He now owns a home in White Marsh, Md., now but still rents out a room.His strategy for finding a boarder is a cross between a job interview and a happy-hour conversation.
A British company called Spare Room holds 10 "Speed Flatmating" gatherings in London bars every month.
Live Baltimore Home Center, a nonprofit that encourages people to live in the city, held its speed-roommating event after getting requests from newcomers and apartment managers to act as a matchmaker.
"You're living with the person -- you want to make sure that you gel," said Anna Custer, Live Baltimore's executive director.
Mark Nowowiejski found four roommates in the past five years through Craigslist, the free classified-ad site, and that's worked for him.
Reporting from Baltimore — Fiona Kramer, looking fashionable in a little black dress, sized up her possible matches and told them why they ought to see themselves with her in the near future: two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, cute yard. A good roommate can be hard to find, and that's the reason Kramer and a dozen others were chatting this month at a "speed roommating" event.
It's like speed dating, except the point isn't romance.
"It's smart to help split the expenses," said Kramer, who lives in Baltimore's Washington Hill neighborhood. metro areas found that the number of households fell by 1.2 million between 20 even as population rose. "We're busier than ever," said Susie Stein, owner of Roommate Finders, a Florida-based firm that matches roommates across the country.
"Why not meet somebody and see if it's worth doing? " Lots of people are looking to double up -- or triple or quadruple up -- these days. Face-to-face events, meanwhile, are popping up across the world.
"They're wonderful, I love them, but they never clean the house," Cristina Munk, 23, said of her current roommates -- who happen to be her friends.
Munk was visiting from New York, talking with potential roommates in case she pursues a master's degree at the Johns Hopkins University in the fall.
Steven Gondol, who organized the Live Baltimore event, shepherded participants into facing chairs and gave them a list of possible questions, such as "Do you like pets? " After five minutes, Gondol rang a cowbell and people swapped seats.