We all wish that we could afford to rent a luxury penthouse and have all that space to ourselves, but let’s face it. Rental doesn’t come cheap, and for most people, apartment sharing with a housemate makes more sense, rather than handing over 30 to 50 per cent of your monthly income each time you’re due to pay your rent.
The dilemma then arises: should you share an apartment with your friends, or should you live with strangers? In this article, we explore the pros and cons of each option so that you can make the best decision for yourself!
Apartment sharing with friends: the pros
It’s always less stressful moving in with a friend – at least you know that you both enjoy each other’s company, and you can probably trust him or her enough to not have to lock up your valuables every time you leave your room.
That’s not all – by living with a friend, you typically also get the added benefit of having a support system. If you’re sick and can’t muster up the energy to crawl out of bed to cook instant noodles, you can always text your friend and beg them to buy some porridge for you on their way home. If you’re living with a complete stranger, though, that option might not be on the table.
Apartment sharing with friends: the cons
Just because you always have tons of fun with a specific friend, it doesn’t mean that he or she is the best candidate when you’re looking for a housemate. We’ve heard plenty of horror stories about people moving in with their best friends, then realising they’re housemates from hell (they play loud music till wee hours of the morning, never clean up after themselves, eat all your food, etc).
In addition, if you’re moving in with a friend who has a significant other, you might just get an “unofficial” third housemate. In the scenario that this does happen, it’s much easier to draw the line if you’re sharing the apartment with a stranger. If it’s a friend that you’re dealing with, it’s a much more iffy situation; it’s hard to just tell them point-blank that the presence of their significant other isn’t appreciated.
Apartment sharing with strangers: the pros
If you’re looking for a housemate who’s not someone you already know, chances are that you’ll be much more detailed during the screening process. You’ll probably discuss your expectations and lay the ground rules when it comes to cleanliness, food and guests – so it’s less likely that you’ll encounter any major issues or problems further down the road.
Also, in the event that you don’t see eye to eye on things, it’s a lot easier to come straight to the point and hash things out. Whilst you’ll still want to be cordial and not overly confrontational, there’s less pressure to tread carefully so that you don’t ruin a friendship that’s been built up over many years.
Apartment sharing with strangers: the cons
Your living arrangement might initially feel like a long drawn out blind date. No matter how outgoing or friendly you are, there’s bound to be a little uncertainty and awkwardness at the very beginning. Maybe you want to ask them to hang out, but you’re not sure if you’re intruding too much on their personal space. Maybe they’ve made dinner and offered you some, but you don’t know how to tell them politely that you hate lasagna, and that the smell of it makes you want to gag. It’ll take time to learn each other’s patterns and quirks!
The million dollar question: friends or strangers?
Regardless of whether you choose to share an apartment with friends or strangers, there are certain key rules that you can follow to make your experience a good one.
If you’re living with a friend, make your choice of housemate based on whether your friend is respectful, communicates well, and is an independent adult – don’t take into account superficial things such as whether your friend can make a great cocktail. Also, always make sure you’re on the same page as your potential housemate (be it friend or stranger) by having honest conversations and setting expectations before you move in.
Last but not least, everyone makes mistakes – if you’re the one in the wrong, man up and apologise instead of trying to shirk responsibility; if your housemate is the one at fault, don’t carry a grudge – live and let live once he or she has apologised.
Find the rental home of your dreams today at Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co!