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The emerging and growing trend of co-living

With the passing of time and the development of technology, people’s demand for self-space is gradually increasing.

Although often mentioned recently as an emerging trend, the word “co-living” is not a recently developing term. According to Wikipedia, being a modern concept, the real origin of “co-living” can be traced back to the 19th and 20th centuries. During the economic crisis in the last century, low-rent housing had been an important form of living.

Historically, at the beginning of the development of human civilization, human beings also experienced a long period of the co-living era, which can be traced back thousands of years ago. Back then, resources were scarce and productivity levels were not as high as now, and people who were not related by blood would live together in order to ward off danger and keep themselves safe. This may be the origin of “co-living”. With the passing of time and the development of technology, people's demand for self-space is gradually increasing. The phenomenon of co-living is gradually decreasing.

Seems like “co-living” has already become something that belongs in the past. But now “co-living” is emerging and growing again. CBRE once did a survey and it showed that at the end of 2019, there already were 150 modern co-living communities in the US with roughly 5,000 beds at least. How does that happen?

Why co-living
In fact, different from the ancient form, now “co-living” is growing in a contemporary way. The reasons are various in the complex situation of the modern world. The increasing rate of urbanization, rising house prices, and houses becoming much more unaffordable than before, the increasing rates of disabilities, the preference for different lifestyles, and the changing thoughts in human minds. As Natalie Warb, the financial expert of CouponBirds, concluded from her research, there is a reduction in the pursuit of material desires and chasing more comfortable living experiences with less spending. 

Co-living nowadays is more systematic and normative than before. When a group of people with no blood bonds choose to live together in a communal setting, “co-living spaces” are available now. Like gyms, restaurants, cafes, and stores, now there are dedicated spaces for co-living needs with matching equipment, like water, electricity, heating supplies, fast wifi, some furniture, and simple decorations. The conditions of co-living spaces can be various, for some of them will provide more equipment at a higher cost, and less with lower spending. Some co-living spaces will hire assigned cleaners to help you clean and organize your space regularly, and some spaces will ask you to do the cleaning by yourself. Most co-living spaces provide rent options, with flexible and short-term regulations.

Why is co-living becoming so popular these days? The rising housing cost is an important factor. According to the data from the US Census, the number of young adults aged 18-34 living alone fell by 10.3% from 2005 to 2015. The economic downturns led to secondary crises in supplies, wages, and housing, and they all made it harder for young people to buy their own houses. 

Co-living can also create support in an emotional way. Most of the millennials and Gen Zs are huge fans of co-living, as it can not only greatly save the cost of living, but help build a friendly bond with strangers and better fit into a community. As young people nowadays tend to choose work that is more flexible and less hidebound, like the digital nomads, some specific researchers, developers, travelers, and experiencers, co-living is especially great for them because it creates a less stressful and more creative lifestyle. A blogger who writes a blog about traveling once said, “The sense of community and the connection between humans make co-living even more wonderful, and you can always find different surprises every time you try to live with a bunch of people together!” What’s more, Maya Geller, a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper, shares her experience: “Community, sharing, learning and just generally living together with other people, as a family, has become the real point of co-living hostels.”

Choose your own co-living
If you are also interested in this kind of lifestyle, it is very important to choose your own co-living space. Since there are a lot of co-living spaces emerging, their quality can vary wildly sometimes. Think about what kind of space is most suitable for you and make full preparations for it, you can also take the following as a reference: 

  1. The number of equipment and facilities they are providing, for this determines the convenience and cost of your stay later on.
  2. The residents that are going to live with you, remember that the number and the specific information about them are both important.
  3. How long is the rent and how much will you pay for the other fees? Keep these questions in your mind, and they will help you reduce all the potential individual costs.

Though co-living is becoming more and more popular and there are many good parts of it, it also has many things that may become potential threats to your safety or make you cost more if you are careless about it. Always remember to keep a cool mind when making any decisions, and if you have made up your mind, choose the best one and have your best co-living life!

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