Living under the same roof with strangers sounds like a horrifying situation, but this is a type of living arrangement that has been growing in popularity around the world for many reasons. Known as coliving, multiple individuals from all walks of life come together to reside in a shared space. However, despite its rising fame and the benefits it brings, there are still preconceived notions about coliving that prevent many from experiencing communal living. We dispel these preconceptions and clarify what coliving truly entails.
1. Coliving is only for expats and international students
Coliving is a modern housing concept commonly associated with expats and international students. In reality, coliving can be a suitable accommodation option for locals too. For instance, young Singaporeans moving out of their family home for independence and freedom, or those waiting for their BTO flat or house renovation to complete.
Firstly, young Singaporeans who aspire to gain independence and experience living on their own can do so without having to worry about the soaring cost of housing or the restrictions that come with buying a house in Singapore. Coliving offers a more affordable alternative, as it allows individuals to rent a private room within a shared living space. They can even find companionship in the new friendships made and engage in social activities with different people, which can be beneficial for their mental health and overall well-being.
Secondly, coliving can be an attractive solution for Singaporeans waiting for their BTO flat or their home renovation to complete. Opting for a coliving space can provide a temporary housing solution that offers flexibility and convenience. Instead of committing to a long-term rental contract, couples can rent a room in a coliving space for the duration of their wait, and even easily extend their stay whenever necessary.
2. Coliving is only for the extroverted
People have the misconception that coliving spaces are all about interacting and living alongside strangers 24/7. That is untrue. While coliving is known for its communal living concept and community-oriented environment, it is not exclusive to extroverted individuals. Many coliving spaces actually offer private rooms or units to individuals who prefer a more secluded living experience in addition to the social kitchens and dining areas available. This allows introverted people to have their own space and alone time, but still have the opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals, share common interests, and develop friendships at their own pace.
3. Coliving lacks privacy
The misconception that coliving lacks privacy is understandable as it involves sharing living spaces with other individuals. However, many coliving spaces actually pay a lot of attention to ensuring that their residents get enough privacy. Most coliving spaces offer private rooms within an apartment, designed to provide residents with their own space to retreat to. These rooms often come with their own en-suite bathroom, kitchenette and even a washer-dryer.
Coliving establishments also install strong security systems and door locks that protect their residents, as well as strict rules and policies that govern policies within the communal living spaces so that residents’ privacy is respected and everyone can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable living environment.
Learn More: Protecting Your Privacy in a Co-Living Space
4.Coliving is noisy and chaotic
The idea of communal living, particularly coliving, is often associated with images of loud parties, constant noise, and general chaos. This misconception is partly due to the portrayal of communal living in the media and popular culture, which tends to focus on the more dramatic and sensational aspects of shared living spaces.
However, the reality of coliving can be very different from these preconceived notions, and communal living can actually be a peaceful and fulfilling way of life. As mentioned above, residents usually get to enjoy their time alone in their private rooms, and can choose to gather in the communal spaces only when they wish to. This means that you get to control how you want to live when coliving—noisily or quietly. In fact, many coliving communities have strict rules around noise levels and quiet times, which help to ensure that everyone can get their peace and quiet.
5. Coliving doesn’t offer a sense of community
This preconceived notion may arise from the assumption that living with strangers or people who are not related to you by blood may not provide a sense of belonging. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, coliving spaces can foster a stronger sense of community as compared to conventional living arrangements.
Coliving spaces have communal areas where residents can interact and socialise with each other. By sharing these spaces, residents have the opportunity to form meaningful connections and long-lasting friendships. There are also regular bonding events and activities that encourage socialisation and community building, resulting in a more positive and close-knitted living environment.
Has your perception of coliving changed? If you’re interested in experiencing coliving with people from different cultural backgrounds, Coliwoo has a range of studio apartments for rent in Singapore. Check out our coliving residences here.