If you have heard about all of the benefits of co-living and are considering whether it is the lifestyle for you, you are in good company. Co-living appeals to individuals from so many walks of life, most notably freelancers and IT professionals and there are several good reasons for it. Co-living is a modern twist on the hippie commune lifestyle which it is modeled after and it provides an answer to the rising cost of living in big cities as well as the isolation that comes with living alone – whether the city is a familiar one or not.
Nowadays, people are looking for personal fulfillment and meaningful relationships in their life which is beginning to take priority over accruing assets (and debt). That being said, cost sharing and saving isn’t the only benefit of the co-living lifestyle. While it is true that you will pay less rent co-living in a house than in your own apartment, these spaces are also focused on building a community that will provide a network of support in many areas of life, both work and play.
The benefits of opting for a co-living house are plentiful, but not all co-living spaces are created equal. You will be spending the majority of your time in your new home, so before you take the leap into the unknown, it is vital that you know exactly what you’re signing up for so that you can choose the co-living space that best suits your needs and makes you happy. The lifestyle comes with a few quirks so be sure that you are ready for the change. Conditions will vary from house to house, so when you are researching a prospective co-living house, here are the 7 C’s you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, you need to establish your monthly budget, and know what is in your price bracket. Your rental fee includes a fully furnished single or double room which may have an en suite, shared kitchen, and living room spaces which are fully furnished with all the basic supplies as well as a few luxuries. The kitchen is always stocked with basic supplies and toiletries are also provided, as well as WiFi, optional cooking, cleaning, and laundry services, and utilities are all included. High-end corporate housing co-living spaces may even include a private kitchenette and entertainment area.
Choosing a co-living about means understanding that you will be sharing a lot of space, time, and things with a few people who you may not necessarily know on a personal level at first. Find out how much private space is your own, and be prepared to respect the space that you share with others. Don’t be messy or inconsiderate, and be willing to respect the rules of the house and everyone’s boundaries. You will be sharing bathrooms and toilets with these people, possible cooking and eating together which means shopping together as well, so it’s wise to look for spaces that are occupied by like-minded individuals. Some vegans may not want to live with, eat with, and share a fridge with meat-eaters for example.
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Co-living spaces are typically centrally located in spots that are accessible via public transport, making getting to and from work a little easier, as well as near shopping and entertainment districts. Bear in mind your distance from work and the route you will need to take to get there when you are choosing accommodation, as no matter how great your home may seem at first, you will soon hate it if it means spending 4 hours underground every day. Taxi fare can also get very expensive so be sure to keep this in mind and factor in commuting when plan your budget and figure out how much rent you can afford.
A major appeal for freelancers and young professionals is the collaborative work environment that co-living spaces provide for creatives and engineers. Many co-living have taken this energy, centralized it, and created co-working spaces alongside co-living spaces. Co-working spaces allow professionals to access shared office supplies, equipment and meeting venues all under the same roof as their co-living house. This model exploits the creative inspiration and flow that comes with collaborative energy, and suits industries which require very long working hours. If you could benefit from the collaborative effect of co-working alongside companions, and productivity costs that are factored into your monthly rent, then find a co-living space which has co-working on offer.
Different co-living co-ops have different features which make them uniquely convenient, so find one which resonates with your particular needs. Entertainment areas are usually provided, complete with a big screen TV and a good WiFi connection, and some even have games rooms or a swimming pool. If you enjoy socializing and seeing the city’s night life, find a place that’s focused on entertainment. Some even plan events and help you get the tickets. If a quieter lifestyle is more for you, then find roommates with similar tendencies. There will be expectations of you to contribute towards cleaning, cooking, and shopping, so be sure to know these expectations and whether are not they work for you.
Co-living spaces are very community focused, built on a culture of a social lifestyle and a team mindset. Participating in group activities strengthens bonds between the residents and helps in keeping cooperation high and conflict levels low. Being a team player and being willing to compromise are a big part of the co-living life, so be sure to find a co-living space which is a community you are ready to immerse yourself into.
A great thing about co-living is that it is a very flexible way of living. Unlike renting an apartment, you don’t have to sign a long-term lease and can choose to stay on a month-to -month basis if you so wish. The monthly rate does get lower if you pay for multiple months up-front, but you are still not obligated to stay put if you are bored or unhappy; many providers have multiple locations and are more than happy to relocate you to an alternative venue, allowing you the chance to experience the city from the perspective of multiple neighborhoods. If commitment is something you are worried about then be sure to find out exactly what the terms of your co-living arrangement are and what notice is required to move, if any.