Published on: 19 January 2022
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What is coliving? Definition
Co-living is a new trend in housing and work. It comes from the United States and has already conquered many countries. Coliving is starting to develop in France.
We would like to live in community while keeping a small home. We would like to be able to work without leaving home. We would like a multitude of services while saving money. In short, we do not want to make a choice. What if what really suited you was coliving? Studapart tells you all about this new real estate concept.
Co-living, what is it?
The principle of coliving is both flatshare and coworking. It combines housing and work, but also community life and home, in the same place. This new way of conceiving housing was thought up in the United States by itinerant workers and freelance entrepreneurs, who mainly evolve in the digital world.
The problem for these young workers was to find not only inexpensive accommodation, but also a place to work, with at least an internet connection and efficient means of communication. Due to a lack of budget, the idea of making housing a place of work was quickly adopted, but it led to a certain loneliness in addition to significant costs. Hence the idea of sharing these costs and equipment, both in terms of housing and work.
This is how the concept of coliving was born. It is a large building where each occupant has an individual private space and a collective space. A place to live and work. For the individual (or private) part, each tenant has a room, a studio or a small apartment. The place is generally furnished and has, depending on the establishment, a bathroom, a kitchenette and various amenities for individual use.
In the collective part, the residence provides tenants with a range of services, both for work and for everyday needs. For example, a shared kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room, secure parking... For the rest, it depends on the establishments, which can offer, depending on their size and standing, a television room, video games room, music room, or even a library, a gym, a terrace, a garden, a swimming pool, a concierge… Facilities can be added to access additional services such as a taxi or car rental, for example.
Above all, we do not forget that residents must be able to work in the establishment. This must have as much as possible a coworking space with an internet connection, computers, a printer, meeting rooms, individual offices, not to mention the essential coffee machine.
The basic principle is sharing: sharing of costs, essentially, but also sharing of experience, mutual support at work, community life, etc. The resident, also called “coliver”, can also enjoy, while living in community, a private space and a certain intimacy. The building is run by a manager, often employed by a real estate agency or a landowner, who takes care of the reception, logistics and comfort of the colivers.
Is coliving growing in France?
Born in the United States and already present in many countries around the world, coliving is making its debut in France. Real estate players have become aware of the phenomenon and have invested in buildings to transform them into co-living spaces. There are already a few establishments in the big cities of France: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Strasbourg... Coliving is also present in some medium-sized cities, but it is still very rare in the countryside.
Due to the novelty of the concept, there are also many new buildings specifically built for co-living, fitted out taking into account the individual/collective and home/work dualities. There are studios and T1 or T2 apartments in most cases furnished and equipped with a bathroom. The rates are slightly lower than those charged for an apartment in the habitat, but they vary from one city to another. It will always be more expensive in Paris than in a small provincial town.
Who is affected by this new real estate concept?
Originally, coliving was intended for itinerant workers, individual entrepreneurs and young professionals whose main work tool is a computer. The concept can also be aimed at intermittent workers, nomadic workers, students.
In the United States, the panel of coliving enthusiasts has expanded to include all single people, even couples, who wish to keep in touch on a daily basis. Many retirees and seniors have been seduced by coliving. It remains a great opportunity to stay connected to everyday social life and to contribute (and experience!) to the community.
We also find in coliving houses people in a period of transition: because of a separation, a change of professional activity, etc. Coliving is a concept that allows you to live alone without being alone, temporarily or permanently.
Is co-living for families? It is true that co-living was essentially designed for single people, even couples, and with a view to work. It is hard to imagine adults with children settling permanently in coliving. However, this remains a possibility, even a market, which coliving managers will have to think about.
Another form of clientele is also increasingly interested in coliving. Companies and especially start-ups imagine investing in a building to allow their employees to work there, or even some to live there. This would have several advantages:
get out of the framework of the classic office or open-space,
share the building with other companies or external service providers.
The type of experiences implemented for many years by start-ups and which they are always looking to improve.
Coliving also appeals to investors who have understood that the concept corresponds to the spirit of the times and offers an opportunity for a rapid return on investment. More and more people live alone, by choice or by constraint, permanently or not. The concept of coliving is set to develop with a society that is increasingly sensitive to the notions of sharing.
What are the advantages of co-living?
Co-living offers many advantages to its residents, who like shared accommodation, condominiums, hotels and student residences.
Co-living saves money by pooling housing expenses: water, gas, electricity, heating, internet, television, cleaning, maintenance, etc. The rent includes a share of all subscriptions, which are managed by the manager. Home insurance may also be included in the rent.
Co-living offers very flexible solutions: you can live there all year round, but also for the month, the week or for a few days. We thus come across in coliving as many “historic” residents and passing colivers. It is a very practical solution for business trips, missions, internships and also… holidays. The maximum lease is one year. It is renewable. In some cases, it is possible to sublet the room, studio or apartment that has been reserved for the year.
Finally, coliving is the experience of living together. Sharing has again become one of the essential values of the generation of people born around the year 2000. While their elders were bathed in the cult of property (house, car, etc.), Generation Z has adopted the sharing lifestyle colocation, coworking, carpooling, coliving… (so much so that it should have been called the “Co Generation”).
The offer of coliving then seduced other generations who thus maintain the taste for sharing and mutual aid. Coliving is certainly, in addition to an economic solution, a remedy against loneliness. It gives a feeling of security and opens the possibility of friendships, or even more, according to the established formula, if affinities.