatly help to avoid any awkward or frustrating situations." Follow-up question: How often do you expect to have him/her stay over?

What are your views on sharing food?

Avoid passive aggressive notes on food items in
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Avoid passive aggressive notes on food items in your fridge by talking about this aspect of living together before you move in. "Miscommunicating about food can turn into larger frustrations around money and space; if your roommate always eats what you buy, there's a lot more going on," Lucier says.

How long do you plan to stay?

Whether it's six months or three years, how
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Whether it's six months or three years, how long a potential roommate plans to stay in your apartment impacts your life as much as it does theirs. This can be especially important from a lease perspective.

Anything else I should know?

Give your potential roommate the opportunity to explain
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Give your potential roommate the opportunity to explain more about themselves without the pressure of feeling like they may or may not be answering a question the right way. "It's hard to know what you don't know," Lucier adds. "Ask what you need to know now so that you'll know what's coming later."

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