Why coliving is the future of urban housing

By Charlotte Deprez Published 22/05/2017

Coliving has seen a tremendous growth in the past two years, mainly in the US. But what is it? Is it just a fancy way to say “flat sharing”? What are the key benefits of co-living and why is this trend here to stay?

It all started with coworking spaces. While coworking is now recognized as a great option for freelancers and entrepreneurs tired of working from the closest Starbucks, co-living is taking the “co-” a step further by bringing entrepreneurs, digital nomads and expats all together.

The principle is simple: each resident has their own private space, with a bedroom and sometimes a bathroom, but the house or building features shared spaces to facilitate the social link, and possibly the professional activity! So, what are the advantages of this new way of life?

1. The privacy, without the loneliness

The biggest paradox of our era is that we’ve never had so many ways and technologies to connect with each other, but somehow we feel more isolated than ever. Coliving is a response to that feeling of loneliness, allowing people to meet and share new experiences on a daily basis, at home. On the other hand, the co-living spaces are specifically thought to allow members to regain their privacy whenever they wish.

2. Flexibility and peace of mind

As a young professional, you don’t want to live in hotel rooms, nor stay for 3 years in the same place. Unfortunately, a lot of landlords ask for long term commitments. Coliving is all about flexibility, whether it’s for 3 months or 3 years, we got you covered. Most of the time, the room comes fully furnished with high speed internet, weekly cleaning, shared supplies & all utilities included.

On top of that, co-living spaces often offer additional services such as grocery shopping, laundry & dry cleaning, … Whatever, lets you do more of what you love! You just come as your are, and leave when you want.

3. The comfort of a home, away from home

Coliving is about creating strong human connections, and that can only be achieved if all the members of the community feel comfortable and at home. This is why co-living spaces usually pay extra attention to the design of the house and the comfort of the rooms. At Cohabs, that’s a priority; we even work with Lionel Jadot, one of the most talented architect and designer in Belgium!

4. Social and professional facilitator

When you arrive in a new city, you usually don’t know a lot of people and it can be hard on both a social and professional level. This applies even more when you’re a digital nomad or traveling around the world: you won’t have a lot of ways to connect with interesting people in the real life. Coliving aims at connecting people socially, and professionally. For example, Cohabs houses set up monthly events with all our members such as a movie night, a wine tasting or a giant barbecue.

5. Value for money

Flatsharing is a great way to save money, but the value isn’t always there: neglecting landlord, bad insulation, no clear living together rules, small room, … The list of what can go wrong is long. Most co-living companies make it all easier: with a dedicated House Manager and a lot of automated process, every little hiccup is rectified asap. Most of the time, coliving houses also offer a wide range of free perks such as a sonos system or a Netflix account. So, for a rent in the average, you get top-notch services. What else?

About the author Hello there! I'm Charlotte, a 20-something based in beautiful Brussels and passionate about traveling, food and photography. Follow me on www.thetinynomad.com.