The Rise Of Roommate Households
An increasing number of American adults choose to share their homes with roommates. For tenants or even homeowners, cohabitating is a necessity. According to the Pew Research Center analysis of census data for 2017, almost one-third of US adults share a household. The combination of rising housing costs, student loan debt, and delayed marriage encourage the rise of roommate households. In expensive cities, such as Los Angeles, almost half of the adult population share their home with a roommate. By definition, a roommate is not a partner or a relative. The pandemic has increased the need for shared households, both for financial and emotional purposes. Cost-share, companionship, and belonging to a community are some of the most frequently mentioned reasons for cohabitation. How does the cohabitation culture influence the real estate market?
33% US adult population shares households
By definition, shared households tend to bring together individuals who are unmarried and not living with their partners. Both landlords and homeowners can promote cohabitation. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to lessen the burden of a mortgage by seeking a roommate. For a landlord, encouraging co-shared households can make the property more appealing to tenants. Co-shared properties typically range from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house. However, most tenants prefer smaller constellations, such as sharing with one or two roommates at most.
Essential criteria in a shared household
Bathroom improvements typically add value to your property. But in a co-shared household, the addition of an en-suite can reduce bathroom delays and stress. Ideally, roommates expect to find at least one bathroom for two bedrooms. Shared bathrooms can lead to conflicts and frustration, which is why cohabitation properties need to provide manageable solutions. The introduction of cohabitation rules can help keep the bathroom clean and organized. It can be essential to design a space that is easy to share. For instance, a single bathroom with two sinks and mirrors makes the roommate household more usable.
What do tenants want?
Roommates are not willing to compromise on location and amenities with a shared household. Indeed, sharing costs means they can select more favorable locations, with proximity to offices and shops. Additionally, roommates will expect basic services to be accessible within the building or within walking distance of the property. Essentials will include a washing machine or an on-site laundrette, accessible parking spaces, garden, or common roof area. If they are moving in with the homeowner, Internet access is a given.
Is a managed property worth the hype?
Contrary to common belief, co-shared rentals can also focus on short-term stays. This can make the property appealing to contractors and consultants, as many stay with an employee for a limited period. Therefore, the introduction of concierge and cleaning services to a roommate household rental can fulfill a specialist demand. Co-shared rentals for contractors should provide a no-hassle get-out clause, in case their contract finishes unexpectedly. Tenants should also be able to renew easily for similar reasons. These short-term tenants will expect Wifi and electricity services to be sorted and included in their rental fees. They will also value a breakfast buffet or cooked breakfast delivery.
Roommate households are a necessary addition to the real estate market. Cohabitation offers access to a variety of services that tenants couldn’t afford otherwise. But co-shared rentals have to be prepared with cohabitation challenges in mind. From designing a space that prevents conflicts to offering life-enhancing services, co-sharing is synonymous with smart features.