Living with other people has always been integral to American culture. Young people sharing apartments or houses when they attend college has been going on for decades.
However, in the past few years, co-living apartments are no longer seen as being only for college students or people completing their PhDs. Students still take advantage of such living arrangements, but many other professionals and workers are joining them.
Below is our rundown of how people choose to live in major American cities in 2023 and why this sudden popularity of co-living may be here to stay.
Sharing apartments and houses
The most significant advantage to sharing co living apartments and houses is financial. Someone in college, entering the workforce, or forced to take lower-paying jobs may not have the means to rent an entire apartment in a major city or a house in the suburbs. When comparing the costs of a studio apartment in most areas to a bedroom within a two-bedroom apartment, the latter is always more economical. If you find the right fit, living in a major US city becomes much less expensive if you live in a shared home.
Aside from rent, people who share a home or apartment will also have to pay less for utilities such as water, electricity, and internet. As living costs increase in many parts of the country, people’s wages may not always keep up. People also desire to experience connection and companionship, which may have been missing from their lives due to events of the past few years.
A desire for friendship
Over the last few years, the trend of people getting into co-living situations demonstrates our need for connection. In a world that has been increasingly isolating since 2020, people are finding ways to form those bonds and relationships that may be missing from their lives.
The financial advantage of being a subtenant along with other roommates has always been present. So why are rates of co-living going up lately?
Many experts believe that loneliness resulting from lockdowns and working from home makes people want to live with others. Independence may have less reverence within the current generation, as we need connections.
Splitting costs for the long term
Students have been sharing rooms and apartments in college since the 70s. The difference is that during previous eras, the goal was to get your own place as soon as you had the money.
A lot of people in 2023 are not in such a rush. Even if they start earning more money and can afford to live alone, they may prefer the present arrangement. Living with others means that you can continue splitting costs while having the advantage of having a large place to call home.
Many housemates or roommates may even look for a better place with the intent of continuing to live together. If everyone in your group got a raise in the past few months, you can afford to move into a newer place. Your group may even remain together and search for another larger apartment or house to share.
The purchasing power of each person in a group can grow if they are looking to rent a larger apartment or home together. Rather than each person only being able to afford a slightly more modern studio or one-bedroom apartment, by living together for the long term, they can all move into a much nicer, three or four-bedroom apartment or house.
Save money for future education or home buying
People in the past were living with roommates or housemates for a few years, but the times have changed. Co-living is now the norm in many parts of the nation, especially in bigger cities. People are content to have roommates, especially if they get along with them.
Such a living arrangement means you could have roommates for over a decade. The cost savings from living with others can add up to a considerable sum after ten or fifteen years.
You could start living with a roommate with no savings, and with the amount you will save by co-living, you could save up enough money to put a down payment on a house.
Many people in 2023 are committed to having roommates until they are in a long-term relationship. They may move in with their partner as their relationship becomes more serious. Despite having fewer roommates, they would still benefit by having two incomes to pay rent and bills for a single place.