Sandy Smith, an experienced Home and Real Estate editor, has discovered that the Philadelphia suburbs have been returned to a “variation” of “rooming houses,” an old real estate business model that had disappeared, not only because of its old fashion character, but also because it eventually faded out.
However, the area of entrepreneurship projected in the “orange economy”, has made the people specialized in the area, now known as “mindfacture”, have reconsidered the business and solved through analysis, sociograms and the incorporation of technology, old problems renamed as “Houses of Coexistence”.
According to Smith, who is CEO PhiladelphiaMagazine’s Home and Real Estate Editor, adult dormitories are on the rise and entrepreneurs give a fresh glow to the old rooming house: Co-living
According to the background necessary to contextualize the theme, “around the turn of the last century, new arrivals in big cities like Philadelphia found shelter and instant community in rooming houses — places where they could rent a room and share common facilities.”
Economy is in command
The City of Brotherly Love has undergone a gradual process of gentrification and the creation of the Co-living Houses could be a moderate level of gentrification from certain suburbs that are chosen as the first option to live by a fresh generation of graduates who are looking for affordable housing.
According to Brad Hargreaves, Executive Director of Common, one of the two co-living companies established here, many people are looking for this type of housing: “About 25 million Americans live with roommates” (…) “That’s a 20 percent increase over the last 10 years.”
In precise terms
With his peculiar way of telling the story, Sandy Smith says that the Co-living Houses are a disguised version that has its roots in another recent phenomenon: individuals seeking roommates to share the cost of an apartment well into adulthood.
“But where hitching up with roommates involves acquiring furniture, sharing trash responsibilities, and conducting interviews that resemble first dates, co-living facilities take care of all that stuff for you. And they toss in wi-fi, utilities, cleaning of shared spaces, kitchen supplies, and Instagram-friendly furnishings.”
Gunther Schmidt, CEO of German-based parent company of Quarters, a co-living company, says that along with Common they have discovered how to create stylish spaces at a reasonable cost. A studio in Common Frankford is rented for under $1,000 a month. A new studio anywhere in downtown Philadelphia typically runs about $300 more. And because both firms operate facilities in several cities, footloose tenants will be able to inhabit units here or elsewhere with leases of as short as three months’. “You have the services included, you have the social network included, and if you don’t like it, you can move on,” Schmidt says.
Translated by: José Espinoza