Updated: Jun 14, 2019

As life in NYC gets more expensive, millennials turn to shared housing. Is it time to move?


By Morgan Keily



Uber taught us to share cars, WeWork helped us share offices, and now co-living is redefining the spaces we call home. Is co-living the solution to your problems? Read on for five signs that you might be ready for a new lease on life.


Community matters


City living is lonely. If you’re a social person who craves meaningful interactions, coming home to an empty apartment can make adulting feel like a life sentence.

Studies show that people in coworking spaces are happier and less lonely. Could co-living have the same effect?


Co-living can be a good way to surround yourself with an intentional group of like-minded people. “It’s like a neighborhood in a building,” says Liam Herman, who moved into an Aleph co-living space in Bushwick.


Of course, you could find a three bedroom apartment on Street Easy that’s close enough to work and far enough from your coworkers. You could vet roommates on Craigslist and hope none of them love throwing house parties. And you could negotiate furniture buying, split utility bills, take off work so you can be home for the Wifi dude, and remind your roommates to please Venmo you the rent before the 1st.


Then again, you could just join a co-living space.


You don’t want to spend your whole paycheck on rent


Rent prices are climbing, while average national wages remain frustratingly flat. A recent rental market report for Brooklyn pinned the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom at $2,853. (There are still some areas lower than that, like Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, while Williamsburg prices are a little higher.)


Tack on to that number all the other costs that come along with renting: buying a couch, paying for cleaning, or splitting an electric bill.


Compare that number with the average cost at Brooklyn's Aleph Living: $1400. That frees up more of your paycheck to do things you love, like a trip to Morocco or the occasional cucumber-hemp water.


Time isn’t free either


Maybe you’re a grad student who’s juggling research papers and a part-time job. Or you’re pulling 70-hour weeks at an advertising firm hoping to make partner. Do you really have an extra fifteen minutes to sweep the floor, pay utility bills, or stock up on toilet paper?


Most co-living spaces are all-inclusive. (Translation: you don’t need to buy a can opener.) Some come with weekly cleaning too. And if you are one of those unfortunate humans who’s ever needed to wash clothing at a laundromat, fear not, because co-living spaces are almost always equipped with washing machines.


Co-living is the future


By 2030, projections shows that almost 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. But how are we all going to fit?


Co-living can make urbanization more sustainable and is a promising solution for housing scarcity issues in crowded cities. Doing a good deed just by waking up in the morning? Now that’s a cause you can get behind.


You have a fear of commitment


If long-term thinking makes you anxious (as your ex would be happy to verify), co-living can be a lot less intimidating than signing a one-year lease.


So if you want to try out a new neighborhood, or maybe test the waters at a new job and don’t want to furnish an entire apartment while you’re trying to figure out if you should go back to school—don’t sweat. You're looking at a minimum stay as low as 90 days at some co-living spaces.


You can do anything for 3 months, right?


Does living with a diverse group of young people for half of what you’d spend on a one-bedroom sound attractive? Find out more about living spaces at Aleph.