In this article I have written the biggest problems I have found with sharing an apartment with friends of mine, after my two best friends and I decided to all move in together.
Personal Space and Privacy:
Moving in with a friend over a stranger means you will have almost no privacy, friends have a tendency to wan to hang out especially when you door is shut and you just want to be alone, but a stranger will usually respect your privacy by not bothering you unless it is something important. Friends will also assume it is ok to borrow things from you without asking be it food in the fridge or your toe nail clippers from on top of your dresser.
My old roommate would always go into my room to borrow my things no matter how much I asked her not to, and every time I asked she would get insulted because it was her so it should be ok with me.
When living with a roommate you found in the news paper or on the internet, the person will be more considerate to you then a friend may be when it comes to paying the bill. A friend may ask you to pay it and they will pay you back in “just a few days”, but a stranger will not burden you with this. They will make sure they have the money to pay the bills.
One of my friends would always gamble in the casinos and especially the online casinos because it was easier then driving to the nearest land based casino, and sometimes he would spend all his money playing in the poker rooms or the Blackjack or Roulette table, and come the end of the month when the bills were due he would have to ask me to cover him.
Cleaning of the Shared Spaces:
In the past roommates I had found in the news paper always made sure that any space we shared like the kitchen or living room was kept clean. If you cooked something any mess was cleaned from the counter and pots, pans and plates would be put in the sink and were taken care of within 12 hours, but friends may take advantage of the slack you will give to a friend, because they know you would be ok with it.
One friend of mine hated anything being left in the sink for any amount of time and if it was left fore more then an hr or 2 she would complain, so me and my other roommate started cleaning the dishes as soon as we were done with them, only to find that she would leave her dishes sometimes for days and when questioned about it she said that her seeing our dishes bothered her but her dishes did not bother her so it was ok for her to leave them.
Unless your roommate has lots of money and lets face it if they had cash they would not need a roommate, then they will be looking to save money and not want to waste money on electricity, and once you agree on things like using the dryer or air conditioning two roommates who meet online or from an add in the paper will usually respect the rules better then two friends will. Friends will usually bend the rules, like leaving the computer on all day or running the ac all night.
When I have lived with friends I would constantly come home and find my roommates using the dryer even though we agreed only 1 usage a week per roommate, and the worst was how often I would come home to find the AC on in one of the bedrooms and no one is even home. This is a very common way for friends to take advantage of one another.
By the time I eventually moved out of that apartment I was no longer on speaking terms with my former best friends and that is why I recommend that you do not ever move in or allow friends to move in with you.