What is coliving?
Coliving is a term that many people may be unfamiliar with; however, it is rapidly growing in popularity due to a number of economic, cultural, and sociological factors.
It is a modern, budget-conscious shared housing space intentionally designed to facilitate socialization and professional collaboration. Typically, individuals live in small communities of less than 100 people in larger cities. Coliving is increasingly popular in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, London, Berlin, and Paris. However, it is gaining a foothold in most major cities across the globe. In fact, coliving spaces are expected to grow by an astonishing 84% in 2021 alone.
The reasons for its popularity are numerous. On one hand, it is an engaging way of attaining community for young professionals. Additionally, coliving spaces tend to be sleek and stylish. However, the major driver is economics. With the cost of living exceedingly high in urban environments and many barriers to home ownership, coliving is distinguishing itself as a great option for young professionals.
Is coliving right for you? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this residential structure.
Affordability is key as rent is the largest monthly expense for most people. This is not surprising as rent has vastly outpaced household income in growth, with rent increasing 64% between 1960 and 2014 while income only increased by 18%. This means many people find themselves priced out of the market, particularly in larger cities.
Coliving provides an affordable option. They look like trendy hostels with the amenities and services of luxury hotels. Unlike hotels and hostels, coliving feels like home. As you enter your bedroom, you’ll notice a cozy queen sized bed, lamp, and nightstand. All of which are designed for maximum comfort and enhanced aesthetic.
The rest of the space is designed for living with community kitchens, entertainment areas, outdoor spaces, and collaboration areas. In fact, many coliving spaces look much nicer than apartments you’ll find for twice the price.
By optimizing space efficiently, coliving is affordable. Coliving spaces tend to be a fraction of the price of a traditional studio. More impressive, this price includes all utilities, high-speed internet, furnished space, and other perks like cleaning services. All of which the traditional renter would have to pay for out of pocket.
A Built-in Community
There are many interesting transitions that occur when you become a young professional. One of the more surprising is finding new friends and a community when moving to a new area. After all, life through college comes with built-in social structures and plenty of opportunities to meet people. When you strike out on your own, life can be surprisingly lonely.
This is one of the most impressive benefits of coliving. Sharing common areas like the kitchen means you will naturally meet many other people. This helps build friendships and interesting networking possibilities. With young professionals living communally, opportunities for innovation and projects abound. You could almost think of coliving as a residence hall for young professionals with many amenities and opportunities to make connections.
Additionally, some coliving spaces take this even further. For example, Starcity operates coliving spaces throughout California as well as a few spaces in Spain. They are one of many coliving providers that host community events. These range from things such as wine nights and yoga classes to hiking outings and day trips. Residents can opt-in to any activity.
Coliving’s flexible arrangements mean you have more control over your life. One of the most frustrating aspects of moving to a new city is the finality of decisions. In coliving spaces you have the opportunity to get a feel for your living situation without feeling tied down.
For instance, if you want to try out a different community or move to a different unit in the same community– there are affordable transfer fees much cheaper than in a traditional setting. Furthermore, there are rates offered under 12 months which gives an added layer of flexibility.
Minimalism and Independence.
There are a number of other benefits to coliving; however, some of the major ones are that it creates a culture of minimalism and independence. Young professionals are increasingly turning to minimalism in order to enhance their lives. This is valid both in terms of sustainability as well as convenience. After all, anyone who has ever moved knows that less is often better. Coliving means you do not need to purchase nearly as much furniture and you can streamline your belongings since the spaces include most things you’ll need.
Additionally, there is added independence. This may seem a surprising takeaway from a living arrangement that focuses on community. However, coliving means you don’t have to worry about splitting rents with others. This means you won’t be impacted should a roommate experience financial problems or decide to move out. You can plan your life without worrying about unexpected complications.
Coliving is rapidly growing, already established in major world cities and gaining a foothold in other urban areas. It provides a number of benefits for young professionals by solving problems related to finances and building community.
Coliving spaces are convenient and affordable, leveraging their efficiency to produce lower rates as well as bundling many services together including utilities. They often come with a built-in ability to connect with others, important for an age where people often report feeling lonely. Many coliving spaces also facilitate opportunities for engagement and interaction.
In other ways, coliving is well suited to the lives of young professionals, who move more often than prior generations. Coliving is designed for flexible leases, minimalist living, and sustainability, things young professionals increasingly value. While coliving is not the ideal choice for everyone, it is no surprise why it is increasing in popularity given these benefits. Perhaps it is the best option for you.