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Writing a Housemate Ad

March 06, 1994|Peter Bennett

Placing an ad in the classified section of the newspaper can be one of your best tools for finding a compatible housemate. Be brief and to the point when composing your ad. To help you master this technique, look at other examples in the paper and stick to the five Ws of journalism: who, what, where, when and why.

Try writing your own ad by briefly answering each of the following questions:

1-- Who am I?

2-- What am I looking for?

3-- Where would I like to live?

4-- When do I want to make the change?

5-- Why am I looking?

Two examples follow:

Los Angeles Raiders fan seeks silver-and-black loyalist to share season and 2BR apartment near coliseum. $300. Imm. available. Bert 213-RAIDERS.

Grad student seeks quiet, private room near university to complete doctoral thesis. Will exchange light house repairs for reduction in rent. Reply to box XYZ.

When Deanna Sclar, author of "Housemates: A Practical Guide to Living With Other People," advertises for people to share her Santa Barbara home, the first word she uses in her ad is quiet. In other words, she wants to screen out "Monday Night Football" fanatics from taking over her living room.

"I want to tell people right off that I'm looking for someone who will view my home as a retreat, or as a quiet place to unwind after work," she said.

One thing she and other advertisers for housemates don't want to tell is their home phone number or address. They recommend using a voice mail or answering service to screen messages.

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