Jason Cohen Pittsburgh is a cross-field real estate advising group with a niche focus on multi-family housing. As a forum, JCP has considerable collective knowledge on a variety of commercial, residential, and corporate real estate arrangements. Here, founder Jason Cohen considers the benefits and drawbacks of co-living.
Some millennials who work or go to school in high-rent areas are turning to co-living: inhabiting a shared residence with ten to fifteen other people. While some seek out co-living arrangements for greater housing affordability, other opt for shared living to enter a community and network with similarly-minded professionals.
This said, co-living is distinctly different from simply sharing a house. Residents in a co-living space usually pay a membership fee and utilities, rather than just rent. Although arrangements vary, members typically have a private bedroom and enjoy luxuries such as a weekly professional cleaning of shared areas, high-speed internet and other added services.
Supplying residences for people interested in co-living has become a business. Companies such as Open Door, Common and WeLive operate in limited areas of the country.
Advantages of Co-Living
This living arrangement allows for a number of benefits, including but not limited to:
- Newcomers can make friends and get to know the area quickly
- Participants are free of the responsibility and expense of providing furnishings for shared areas
- Housemates are able to share responsibilities for cooking and doing chores such as putting out the trash or recycling
- Dwellers can sign within terms that are more flexible than a long-term lease
While co-living arrangements are dominated by single, recent college graduates and those involved with startups, not all are. Some residents are single parents or couples.
Disadvantages of Co-Living
In some situations, residents might pay more in this arrangement than with a traditional lease. Co-living is not for people who do not like to socialize or share their personal space.
House hunters who prefer not to share meals, kitchens, or other common spaces should avoid co-living. While most roommates are honest, it is possible that people could find that some personal items go missing in common areas. People who care more about security than lease flexibility should opt for an independent lease with a stated, long-term of occupancy.
While some co-living property managers try to match housemates by interests before they move-in, others might not. Therefore, the compatibility among residents might not be ideal.
Every renter needs to consider their own personal circumstances and living needs prior to settling on an independent or co-living arrangement. Do some research, and consider your options before signing any real estate agreements!
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