Over the years, everything has become more expensive. Housing prices especially have shot up like a rocket. So the next best option in our modern times is to rent a home or an apartment. Maybe even share it with a roommate. But this too has become a problem as rent has also suffered the same fate and the prices have increased.
You know how they say modern problems require modern solutions? Well, the solution to expensive housing options is pod living. Relatively new to the housing scene, but affordable housing for those who need it. Pod living makes sense for you only if you are okay with sharing a living space with other people. That’s how the prices become easier to manage.
So what is this affordable co-living solution all about and how does it work? Read on to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know about pod living.
What Is Pod Living?
In its simplest form, it is basically a shared living space or room that you can rent out. It generally tends to have a bunk bed in this shared space, but it is possible to find one with two separate beds. In some cases you have large rooms with multiple bunk beds. Apart from this shared room, you have access to the common community areas like the bathroom, kitchen and at times there is even a recreational area or lounge.
The best way to describe it is as a glorified dormitory or hostel. Located within high priced cities and towns, this is a very attractive solution if you do not want to spend a lot of your income on living expenses.
How Affordable Is Pod Living?
Lets try and put this all into perspective with some numbers to understand what makes pod living such an attractive option.
Zumper.com estimates that it will cost you roughly $2,650 a month for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, California. It’s worth noting that this is the cost of rent after an estimated 19% decrease over the previous year. Podshare, a start-up that is the face of the pod living movement, rents out a pod for $1200 a month in San Francisco, California. This definitely puts into perspective the term ‘affordable living expenses’
Is It Just A Bunk Bed?
If you thought you were just paying $1200 a month for a bunk bed, let us help you realize what exactly this $1200 a month price tag gets you.
The Podshare building is a gated building with 24 hour access and a keypad code. This multi storied building houses around 30 beds, giving you space and privacy. Their bunk beds are fairly luxurious and spacious, decked out with a flat screen tv. They basically turn into your workstation during the day.
The building has a lot of communal areas with a games area that have Xbox 360s and other recreational games, nap rooms, a yard and a sun deck. You also get free laundry and housekeeping services.
But that’s not all. Having a Podshare membership gives you the ability to hop between different Podshare locations, as long as there is availability. This makes it so much more economic and convenient for people who have to travel often and stay in locations short term, for a fixed duration of time.
And it doesn’t just end there. They also offer weekly and daily packages. If you are looking to stay for a night, Podshare charges anywhere from $35 to $50 dollars a night.
So at the cost of a little privacy, you get great value for money, renting a pod.
Also Read: Finding A Roommate On Craigslist
Other Benefits Of Pod Living?
You could compare pod living to living in a hostel or sharing a house with friends. But when you rent a pod with companies like Podshare, you do not have to pay a security deposit or a moving fee. That is another area where you save money.
When you have a home or apartment, you may have to spend money towards furnishing. Pods come pre furnished and they also come with so much more space and facilities that you would have to pay extra for or probably won’t have access to, when renting an apartment or house.
You may think to yourself, “Well I don’t need to live in a city, I can just rent a house in some suburban area close to the city.” If the circumstances are right and you have enough roommates to share the monthly expenses, then yes this option can be cheaper. But this solely rests on you getting a good home for a good deal and having enough roommates, and here’s why. You will spend roughly $1200 to $1800 just to meet your monthly utility expenses for the house. Podshare basically offers you so much more for the cost of utilities in an urban home.
Some pod living companies have also started to provide co-working spaces, making their pod living facility a home and an office all under one roof, giving it even greater value for money.
Podshare is the name that most people associate with the term ‘pod living’, in the same way that McDonalds is associated with fast food. Just like how there are plenty of other names in the fast food industry, both big and small, there are other companies too in the pod living industry.
What we are trying to tell you is, you can rent a pod for cheaper than the $1200 a month that Podshare offers. Some companies can offer pods for as little as $945 a month with fewer luxuries while there are other pod living spaces available for higher rates like $1400 a month and more luxuries.
To top it all off, you get to be a part of a community. Many of these ‘podestrians’ (that’s what companies like Podshare call their guests and patrons), consider this aspect of socialization as one of their reasons they enjoy living in a pod. You meet new people, like minded individuals and are exposed to different lifestyles and cultures. It’s an experience that you don’t really enjoy when you live by yourself or even if you do share an apartment or house with 2 or 3 other people.
Who Rents A Pod?
Pod living is aimed at a very specific demographic. The main guests or customers that use the pod living facilities are single millennials and youth in their 20s and 30s. These renters are people who are not yet ready to settle down in life and so, are not looking for a home to live in. This option allows them to have all the benefits and amenities that a home would provide, without the constraints of being tied down.
Most of the guests have just started their careers or are pursuing their passions in artistic fields. So they look for, and welcome, the monetary freedom that a pod living facility provides. They embrace the opportunity to live and experience the city life with all its opportunities and possibilities, without really spending all that much in living expenses.
It’s definitely a better option than running the possibility of going broke and then moving back in with mom and dad.
Pod Living Vs Co-living
The co-living trend has been around for a long time. It is not a new concept and was the best alternative to paying rent alone. Co-living also consists of other facilities like dormitory or hostels and you are right, pod living is another form of co-living.
It is, however, more than that. Podshare and other like minded companies that provide and operate pod living spaces, are looking to make pod living a lifestyle. They have built a community around it and this community is growing. Guests and regular patrons of Podshare and other such communities, organize events and gatherings. All of it intended to make you feel at home as opposed to the distant, detached living experience of other co-living spaces.
Hostels, dormitories and shared houses don’t offer the benefits we mentioned earlier. It’s a higher standard of co-living at an affordable price.
Here, think of it like eating at a restaurant. You can go to your local restaurant, a waiter takes your order and you enjoy your food and drink. Now imagine that exact same scenario in a fine dining restaurant, with the fancy music, drinks and service. You order the same dish but it’s a whole different experience when you taste it. Yes, you pay extra for the fine dining experience. But what if that whole experience; the fancy music, drink and service and that delicious dish was available to you at an affordable price?
That’s what pod living companies like Podshare can offer you, that other regular co-living spaces can not.
Where Can You Find Pod Living Facilities
Like we talked about earlier, the co-living industry isn’t new by any means. But this approach to co-living that pod living explores is relatively new. As a result, you will not find a pod living facility everywhere.
That being said, these facilities will be prevalent in and around cities. Well, mostly in cities. This is where their target market is situated. It is in these cities that all those individuals starting out in their careers or restarting their lives, are actively seeking out affordable housing. So if you want to tap into this lifestyle, the city is where you need to be.
A quick google search will tell you if the city you are heading to has a pod living facility. Don’t just walk into a city and then expect to find it. There is another reason we emphasize doing this research. The thing is, facilities are few but podestrians and people looking for co-living spaces are many. So with their numbers increasing, it’s difficult to find yourself a pod.
Most times you will find that there are no pods available to rent and may have to wait for a month before a pod is vacated. In some cases, people tend to book pods for even longer, or renew their stay when their tenure ends.
So yes, even if you do find a pod living facility in the city you are looking to move to, go online or call beforehand to make sure that there are pods available for you to occupy and book it, if that option is made available to you.
Pod living companies are providing people who would have otherwise not been able to afford it, the opportunity to move to the city. Although we mainly talked about Podshare, there are many other companies providing this service. If you do not require all the services and benefits that the facilities with higher costs provide, then you have the option of cheaper pod spaces too.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to each individual’s personal preference and situation. If you happen to enjoy the co-living lifestyle or are looking to give it a try, then Pod Living is the best that this lifestyle can offer.
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