Since this is a roommate situation and not just renting out an apartment, I’d at bare minimum talk with the person on the phone prior.
When I broke up with my ex last year I thought about going the roommate route. I met with a woman who owned a house and we met over lunch at a neutral restaurant. It let us get to know each other better and see if we’d actually be compatible living together. (We would have been, except when I went to see the place, I turned out to be allergic to her birds-and I’m frankly glad I live alone now).
That did seem to make sense to me though. Getting to know someone before inviting them to your sanctuary. And not to get all hippy-dippy about it, but when I go home, I want to relax and unwind and not always be on “my best behavior”. So, for the roomie thing to work, there must be compatibility.
I have a friend who had a string of roommates until he did one smart thing, he lowered the rent. When he did that, he had a larger pool of candidates to choose from and has actually had the same roommate for over 4.5 years now. (Of course, one example doesn’t make it true, but he swears by it.)
I’d highly recommend having a friend/family member there when the potential roommate comes over too.