All About Coliving

All About Coliving

Trends are heavily discussed in the fashion and art space, but what about the rental scene? Most people know its most common trend- the astronomical increase in the cost of rent nationwide. 😭

Yet, there's something new hitting the market, and it comes in the form of snazzy coliving apartments! 

The whole appeal of coliving is that it combines community living with simple rental solutions. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg. These apartments have quite a bit to them. 🙌

That's what we're here to discuss today! We're taking a deep dive into renting a coliving apartment. 

What is a coliving apartment?

Coliving apartments are shared living spaces. Your bedroom is your own. However, you share the kitchen, lounging area, bathroom, and workspace with other roommates. 

And if you're thinking to yourself- huh- this seems a lot like living in a regular apartment, you're right! They do seem quite similar on paper. 

Yet, they're really not! The entire gist is that you're paired with roommates that have similar interests to you. The community is more tight-knit (and existent) than in a typical apartment building. 😅 The best part is that rent is lower, but the amenities are better. 

Coliving is a trend that's quickly rising in popularity. In the US, coliving in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York (or any crowded city) are the most in-demand. 

To sum it all up, coliving helps the community just as much as the tenant. The space issue in populated metros gets reduced while residents get to live in a nice home! 

How do coliving spaces work? What's the layout like?

The coliving architecture is quite unique. It's essentially the adult version of dorm rooms- minus the worn twin-sized beds and bad meal plans. 😅

Let's break this down. Most coliving apartments will come with: 

  1. Bedroom: You'll either get your own bedroom or share a room with other people. Single bedrooms are always more expensive. Shared rooms usually have up to 3 people sleeping in them. Despite this, we've seen listings that roomed 8 people in a single room. It all depends on the building and place.
  2. Kitchen: The kitchen is fully equipped with utensils, tools, and appliances. It is shared among the entire household. 
  3. Dining Area: There is typically an eating area, whether that be a dining room, nook, or some tables. 
  4. Co-working Area/ Meeting Room: You'll find that many buildings offer working or meeting areas. So, if you work from home and don't want to stay in your room, you have a dedicated working space!
  5. Living Room/ Leisure Area: This one is pretty straightforward. It's an area for everyone to lounge around and watch TV. 
  6. Activity Rooms This includes movie rooms, games rooms, pool tables, and hanging-out spaces.  
  7. Gyms/ Yoga Studios: Most coliving establishments have gyms, yoga studios, or wellness spaces. 
  8. Outdoor Space, Terrace, or Rooftop Deck: You can find some coliving places that offer terraces with BBQs. Most buildings will have some sort of dedicated outside area. They're usually terraces, but we've seen backyards or rooftop areas. Perfect for those who like to be outside throughout their day.
  9. Parking: Some buildings will offer paid parking spaces. Many other places also have free street parking. 

What do you pay for when coliving?

That's the thing about coliving- you don't have to pay for many things. This type of accommodation embeds all the cost of your bills into the rent price. 

So, if a listing says that the room costs $1,300 per month, you'll be paying that exact price for your stay and utilities. That's a huge bonus (especially for cities with high costs of living). 

Typically, coliving apartments will include these costs into the price: 

  • Electricity
  • Water & Sewage
  • Wifi & High-speed Internet 
  • Air Conditioning
  • Laundry
  • Netflix
  • Cable TV 
  • Gym
  • Billiards/Pool & Games
  • Weekly cleanings (in the common areas and/or bedrooms) 
  • Linens
  • Groceries (not included at every location)
  • Fully furnished rooms 
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • Events, social gatherings, and activities

Keep in mind that not every coliving space will have ALL the items. Yet, many places do offer most of these amenities. 

The graphic down below represents how frequently each amenity is offered in a coliving situation. 

coliving infographic
Coliving pros and cons

Advantages of coliving 

A good way to save money

The cost of renting a room is lower than when renting a traditional apartment. But, it makes sense. You're renting out just a room and then sharing common areas with others. 

Either way, it's still a great way to affordably live in an expensive city (we're talking about you NYC). 😏 

All-inclusive bills

What's better than having someone cover all your bills? Coliving acts like that person for you. You don't have to pay for utilities and amenities when living in this accommodation.

Eliminates the hassle of finding a roommate

Listen- we understand that finding a roommate can be hard. When you co-live, you don't have to! The building finds roommates that are like-minded to you and fit your lifestyle.

Lends way to a sense of community

This type of renting is perfect for fostering connections and building friendships. Also, if you don't enjoy loneliness, coliving is a perfect solution for you. You'll never be alone at home!

Low maintenance housing 

Almost all coliving apartments will offer cleaning services. To add to that, they're also in charge of utilities and any maintenance in the home. 

The best part is that all apartments come completely furnished. You don't have to worry about moving costs or purchasing that $300 mattress. There's virtually no work for you to do in a coliving apartment.

Greater flexibility

Lease agreements are a lot more lenient in coliving spaces. Many don't run background, credit, or criminal checks. Various people even get approved for a room the same day they apply. 

On top of that, you can rent out a room for as little as just a month. Be wary of this bit though. Some places have minimum stay requirements. Make sure to check those before committing to anything.

Disadvantages of coliving 

Less or no privacy

Even if you get your own bedroom, you're still sharing the rest of the apartment with other people. The walls may be thin, or maybe you'll get stuck having breakfast with others when you really want to be alone. Coliving isn't great for those that like their space and privacy.

Mostly available in large cities

Coliving is a unique alternative to renting- when it's available. Since it's an up-and-coming concept, you can only find it in huge metros like NYC and San Francisco. 

You may not get along with your roommates

It's the reality of the matter. You don't get to choose or even meet your roommates before moving in. So, you could very well butt heads with a few people.

You share all common spaces

If you like your pots and pans in a specific spot, maybe coliving isn't for you. 😝 You have to share all the communal areas with others. That means you might not be able to watch a day's worth of Harry Potter marathons on the couch. 

The wifi could be slow 

Coliving accommodations house a lot of people. You will usually have at least 5 other people living with you. Do you know what that means then? Tons of people will be using the wifi at once. 

You may not be able to complete work or tasks properly if the internet gets super slow. If you heavily rely on wifi, make sure to check the speed before moving in. 

Security or safety are not guaranteed

Living with a bunch of people lends more room to potential theft or altercations. You also can't 100% guarantee your safety if you're sharing a room with others. 

You should always check reviews when trying to find a coliving space. Look for recommendations to help you figure out if the establishment is safe and secure.


Coliving apartments are pretty much adult dorm rooms. You can choose to share a bedroom with roommates or have one to yourself. You'll share all other common areas like the living room, kitchen, dining area, work area with your apartment-mates. The thing about coliving is that all your expenses are paid for!

You won't have to dish out an extra $100 at the end of the month to pay for utilities or amenities. Coliving communities also try to pair you with people with similar lifestyles. Their goal is to create a more community-driven and friendly living situation. Coliving apartments are a low-effort housing option. You get lease flexibility, you don't need to find a roommate on your own, and all bills are inclusive. Some cons to be wary of are that you share all the common areas. You also might not gel well with all your roommates, and your security is not 100% guaranteed. 

Looking for more information on renting in the big city? Here at Lighthouse, we offer cash back on rent when you sign a new lease. 

You don't always have to compromise between privacy and money. Our cash back services help you save on rent while you get to enjoy a home you truly love. Check us out here

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