Co-Living: The Answer to NYC’s Impossible Rental Market

 
If you had to describe what living in NYC is like with one word, my guess is it would be “expensive.”  Real estate market trends seem to exclude NYC as we are always living in a steady increase of prices, whether they be rentals or purchases. Sites like GoHome NY feature real NYC tenants and their real estate experiences in our unique market.
 
For decades, New Yorkers have tried to offset the high cost of living with what I like to call “innovative lifestyle choices,” such as collecting used MetroCards from Manhattan sidewalks and treating themselves to an assorted lunch comprised of 4 different samples of soups from Hale & Hearty.
 
Though renting out your bedroom while you sleep on the couch is a great way to save on rent, others have been moving towards a new solution to the NYC housing problem: shared living, or co-living.
 
 

What is co-living exactly?

If you are unfamiliar with shared living spaces, you may have heard of its older sibling, the co-working space. With the demographics in the workforce shifting to comprise of free-spirited millennials and Gen Z, innovative companies such as WeWork are providing these flexible work spaces to better suit their needs.
 
Renting co-working spaces can be especially appealing to entrepreneurs and startups who don’t want the responsibility of a lease. Cloud-based companies such as eXp Realty can also benefit from these office spaces as they would only need it on occasion. Working in such a transient workplace allows for a fresh perspective and the ability to bounce ideas off others like themselves.
 
Now let’s take this concept and apply it to the housing industry.
 
The basic set-up of a co-living space is a private or shared bedroom with bathroom and access to co-living spaces, such as the kitchen, living room or office. Included in the flat fee are furniture, utilities, cleaning services, house supplies and kitchen essentials. Sites like Common will even provide a washer and dryer at no additional cost.
 
The goal of this shared housing model is to be in close proximity to the city, while still creating a community often lacking in such rural areas.
 
 

Why choose co-living?

Monthly rent for NYC studios can run anywhere from $2100 up to $2900, depending on location and condition. If you want it furnished, add another couple hundred to this price.
 
Though they are called “studios,” most of these apartments should really be listed as “glorified closets,” with their spaces often measuring under 500ft2, and even as little as 275ft2!
Though these spaces are perfect for vertical sleepers or anyone who doesn’t need to stretch out their arms, they’re really unrealistic for the amount of money you’re paying every month. Not to mention additional expenses such as electricity, gas, cable, Wi-Fi, etc.
 
Co-living rentals are available at a fraction of the cost of a traditional studio, ranging from $1150 to $1650 for private rooms and starting as low as $750 for shared bedrooms. For these prices, you get a fully furnished space with utilities and often housekeeping included. And the benefits don’t stop there. Companies such as Tribe even offer a weekly dinner!
 
Who doesn’t like dinner?
 
Another great upside to co-living, like co-working, is simply having a community. In the Age of Information, we spend way more hours staring at a screen than having actual in-person interactions. We are social creatures by nature and it becomes an unsatisfied need that is never fulfilled.
 
At the end of the day, we are all humans craving connections.
 
 

Who is co-living for?

There are many different types of people who would benefit from a co-living situation. Populated metro areas like NYC and San Francisco are favorable specifically for recent college graduates and others entering the workforce.
 
Take a 22-year-old with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing who gets an entry-level position with Twitter, located in the heart of San Francisco. It doesn’t take a genius to know that her starting salary is nowhere near enough to cover the absurd living expenses of that city.
 
Enter co-living spaces.
 
She now has the ability to live in close proximity to her new job, while still affording to buy luxuries such as deodorant. All she has to do is book on the website and show up with some clothes.
 
The provided community that comes with co-living is also advantageous to these young professionals. They would never come home to an empty house, which makes moving to a new city much less daunting and lonely.
 
The possibilities for co-living doesn’t stop there. This model can also prove beneficial for the senior community. There is an often overlooked group of retirees who can no longer afford to live in their houses but are too young and healthy to need assisted living. Given a co-living space, these seniors have the affordability to live alone, yet still have regular interactions with others.
 
Whether you’re young or old, single or married, co-living can be the answer you’re looking for.
 
The shared housing model is gaining more and more popularity with projects in the works for properties in Brooklyn and Queens. Co-living is a huge stride in the right direction as we work to make living in NYC simply “possible.”

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