As more and more millennials flock to big cities, rents are only going one way; up. But if you think that all of them are content with living in shoe box-sized apartments with crumbling facilities, you’d be wrong. A new kind of accommodation is changing the way people live in cities. It’s called co-living, and it promises to revolutionize city living in much the same way that co-working spaces did for free-spirited freelancers and entrepreneurs .
What is co-living?
In many ways co-living is old-school communal living on steroids, and updated for the 21st century. But instead of the Utopian hippie ideal of living communally with like-minded people, and pooling resources and labor, it has a decidedly more capitalist and pragmatic bent.
The main problem it addresses is the cost of living. Co-living spaces are generally located within easy reach of city centers, where scarcity and gentrification are driving up rental prices. They tend to be modern, neat, and very-well equipped. Here’s what you typically get:
- A fairly small furnished room, with either an en-suite or shared bathroom.
- A very well-equipped and spacious shared kitchen.
- Shared communal areas, with things like big-screen TVs in the lounge, and a place to have a barbecue.
- Free unlimited Wi-Fi.
- Things like toilet paper, soap, salt, pepper, and milk included.
- Weekly cleaning included.
A second issue it addresses, which you may have guessed already, is a sense of community. In a co-living space, you have many people around you to interact on a daily basis. This is a big plus for many people who would otherwise feel very lonely and isolated when they move to the big city.
So why is it good for millennials?
As a millennial, you would know all too well by now that your parents’ or grandparents’ generations bought up all the cheap property, leaving you with no chance in hell to buy a house in your 20s. Or perhaps ever. Also, young people nowadays settling down later, and are more likely to pursue a career and travel while they’re young.
Millennials typically live more for experiences than for things, and tend to have fewer material possessions. And that’s the big appeal of co-living in a house. You can move into a space with all the creature comforts you need, without being weighed down by the burden of ownership. This allows you the financial freedom to either save up for buying your own property one day, or to spend your money on enjoying life.
You also get to meet people in the process. Some of them you may even like enough to hang out with. That’s a good thing, since it teaches you the value of social interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. However, this isn’t forced on you. If you’d prefer to retreat into your own space, you’re free to do so. There’s much less collectivism involved than you might think. No one’s going to force you to give up bacon and only eat organic kale and Brussels sprouts.