Rent is a word that we have come to hate and fear. The average cost of living in America has increased from last year with Manhattan at the forefront, followed by Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Just last year a Pew Research study discovered that more young adults were moving back home after graduating and staying for longer periods of time than previous graduates.
But you want to move out, gain true independence, and start discovering what is really means to be on your own, right? Companies like HubHaus and Common are finding ways around exorbitant rent prices with co-living homes — sort of like dorms, but better.
Many of these startups look for vacant mansions, apartment buildings, hotels, and homes scattered around major cities known for taking a huge bite out of your paycheck for rent. HubHaus CEO Shruti Merchant co-founded the company based off a business model where HubHaus would seek out the owners of mansions around the Bay Area and LA to strike up a partnership. The company would act as the tenant, helping these homeowners pay their mortgages while they sublease the space out to people looking for more affordable homes with people they actually want to live with.
Merchant wanted to help solve another problem many communal homes created: incompatible roommates. I’m sure we’ve all experienced some less-than-ideal roommates who let dishes “soak” for days, play music loudly at 3:00 in the morning and always seem to forget to pick up toilet paper — so HubHaus vets their applicants to create unique communities within each property. It’s almost like applying for a job: You submit an application, meet with everyone, go through questions, and wait for a response to see if you would be a good match.
Professionals of all ages will flock to major cities because that’s where the jobs are — startups, enterprises, and corporations. But picking up and moving can be just as hard on you socially as it is on your wallet. Whether you’re traveling, living somewhere for a couple of months, or doing a standard 12-month lease, co-living creates a social center for people to meet others with similar interests and different backgrounds.
These co-living spaces are sprouting up in and around major cities so that occupants can still benefit from big-city amenities at an affordable price. The value of many previously-vacant homes would just depreciate with unmotivated sellers and unaffordable prices, but communal living has been able to bring these properties out of the shadows to help with the high demand of living. Being close to cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington, DC allows people to use public transit, easing up on their wallets and commutes.