Whether it was in your parents’ home at ten years old with your younger brother or in the college dorms at twenty years old with your best friend, almost all of us have experienced living with a roommate at one point or another in our lives. According to data collected from Pew Research Center, nearly 79 million adults (31.9% of the adult population in the United States) lived in a shared household.
There is no doubt that living with a roommate has always been one of the easiest and most basic ways to cut the costs of living. However, the price of housing is continuously increasing, especially in big cities like San Francisco. This is where co-living comes in as it strives to combat high rent prices and provide a solution to the increasing demand for affordable housing.
What is co-living?
Think of it as adult college dorms, but significantly better. Co-living is a type of intentional community that provides housing by matching people with roommates and moving them into two- to three-bedroom apartments where they share areas within the kitchen and lounge space for example. As the co-living trend begins to pop up and expand all over the country, it should be known that this type of housing allows for people to not only live together but to work together and build a strong and meaningful bond together as well.
Of course, this idea of co-living isn’t completely new. For a long time, Single-Room Occupancy hotels were a big part of San Francisco’s history. It was common for individuals and families to live in these hotels where there were private rooms and a shared dining hall. These homes provided people with a cheaper way to live with the added bonus of a sense of unity and solidarity within a community, and co-living is attempting to do the same in the present day.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Co-living
- Room is ready to be moved in. No need to search for an apartment! Co-living spaces always have rooms ready to be moved into, so you don’t have to stress.
- Included amenities. Many co-living spaces come with extra perks like an in-unit washer and dryer as well as a building fitness center at no extra cost.
- Unfamiliar faces. If you’re an introverted personality, moving into a co-living space may pose a challenge for you. Rest assured, you will find your people as the community is filled with all sorts of individuals.
- Smaller space. Because co-living spaces are typically located in big cities, apartments already tend to have a smaller square footage. Despite this, being able to live in such spaces allows for the exposure to what the city itself has to offer.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Traditional Roommates
- Save money on shared bills. Paying utilities on top of rent can definitely be a pain, but being able to split the bills among multiple people can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.
- Live with your friends or people you know. If you know someone or have a group of friends searching for a place to live, you may feel more comfortable choosing to live with them over a couple of strangers.
- Having to find roommate. On the other hand, if you don’t know someone looking for an apartment like yourself, searching for a roommate can be difficult.
- Credit risk. If just one roommate fails to pay their rent on time, everyone suffers. Everybody either has to scramble to chip in the correct amount to cover that person so you can get the check to your property manager on time, or you have to pay a late fee and no one wants that.
So how does co-living ultimately compare to the traditional roommate experience?
At the forefront, companies like HomeShare make your co-living experience as easy and convenient as it can be. We do the most so you can do the least.
First and foremost, you don’t have to go through the painful struggle of trying to find the best roommate you can. Through just a few questions and complex algorithms, we match you with an individual with similar interests and aligned move-in dates.
On top of that, you don’t have to be constantly breathing down your roommates’ necks when it comes time to pay the bills. If your roommate forgets to pay their rent, you will not be penalized! You are only responsible for your portion of the lease. That goes on in the case that your roommate must completely leave the lease as well; HomeShare will cover the cost until a replacement roommate can be found.
Yes, you have to share the kitchen and living space, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have something of your own. With HomeShare, you still get a complete room to yourself. There’s no splitting the floors and closet down the middle. You still have an entire space to yourself — a space that you can make your own for that matter.
Living in a co-living apartment not only introduces you to one or two new friends that you’d be living with but an entire community of people. Through co-living, you are able to reap the financial benefits as well as the social benefits of having roommates. You’ll be in a space among people from different backgrounds and walks of life. You’ll be able to meet and live with entrepreneurs, engineers, artists and more. Such diversity allows for the perfect opportunity to network and make friends, especially when you are trying to adjust to your new home.
Co-living companies, like HomeShare, are driven to make an impact on the current rental market. It’s not solely a millennial trend. It’s the bearer of options to those looking to leave their parents’ homes, those looking to leave their children’s homes, those looking to move far away, and those looking to move closeby. Co-living is the opportunity for all people to live and thrive together within a single roof.