It’s no secret that the cost of living is rapidly rising in many cities and metro areas around the world. And as young people look for affordable ways to explore new cities and meet new people, coliving is becoming an increasingly popular option in cities like NYC, Los Angeles, Paris, and Berlin.
What is Coliving?
Coliving is a modern form of shared housing that’s popular among RV and nomadic lifestyle communities. Essentially, residents live in a communal space that’s often pre-furnished and shared with a number of other individuals. Coliving communities are most popular for individuals in the 18-35 age range, and common forms of these shared spaces can accommodate anywhere from 15-100 individuals at a time.
According to coliving.com, a few of the top cities for coliving are San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY. Coliving is most common among expats, young professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, artists, interns, students, nomads, and remote workers. However, anyone who is excited by the prospect of a more flexible lifestyle can benefit from living in a coliving community.
Did you know: The concept of coliving has existed for centuries! While this idea of shared housing isn’t anything new, the trend is more popular now than ever before for a number of reasons.
Some people look to coliving because living costs have made it difficult to afford their own place. High-trending real estate markets and increased apartment rental rates around the world are leading an uptick in coliving for affordability with both natives and newcomers.
On the other hand, individuals may look to coliving because they’re seeking a sense of community. Coliving communities are typically fully-furnished and intentionally designed to foster a connection-oriented environment for individuals to interact.
Is Coliving Safe?
In general, coliving can be a very safe form of shared housing. Coliving communities are typically managed and serviced by an individual, a group of people, or a third-party company, which provides an added layer of protection. Technology has allowed coliving spaces to be integrated with special features like safety cameras to protect residents.
Is Coliving Only for Young People?
While the concept is more popular among millennials and gen Zers, there is no age requirement or restriction for coliving communities.
In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some single moms banded together when they were secluded in their homes to create a coliving community of their own. Some had recently lost their jobs, and as housing costs continued to increase, living in separate apartments was too expensive for many families during this time.
Instead of struggling separately, these moms decided to come together and rely on each other. They rented a multi-unit home for themselves and their kids, creating their own little coliving family.
What Are the Benefits of Coliving?
You may be wondering: What other benefits come with residing in a coliving community? Here are just a few crucial factors that individuals may consider:
As previously mentioned, coliving is a great way to save money. Whether you’re saving for a house, or looking to travel more, living in this type of community offers an affordable housing option no matter what your unique situation is. Sure, living with roommates will always be a top option when it comes to saving money. But with coliving communities, you can save on furniture costs, house supplies, security deposits, and utility costs— all while gaining a built-in community.
Many co-living options are plug-and-play. Coliving usually provides fully furnished apartments/homes with utilities, cleaning services, and more. All you have to do is move in! This is especially helpful if you’re moving to a new city for the first time and don’t have the budget for new furniture and other big purchases.
Related: The Ultimate Moving out of State Checklist
3. Built-In Community
What’s great about coliving communities? They come with built-in friends and family. If you want to branch out, meet new people, and learn about cultures that differ from your own, you’ve come to the right place. Coliving is also the perfect solution to the increasing feelings of loneliness amongst millennials. Movie nights, family meals, and daily hangs are very common in these communities. But don’t worry: You’ll still have your own bedroom whenever you need some quiet personal time.
4. Decreased Liability
When you live with roommates and share a lease, there can be a lot of added stress. For example, you may not get along well, or they may be unreliable when it comes time to pay their portion of the monthly rent. Coliving offers individual room leases and keeps everything separate regarding expenses, so you only have to worry about yourself.
One of the best benefits of coliving is the increased flexibility it provides. You can often find short-term coliving agreements that range from three months to as long as a year. It’s the perfect solution for exploring new places and living in different cities around the world if you enjoy traveling. When your term is up, you’re not compromising your housemates’ living situation. Simply pack up and move on to the next place!
Related: 10 Travel Tips to Save Money, Time, and Hassle
Are There Different Types of Coliving Communities?
Coliving doesn’t necessarily mean small housing or non-luxury living. Various forms of coliving depend on location, resident needs, and more. Some of the more trendy options include:
1. Traditional Shared Housing
One of the most common forms of coliving follows a traditional shared housing model This is when a group of people share a lease or sublease from the property owner and live together in one residential home.
Cooperative housing can accommodate up to 100 residents at a time, and is typically democratically governed. In co-op communities, the residents work shifts to share home responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and maintenance.
Co-housing is making a comeback in recent years with multiple generations living under one roof. Having been around for ages in certain cultures, there is often a common house with a shared green space and organized events.
Communes are a popular co-living option in rural areas. These communities are usually self-sufficient and share similar political or spiritual beliefs. For instance, you may have a commune that consists of a group of religious people who come together to live in one area of town.
Bungalows are one of the more common up-and-coming coliving options. These communities are smaller-scale in nature— think single-family homes and condos. Coliving bungalows like these are converted to accommodate up to 5 people with separate rooms and shared common spaces. Additional perks and amenities include monthly cleaning, WiFi, pool/gym access, and more.
Is Coliving a Good Idea for You?
When it comes down to it, coliving is not for everyone. Even though we all thrive with some degree of community involvement, this housing arrangement requires the ability to understand and get along with others in relatively close quarters.
If you’re on the fence, it’s important to remember that there’s a wide range of communities to choose from. Some are more laid back, while others are more luxurious. It’s up to you to decide what’s right for you and your unique situation.
Whether you’re planning a move to a new city, considering trying out the digital nomad lifestyle, or just want to take a year off and travel, coliving could be the perfect option for you. Check out Coliving.com for more information.