What are the Differences Between Co-Living Apartments and Apartment-Living?

Co-Living Apartments and Apartment-Living

The differences between co-living apartments and apartment-living are numerous.

In both co-living apartments and the more traditional apartment-living arrangements, residents live with strangers, or “roommates.”

In both scenarios, a resident rents a private or shared room and shares common spaces, such as a kitchen or living room with their roommates.

There are key differences, between co-living spaces versus conventional apartments.

On the whole, co-living apartments are considered to be an “intentional community” while standard apartment-living is more about convenience and happenstance.

Co-living spaces are also run differently by management; while management of a conventional apartment may oversee tenant issues.

when a plumber is needed to fix a leaky faucet, management of co-living apartments focus on all aspects of a resident’s life, from coordinating events and managing housekeeping to initiating resident requests for new blenders and other conveniences.

Apartment Living

Co-living Apartments Include Many Perks

Most co-living apartments include utilities and WiFI as a matter of course. In addition, numerous other amenities and services are on offer.

Just a few of the amenities and services commonly found in a co-living arrangement that you don’t often see in an apartment-living arrangement may include:

  • Flexible lease options

  • Roommates matched based on AI compatibility algorithms

  • Furnished living spaces

  • High-quality furnishings and decor

  • House cleaning

  • Room cleaning

  • Endless supply of coffee and tea

  • Endless supply of bathroom toiletries (handsoap, toilet paper)

  • Endless supply of kitchen essentials (dish soap, sponges)

  • Gym, personal trainers, yoga

  • Sunday dinner

  • Movie nights

  • Sponsored activities 

  • Community and networking events

  • Catered parties

  • Communication channels for residents 

  • Local neighborhood discounts

  • And much more!

As a whole, co-living apartments foster anyone to land in a city with their feet running, allowing them to have the lifestyle they want on their terms.

Combined with the various perks, flexible lease arrangements, and ability to match personalities that may be most compatible together in the same rooms or floors, co-living apartments offers a more live-easy arrangement versus the typical apartment you’d find on Craigslist. 

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Wait, Co-living Spaces Sounds like a Hostel or Dorm?

Sure, co-living spaces are similar to a hostel or dorm, where residents share a building, house, or apartment.

However, unlike a hostel or dorm, co-living residents often have common interests, goals, and values.

Co-living spaces are the modern-day answer to unaffordable city housing, lack of opportunity to meet new people, and a means to skip daily encumbrances, such as washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom - so one can instead focus on their career.

Student dorms reek of sweaty socks and even sweatier, boozy parties. While student and adult dorms may house a hodge-podge of various people, each on his own trajectory, co-living spaces often attract residents who are career-focused and more eager to network than boozing it up.

Co-Living Apartments Vs Apartment Living

A Modern Mindset: Co-living Spaces Agree to Urban Dwellers who Crave Community and Networking

Like-minded residents who come together under one roof often translates to feelings of friends that are like family (rather than strangers) and a strong sense of community.

As well, one of the biggest draws to co-living spaces is the opportunity to network. 

Co-living often goes hand-in-hand with co-working, in which residents work on their startup or freelance business from their place of residence.

This familiar environment facilitates networking among professionals and can often accelerate one’s career advancement.

In addition, frequently scheduled activities and events make it easy for residents to connect and collaborate on projects or even help promote one anothers’ businesses to a wider network beyond the common shared space.  

For network-minded entrepreneurs and professionals, why work in a vacuum at a coffee shop when you can work from home among potential collaborators and innovators?


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Okay, so What's it like Living in a Common Co-living Space?

While many people term co-living akin to an “adult dorm,” this is far from the case; experiencing a co-living space is unique.

Most of the co-living spaces are luxury apartments with top-of-the-line appliances, furniture, and decor. In addition, daily tasks such as cleaning the bathroom or kitchen are taken care of by the housekeeper, so the most common points of contention between roommates are D.O.A.

At its core, co-living is about living paring down on the stuff we own while enjoying the building’s, as well as the neighborhood amenities.

And above all, co-living is about living with like-minded people in a more sociable environment. 

Roman Bodnarchuk of Sociable Living is notably known for luxury co-living residences in Toronto explains there is a correlation between loneliness and living alone, with people who live alone in condos experiencing more loneliness than people who live with others.

In fact, Roman makes an interesting point that some of the most popular television shows of all time - Three’s Company, Friends, and the Big Bang Theory - are centered on strangers living together.

Perhaps, we’re fascinated by this premise because intuitively we know cohabitating with others is essential to human happiness.

Will living in a co-living space put you one step closer to fulfilling a secret dream to become a cast member of a syndicated sit-com? 

Probably not.

Nor will you be picked up for the next Real World or Big Brother (if either of those are even on the air on the more…).

There just isn’t enough drama and tension living in a co-living space. Because those interested in this lifestyle crave simplicity, convenience, and community - zero drama is a good thing!


It’s Less Lonely in a Co-living Space

People living in a co-living space explain when asked, “What’s it like living in a common co-living space?” most often say it feels less lonely.

For those living in a co-living space, it’s easier to make friends with others who share common interests and goals.

Many people living in a common co-living space say that they’ve had more opportunities to network, accelerating professional as well as personal advancement.

Eliminating Repetitive Household Tasks

A popular co-living residence in Chicago, managed by Common, doesn’t charge a typical rent but instead a “membership fee.”

This membership fee includes rent for a private or shared bedroom, utilities, household cleaning, as well as other perks that include free onsite laundry, unlimited tea, coffee, and well - toilet paper, among many other things. 

With these household chores, such as cleaning, paying utilities, and shopping for basics out of the way, residents have more free time to mingle and engage.

Why waste precious time on these daily tasks - which incidentally are often the most frequent causes for roommate tiffs.

With these repetitive tasks out of the way, residents have more time to meet one another and enjoy their time together.

Communication Channels for Residents

Many co-living residences have their own app, or at minimum a Slack channel in which residents can communicate seamlessly.

Need a cup of sugar? No need to knock on the door of your next door neighbor (if people even do that anymore)... Simply inquire on the Slack channel and ask your fellow co-living neighbors.

 You’re bound to get the sugar, as well as eggs, milk, and chocolate chips as well. 

With easy-to-use ways to communicate with everyone in the building, it’s a cinch for co-living residents to meet others and feel like they are in a community rather than isolated in silos within a large apartment.

co-living residences

Delphine Nguyen, Investor

Delphine Nguyen is a real estate investor and a licensed real estate broker in Illinois. She learned to be successful from a variety teachers, including her own mistakes. Real estate investing is her passion. Helping others to achieve their goals is another passion that she has. She does what she knows best, therefore, her focus is solely on multifamily and co-living investment types.

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