The pandemic changed almost every part of our lives. Some of us moved away to a brand new city, started a new job, started looking for more affordable housing, or moved back in with our families. Whatever your situation was, there was more than likely a shift in your life.
Similarly, coliving has also seen a shift. In the post-pandemic housing crisis world, coliving has become an ideal living situation for many young people.
The ability to save money and while feeling supported by like-minded individuals has become more attractive, especially as remote work opportunities make working from home a more common reality.
Not everyone is familiar with the term coliving and even if they are, some may wonder how it is possible in a post-pandemic world. Coliving has survived the pandemic and as a result, it has changed in some very big ways.
Let's begin by diving into what is coliving exactly.
What is Coliving?
First, we’ll need to define what coliving is. Originally popularized in heavily populated places like Hong Kong, coliving is a real estate team that simply means “living with others.”
The term has seen an increase in popularity in the United States in recent years, as housing companies have begun developing modern coliving spaces in large cities as a solution to rising housing costs across the country.
Designed for college students and young professionals, these spaces are typically shared by 4-6 people living together.
Coliving spaces vary from adapted single family homes to apartments to dormitory-style living, but typically each person will have their own private bedroom and an en-suite bathroom, as well as access to shared common space.
So what makes coliving different from a typical roommate living situation, you might ask?
Coliving spaces often come with amenities, such as state-of-the-art gyms, sparkling pools, private parking garages, and on-site coworking spaces, and weekly cleaning services, just to name a few. But what really sets coliving apart from traditional living situations is the community.
Coliving spaces are designed to be inhabited by like-minded people, so residents will automatically have a built-in support system and friend group. Most communal spaces offer roommate matching services that select tenets based on a series of criteria, including important factors such as daily habits, cleanliness levels, and general interests
In more traditional living situations, conflicts may arise due to incompatibility in these areas – just because you are friends with someone, doesn’t mean you will be compatible living partners.
Coliving helps to avoid potential conflicts between tenets by pairing together individuals with similar lifestyles and values.
Each individual also signs their own lease agreement, negating arguments overpaying for rent or utility bills. This also eliminates any financial liability for people living together, as each person is only responsible for paying their own share of the bill each month.
This also makes things easier when an individual decides to move out before their lease is up, as the coliving community will automatically fill that space with a compatible replacement. (So no more searching for roommates on Craigslist or Facebook!)
Day-to-day, this living arrangement offers the option for daily social interaction, while also giving people the ability to be alone whenever they desire. Alone time can be valuable when you need to get work done or relax after a long day of socializing.
Residents can choose to interact with their roommates in the shared common areas, cooking a meal together in the kitchen or enjoying a game night in the common area, or they can retreat to their own bedrooms when they need some peace and quiet.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, coliving really offers the best of both worlds.
In addition to their roommates, coliving residents will also have the opportunity to connect with the other residents of the community. Many coliving communities will host regular communal events like movie nights, where tenants are encouraged to attend and mingle with other members.
Residents can also choose to interact with one another in the shared community spaces, like the pool or the gym.
Many people form lifelong friendships, meet potential romantic partners, or even network with other professionals with similar career paths.
As previously mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of coliving is the financial value. Living together with one or more roommates has always been the most economical living option, but coliving takes housing affordability to a whole new level.
First, coliving offers flexible leases, which is paramount to young people living in a constantly changing world.
Many saw their lives upended by the pandemic last year, so having flexibility in their living situation is important to them. Coliving gives young adults the freedom to explore their options without a long-term commitment.
Another aspect of economical housing that is unique to coliving is the included amenities and utilities. More traditional housing options are lacking in both of these areas.
A single family home may not provide any amenities, while an apartment rental will require you to set up and pay for each of your individual utilities, including electricity, water, and internet.
In coliving communities, both amenities and utilities are included in the monthly rent, so tenants don’t have to worry about setting up utility accounts or paying expensive deposits.
These factors also make it possible for young adults to live in luxury communities that they would not otherwise be able to afford, particularly in larger cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.
And perhaps one of the biggest conveniences of coliving is that most shared housing spaces come fully furnished. The common spaces are outfitted with modern and functional furniture pieces, including a dining table, a couch and a coffee table.
In the bedroom, you’ll find a full size bed frame and mattress, as well as a dresser to store your clothes. This creates a turnkey housing solution that not only cuts costs on furniture, but also on moving expenses!
Cohousing tenants can simply carry in their boxes of clothing, decor, and other necessities, instead of hiring costly movers to navigate bulky couches and heavy wooden furniture up narrow stairwells.
In addition, it also eliminates potential roommate disputes over furniture, making it easier to live together with a group of new people.
Of course, residents can still choose to personalize their spaces with renter-friendly decor like removable wallpaper to make themselves feel at home!
In order to make coliving safer and more accessible to everyone, there have been some necessary changes and priority shifts within the industry post-pandemic. First, many shared housing communities have made PPE available to residents upon move-in, and units are always professionally deep cleaned in between residents.
Weekly cleaning services are also included in the cost of rent, in an effort to ensure ongoing cleaning and sanitation. While providing clean and safe living spaces has always been a priority for the community, a renewed effort has been made to make sure that the most stringent health and safety protocols are being followed.
Additionally, the industry has placed a larger emphasis on ensuring that private space is available for all tenets, which is already a major key to making a coliving arrangement work.
In a post-pandemic world, record-high housing costs paired with crippling student loan debt and economic instability have led to a significant increase in American adults living with roommates. And more often than not these days, bedrooms have to double as home offices and gyms, in addition to being a sanctuary to relax and recharge.
So it’s important for younger adults with burgeoning careers and vibrant social lives to have comfortable, multi-functional living spaces that meet their many needs.
Not only that, but in a post-pandemic world with a heightened sensitivity towards hygiene, a private bathroom is quickly becoming another non-negotiable in coliving properties.
It’s no wonder that coliving has risen in popularity after the pandemic. It offers both the flexibility and affordability that younger people are looking for in their living situations, with a built-in sense of community.
Plus, it mitigates the struggle of finding responsible roommates to live with, as well as the costly expense of furnishing an entire space from scratch.
These days, coliving really is the most budget-friendly and stress-free living option available, giving young adults the ability to save money while living with like-minded individuals in luxury housing options.
As we look towards the future, coliving looks to be a large part of it. Factors like rising housing costs and economic uncertainty make alternative housing options more attractive to people living in large, highly populated cities, and turnkey housing solutions will likely be more sought after than ever.
Coliving Company: Tripalink
If you’re interested in exploring shared housing opportunities, Tripalink offers a variety of coliving communities in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Irvine, Seattle, Tucson, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Their properties range from traditional apartments to single-family homes, each with the unique benefits of co-living communities.
Tripalink offers tenants the option to have a weekly cleaning service so the cleaning can be done and out of the way with ease. Shared housing with Tripalink is the best option no matter what new city you're in. They are dedicated to keeping coliving economical, fun, and inclusive.
All of their property managers are there to help you find a property and private room that feels comfortable to you. Find your new home today with Tripalink.