When it comes to choosing how and where to live, the options are endless. Apartments, tiny houses, co-living, extended stays, micro apartments...no matter who you are or where you're trying to be in life, there's a housing option to match. And if you haven't heard of some of these, fear not! Here's what you need to know (and see) of three of the top housing trends going on right now.
Co-living, a popular option for those craving new experiences and community
Co-living is a relatively recent trend, capitalizing on the fact that more people are looking for communal living, shared experiences, and adventure, rather than aiming to own a home and lots of possessions. Co-living aims to create and foster a tight-knit community, and many companies who manage co-living spaces offer leases on a month-to-month (or even shorter) basis, catering to the mobile lifestyle that many millennials have. There are even entire buildings built especially for the purpose of co-living, and some describe it as dorm living for adults, with many citing the community as the main reason they choose to sign up.
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Most co-living spaces come fully furnished with unlimited essentials provided like toilet paper, coffee, etc., and are comparatively cheaper than a typical apartment of the same size. Membership prices can range from as cheap as $998 monthly for a bunk bed and amenities with the Coliving Club in San Francisco, to $2,745 for a Welive private studio and amenities in New York City. Location types can range from multiple people essentially sharing a house (in places like Brooklyn and San Francisco), to full floors of apartment-style buildings completely dedicated to this type of living (in places like Manhattan and London).
Co-living residents have many spaces for building community relationships.
A communal kitchen in one of The Collective's co-living spaces. (UK Business Insider Image)
Co-living fosters a strong sense of community amongst its residents (Rew-Online Image)
Co-living residents share living spaces, work spaces, and more. (gensleron.com Image)
Co-living residents often share family-style dinners. (Citylab Image)
One of the biggest benefits of co-living is the shared communal space. Residents share kitchens, laundry rooms, work spaces, gyms, yoga studios, spas, and more. These spaces help to foster the community that co-living residents are seeking, bringing people closer together and providing opportunities for the shared experiences they're after.
Despite the emphasis on communal space, co-living residents can also enjoy their own private space.
Many co-living units come already furnished. (Welive Image)
Co-living residents can still enjoy private space. (Welive Image)
Co-living spaces are also created in large homes. (Pure House Image)
Micro apartments appeal to minimalists and young professionals alike
For people who want to live in expensive places like New York City, rents can be a major turn-off, especially when it comes to picking a place to live in a good or desirable location. Micro apartments--units that are less than 400 sq. ft.--are becoming a new trend, especially for millennials, where everything but the bare minimum is shaved away in an apartment that is centrally located. The main purpose for people who live in a micro apartment is primarily function, and the spaces are made to seem a bit roomier with planned-out lighting, interior color, and ceiling height.
Take a look at different styles of micro apartments.
Micro apartments require an efficient use of space. (Curbed New York Image)
When it comes to micro apartments, layout is key. (hiconsumption.com Image)
Lighting, custom furniture, etc. are essential to keeping a micro apartment feeling homey and open. (The New Yorker Image)
Co-living spaces are like dorms; micro apartments push people outdoors. Micro apartments have a more permanent feel compared to co-living spaces, and are more targeted towards people who need a space in a great location. Unlike co-living, micro apartments are not necessarily so community-focused (micro apartments don't necessarily require a membership or offer unlimited necessities and organized events). However, most people who gravitate towards living in a micro apartment often do so for awesome amenities as well as due to the fact that they spend a lot of time outside of their home anyway.
Tiny homes for the cost-effective and environment-friendly
One of hottest trends up to this point in the housing market has been tiny houses. Touted for their efficiency, cost-effectiveness, environment-friendliness, and most of all their cuteness, tiny houses have been on the up and up over the past few years. Buying (or building) a tiny home is a much smaller bill to foot than a full-size home (read: mortgage) and property, which has been attractive for many homeowners, especially since '08. Tiny homes allow for a smaller number of possessions, and this kind of simplified living appeals to many owners who want to place their focus on people and experiences rather than filling up and decorating a house.
Tiny homes allow for increased mobility and a minimalistic lifestyle
Many people choose to plant their tiny homes in the woods, like adorable little mini-glam cabins.
Others rock the cottage look with thatched roofs. Talk about teeny, tiny paradise.
The mobility of these tiny homes is definitely one of the main selling points for those with wanderlust.
Many people choose to put their houses on wheels, creating more opportunities for mobility. And due to zoning regulations, it can be very difficult for owners of tiny homes to build on their own property, so many treat their home as a camper. Spaces for parking a mobile tiny home are scarce, but some are able to settle in tiny house ecovillages or in RV parks, depending on regulations. It can be a hassle, but owners of tiny homes take comfort and peace of mind in knowing that they have complete ownership over their house, can focus on what's important to them in life, and that they are leaving a smaller carbon footprint.
Housing trends are heading toward a focus on experience and mobility
Many trends are going on in the housing market right now, but things seem to be headed toward catering to an increasing number of residents who want to live without a focus on possessions. More and more people are craving experiences and a focus on people and relationships more than they crave owning a permanent home with the proverbial white picket fence. Housing styles can be a reflection of the way society is evolving, and co-living spaces, micro apartments, and tiny homes certainly fit this order!