Why Would You Share an Apartment in Barcelona? Try Co-Living Instead!

Foto lejana de Barcelona desde la lejanía.

Finding an appartment that adapts to your needs when you move to a new city, while you are also studying and working, is surely a tiresome task. Choosing the neighbourhood, contacting the owner or the real estate company, coming to an agreement, spending a lot of money on furniture, learning the best way to get to work or school… The most common options are sharing an apartment or renting one on yout own — the latter is usually to expensive and not that advantageous. There are alternatives, though. Have you ever heard about co-living?

Co-living is a residential community living model in which everyone has a private room and the rest of the areas are shared, but whose main goal is to bring together individuals with similar values and interests, promoting collaborative lifestyles. The main advantage of this model is to cut down prices that not everyone can pay. The most usual consumers of this type of model are entrepreneurs or digital nomads. Co-living in Barcelona is a real option thanks to companies like The Social Hub. Let us tell you why:

What’s the Difference Between Co-Living and Sharing an Apartment?


At first sight, what may seem like a groundbreaking concept can become diluted when you are introduced to the term. However, it shows enough nuances for it to be considered as an alternative to the traditional renting of a room. Firstly, it’s about looking for people who share the same hobbies, values or interests. It’s a very useful model for people looking to have enriching experiences with other cultures or people who don’t want to find a definite accommodation or who are enthusiastic about meeting people who share their same concerns.

It’s been designed for those who study and work and want to enjoy the experience of living in a city like, for example, Barcelona. It has all the basic components for you to call it home. It has the charm and advantages of a hotel room and you are able to share your experience with people with similar interests to yours.

It’s usually a big place with all sorts of common spaces: gym, swimming pool, recreational area, work/study area… All of it at the same cost. In fact, it’s also common for people to hire the cleaning service, something that will undoubtably help you organise your time more efficiently.

Advantages and Drawbacks — Co-Living while Studying


All of these arguments and you still have doubts? It’s understandable. As a system of organisation and communal living it’s highly attractive. However, there are some drawbacks that you must bear in mind when deciding if this model is good for you:

1. Advantages. It’s a good system if what we’re looking for is to foster teamwork and new ideas. Bear in mind that everyone has, at least, one common element: studies, interests, work…

    1. New Contacts. Growing your network of contacts can be done in real life, not just through social networks. Doing it will increase your opportunities along your professional career.
    2. Sharing Ideas, synergies and innovation. It’s a model that’s prepared for every member to collaborate whenever it’s necessary and it helps the flow of great ideas.
    3. Rent for Months or Weeks. Unlike traditional rent, you can choose shorter stays, not strictly tied to annual contracts. The rotation of flatmates offers you the opportunity to keep growing your circle.
    4. Great Location. They are usually located near the centre of big cities, but can also be located near public transportation stops. You’ll have everything you need nearby.


2. Drawbacks. For the introverted kind or for those who don’t live in big cities, this model is not that compatible with their lifestyle. We must bear some elements in mind.

    1. Choosing Flatmates. Even though having commonn interests reduces the risk, there can always be frictions, normal when living together, and you may even not end up getting along. There’s no way of choosing who you will share your dwelling.
    2. Most Spaces are Common. If you’re a a more reserved person, this can be a problem. The only private space will be your room and the rest of the areas will be shared.
    3. In most cases, it’s located in big cities. Everything good about being in a central location and using sustainable transportation is lost when you go to smaller towns. The coliving model is not adapted to every zone.
Convento Santa Clara la Real.

The Great Example of Co-Living in Spain: Nuns and Students

It’s a phenomenon on the rise in European countries but not so much in Spain. In big cities like Barcelona, this new co-living concept has been embraced and there are even talks about new regulations to avoid speculation and the use of accomodation that doesn’t reach minimum conditions.  In spite of it all, it’s spreading among individuals that balance studies and work or among digital nomads and it’s adapting to suit the needs of other types of clients such as the elderly.

A great success case for this formula is the case of the nuns convent in Toledo. The building belongs to the religious group since 1410. In this case, both the sisters living in the building as well as the local Government have favoured the adaptation of this space into a co-living space to prevent it from being sold and turned into a hotel. The goal is to take advantage of the space and rent it to young students without having to hand over the property of the convent. That means students will live with nuns! Hey, any groundbreaking idea is more than welcomed!

We understand co-living as an apartment-sharing format designed for students that must complete their studies, carry out projects as part of a team or for those who have to work in a certain city for a certain amount of time. In Barcelona, Madrid or Alicante, it’s already integrated as a more economic option instead of traditional apartments.

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