Posted on 10th of September, 2019

Mythbusting: The top 5 Coliving myths and the truth behind them

The term Coliving is one that has gained momentum in the present climate within the landscape of housing, technology, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. This has resulted in the term being broadly adapted so as to carry several misconceptions along with it. For some, the concept of Coliving represents a multi-billion dollar industry that is ever-growing in its scope, and for others, it exists only within a temporary and niche housing trend.

Therefore we compiled a list of the top 5 myths for you that we one by one will bust!

1. Coliving means life in a hostel or dorm

This myth classifies Coliving spaces as a subcategory of hostels or dorms which is false. This myth stems from similarities between Coliving and dorms which include reasonable pricing, convenient locations, and community-based experience. For instance, The New York Times referred to Starcity Coliving as “dorm living for professionals”. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the two as separate entities.

One of the biggest differences is that Coliving spaces are known for their impressive design which intentionally prioritizes beautiful interiors and shared spaces. This is also accompanied by a variety of state of the art facilities and utilities that come along with the contract in Coliving. The result is more space, storage, and eco-efficiency in one’s Coliving housing. Another key difference is that Coliving attracts a broader demographic that goes well beyond that of dorms which usually caters primarily to students or millennials. Coliving, is, therefore, broader in its scope and maintains a higher standard and quality of living.

2. Coliving means no privacy

Coliving is built upon the concept of community living and offers several communal spaces along with its in-built amenities. This does not imply, however, that Coliving means saying goodbye to one’s privacy. Coliving spaces promote open-mindedness and socializing yet always ensure a degree of privacy for their inhabitants.

Shared facilities such as laundry rooms, recreational gardens, and kitchens bring people together on a regular basis. Nevertheless, most Coliving communities have private living quarters wherein one can call a space their own and enjoy the comfort of privacy when needed.

3. Coliving caters to nomads and hippies

Another myth commonly associated with Coliving is that it is likened to a cult or a community for hippies and nomads. This is false, as Coliving does not cater to any niche audience in terms of backgrounds and beliefs. The only beliefs and values commonly associated with these spaces are that of open-mindedness and tolerance as this is considered a vital part of community-based living.

Coliving often attracts digital nomads and expats, yet can also become a fairly permanent address. Furthermore, they usually have shared responsibility for maintenance which ensures that no matter the lifestyle, all members contribute equally to sustain the quality of the Coliving space.

4. Coliving won’t be suitable for families

This myth dictates that Coliving is not meant for families and couples, which is not true. While certain Coliving spaces cater to a profile that is more suited to young professionals who are looking for short term housing, several Coliving companies look to attract and even benefit families.

This is built on the notion that families can share resources and connect with each other in an enriched way that only Coliving allows. The concept also resonates with more affordable options for (multi-generational) families. Coliving spaces can even host possibilities of child-care, community diversification, and support services for families who can aid from these advantages.

5. Coliving is not a business

This is arguably one of the biggest myths behind Coliving and is easiest to debunk. Coliving can be concretely defined yet is also in a state of constant development and growth which leads to confusion or misinterpretation. According to SALTO’s Christian Schmitz, “Coliving is the movement that enables people with common interests to share communal spaces and live together”. As a movement, Coliving is connecting the best of real estate, technology, and design industries to form a global network of professionals who believe in a future of sustainable community-based living.

Busting Coliving myths is what we do. RSVP now to The Coliving Meetup at Clay Solutions HQ on Friday, September 27th, at 5:30 pm to witness this in real life.

This edition of the #colivingmeetup will feature notable figures from the Coliving landscape including special guest Mischa Rus of Stichting Coliving NL, Coliving guru Gui Perdrix, and SALTO’s very own Christian Schmitz. The evening promises to be insightful, fun, and most importantly provide a platform for Coliving operators and enthusiasts to socialize and network in an informal setting!

See you there!

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