The cost of living is rising around the country and most everyone is indebted with student loans.
With rising rents and less affordable options becoming the norm, many people are searching for more affordable housing that offers the same types of amenities that apartments do. The new wave of housing, called co-living, has begun to grow in cities big and small. These homes have more affordable rent (more efficient family homes broken into per-bedroom leases), and offer individuals a chance to manage their own bills without the hassle of getting roommates to pay their share of the electricity or rent.
In addition, they establish a sense of community that apartments complexes don’t, even with all the “luxury” amenities many large firms claim to offer. In co-living homes, you actually get to know the people you live with, and as co-living grows, more and more cities are beginning to see a downward trend in rental prices, as well as more involved community members. However, in a co-living situation, there may be some apprehension to this new roommate model (some people have never been “matched” with roommates).
It’s important that you be the best roommate you can be in a co-living home, which can be learned through these 8 tips:
1. Set Rules
It’s one thing to share a home with someone you already know and cherish. Co-living scenarios are often full of strangers looking for more affordable rent. Establish some ground rules early on. Determine what you expect of each other.
It’s better to set up definite rules early on, so as not to tarnish budding friendships in your new home. Most co-living services will have house rules or a roommate policy.
2. Clean Up After Yourself
The universal role of being a good roommate is cleaning up after yourself. Don’t leave your dishes in the sink. Don’t leave your socks in the living area. You don’t have to be a model housekeeper, but be respectful of those around you. It may even be worth the time to create a cleaning schedule, so everyone can do their part.
An added benefit of co-living services are the professional bi-weekly cleanings of common spaces. Regardless of this feature, it’s best to still clean up your messes.
3. Establish a Routine
Living in a co-living home is a unique experience that few have been through. Make the most of it by coming up with some sort of a routine.
Examples of this are:
- Make Monday nights game night
- Have each person make dinner one day of the week
- Have various lessons in the home, like cooking or dancing.
A co-living home is a community. There are so many fun opportunities that accompany your new home.
4. Sharing is Caring
One of the greatest benefits of co-living is getting to have one’s own place and stuff, while still forming a community. That being said, every now and again, share what you have. If someone else needs milk from the grocery store, and you know you never finish yours, offer to do your shopping together.
There is no need for seven coffee makers in the home, either. If you have something that could offer a convenience to the rest of the group, offer to share it. Your roommates will likely return the favor. And if you don’t have anything to share, there’s no harm done. It’s up to you.
5. Respect Everyone’s Space
Shared spaces in co-living homes are advantageous to everyone who lives there because they are large, spacious, and it’s a place where they can establish a community. This is one of the greatest assets to living in a co-living home. That being said, sometimes people want their space. Know when to respect the boundaries of others, and just let them be on their own. You’ll want moments alone, too, which your roommates are sure to respect.
6. Be Open to New Friends
Co-living communities offer a great way to make life-long friends. You can save money on rent and bills, while also building strong relationships with people you would not have met in a different circumstance. Be open to making new friends. These are the people you will be spending the most time with. Get to know them. Be open to making long-lasting relationships. Don’t bottle yourself up in your room.
You will get the experience you put into it.
7. Communicate and Listen
If you have a problem or idea, effectively communicate it. Your roommates aren’t mind readers. Don’t get frustrated and act bitter around them.
Speak your feelings to show you trust them, and want to be forward. Likewise, listen if they have any situations they want to address with you.
8. Embrace the Unknown
Co-living homes are becoming more common, but many still have not experienced them. You’re taking a chance on a new adventure by writing your signature on a new lease, perhaps in a new city and with new friends. Be prepared for exciting events. This is something few have faced, so embrace it with a good attitude.
Signing a lease on a co-living home could end up being the best decision you ever make.
Co-living experiences are bound to be eventful, exciting, and a lot of fun. Make the most of your experience by getting to know your roommates, and being the best person you can be. You’ll love what you gain from living in affordable housing, especially if you make an effort to get to know the people around you!