If you already have a few leads on people looking for shore house roommates, you will want to make sure that you find people that you will make you happy.
I highly suggest after making first contact, set up a meeting. It will be unlikely you will meet the whole group at once but at least get some face time key people.
Ask These Questions:
1. What is the total price of the shore house for the summer?
2. How much will it cost me?
3. How many people are in the shore house? Find out if you are comfortable with that number of people. For some, crowds mean a great party and social life. For others, just a few people allow for good one-on-one and comfort..
4. How many bedrooms are in the shore house? Very important question. Make sure you understand if you'll be 'guaranteed' a bed, or at least space on one, every time you are down. Will you be spending time on the floor at night? Very possible. Some houses have 3 bedrooms and 20 people. Other homes have 5 bedrooms and 5 people. Find out.
5. What does everyone like to do? Another big question. Think about your personality and then think about these potential answers:
"We are all big drinkers, up all night."
"We're pretty quiet. The guys fish and the girls lay out all day."
"We get up real early in the morning."
"We are single and looking to make out"
"All of us are married"
"We don't want people over at all hours"
Make sure you understand what personalities you are getting involved with first.
6. What is the guest policy? Ask if you can have guests come over or not. Often this policy changes as the summer progresses but not always. Some shore roommates don't care how many guests you bring down and how often. Others put restrictions on the amount of times you can have the same person over. Some insist on having guests pay every time they visit. Find this out and then consider what this means to you and those you have relationships with who are not 'in' on the shore house.
7. How long do we have the house for? Can we use it any time we want? Typical shore house summers last the weekend before memorial day to the weekend after labor day but not every house has this policy. Find out.
8. Is there a lease? Especially if you do not know these people, it never hurts to make sure this is all legit. Heck, I've never done this, but it wouldn't hurt to contact the realtor to make sure the lease is real and so are the names of these people.
9. Where is the house? I did a whole article on locations in Sea Isle City for beach house. Regardless of which beach you are staying, be sure to find out where the house is. Location says a lot. Do you want the house to be close to the beach or the bay? Close to the bar? Is the house in a flood zone? Close to town? Close to restaurants? Ask.
10. Pets? Allergies? Do you have any? Do They have any? Important stuff
11. Attitude and expectations. This is related to number 5 above. Think about the qualities you most admire and least admire in a person. Don't think so much about your own personality, rather think about what makes you happy or upset when you meet others. Then find out if any of the 'happy' or 'upset' qualities are rooming in the same house. For example, if you loathe the aggressive in-your-face types, ask if there are any in the house. That sort of thing.
12. Is the house nice? I can only speak for Sea Isle City, New Jersey but I can say that most houses are really nice. Modern appliances, great carpets, spacious rooms, central air conditioning, nice beds, etc. Others beach homes are more worn out. Torn screens, old furniture, dirty carpets, limited or no air conditioning, etc. Get an idea of what the house is like
13. What days do people come down? Some beach homes are only in use during the weekends. People drive down Fri night or Sat morning and then leave on Sunday. Others, especially homes with a lot of teachers, stay during the week or even for the whole summer. Some folks work odd hours and just come during the week. See if this works with your schedule.
The bottom line is be specific about what you want. There will always be surprises, good and bad, when you get involved with a group. Try to eliminate as many bad surprises as possible.
If you are looking to rent a house for the whole summer and want to find good people to split the rent and the summer fun with you, check out these tips as well.