Co-living companies aim to disrupt traditional apartment life -- just as coworking spaces did for staid office life -- by borrowing the concept of resource-sharing. Tenants trade personal space for a fully furnished bedroom, shared common areas and sometimes group social events, all under a prix-fixe cost structure.

Say goodbye to frantically searching Craigslist for roommates, arguing over the internet bill, running to the bodega because you ran out of toilet paper, taking trips to Ikea or playing bed-bug roulette with the couch you found on the street. Say hello to, well, life in an adult dorm. Residents still have to deal with security deposits and income requirements, but the whole experience is much less Wild West than a classic New York apartment hunt.

The trend -- which some treat as a half-step between college housing and the dog-eat-dog rental market -- is growing in popularity, with companies like Ollie, Common, Roomrs, WeWork's WeLive and Dwell gobbling up square footage from East Harlem to Midwood. Advocates say co-living is the future of housing in an increasingly cramped city, allowing people to trade privacy for shared amenities, a no-chores lifestyle and fun (if chaperoned) group outings. Critics say it's a sanitized approach to city living for the generation that trusts Silicon Valley companies to solve problems, akin to eschewing the subway to take Ubers everywhere.


For comparison, Chexnayder's $1,700 room in a two-bedroom apartment on the open market might cost about $2,031, without utilities and furniture, according to data from brokerage MNS, since the average price of a two-bedroom as of March 2019 was $4,063.

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