Many of us will spend at least a small part of our 20s living with a roommate. Whether you find one online, move in with a friend of a friend or move in with your best friend, there are certain qualities you need to observe before signing at least a year of your life—and financial responsibility—away. 

Living with someone is hard work no matter how close you are. The No. 1 thing to remember when committing to a lease is to make sure you're financially compatible with the person you're living with.

"My first roommate was a total diva. Everything was about her—only child syndrome, I guess. I wish I knew she'd stomp around at any and all hours at her liking, regardless of my plans." 

And what do we mean by that? Try to feel out how responsible they are with their money. You'll be splitting rent and utilities at the least with them, so unless you want to be stuck paying more than your fair share, it's a good idea to pay attention to their personal money habits beforehand. And if you're not the best at managing money, it's a good idea to hunker down and get focused before ruining a friendship (or your credit) during the life of a lease.

Okay, now that's out of the way...here's the more interesting stuff. From friends who wish they knew before they chose a roommate:

  • "I wish I got to know my roommate better! Living in temporary housing in New York, my roommate worked nights and I literally never saw her. She seemed really great and I wish I got to know her better. It can be very isolating living alone in the city." — Sarah, 28, New York City

  • "My first roommate was a total diva. Everything was about her—only child syndrome, I guess. I wish I knew she'd stomp around at any and all hours at her liking, regardless of my plans." — Jessica, 24, Columbia, MO

  • "We just weren't financially compatible. It wasn't her fault as much as it was mine, but it's really stressful to be around someone so uptight all the time." — David, 30, St. Louis, MO

  • "He was such a slob to the point where I'd have to dump his dirty dishes on his bed just to do my own. I guess I wasn't the most mature back then but eventually he got the message and moved out." — Rick, 56, St. Louis, MO

  • And last, from me: "I wish I knew how to divy out responsibilities and be more assertive when it comes to asking for utility money. The utilities were mostly in my name and I'm just of the opinion people will want to pay you if you just ask them for the money!"

What do you wish you knew before moving in with a roommate? 

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