The United States is on the brink of a housing crisis yet the media is hesitant to shed light on this emerging problem.  The country’s population has more than doubled since the 1970s yet we have not doubled our housing.  The answer might lie in co-op housing in which people sacrifice space for a reduced cost of living and fewer responsibilities.  However, co-op housing is not for everyone.  Below, we shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of co-op housing to help you determine if it is optimal for your unique preferences and financial situation.



Disadvantage: Co-op Housing Puts You in Close Proximity to Others

If you hate the idea of living close to other people, co-op housing might drive you up the wall.  Co-op housing is especially challenging for couples who desire a space of their own.  However, some people enjoy the company of others.  Those looking to expand their social circle just might find living in close proximity to other people is a positive rather than a negative.



Advantage: Minimal Maintenance

The average person spends so much time working that he or she dreads the idea of heading home only to be faced with even more work.  Opt for a co-op and you will not have to spend you limited free time performing repairs, chores and other tasks.  Though co-op owners must repair their own units, there is no need to perform building maintenance or yard work.



Disadvantage: Restrictions

Co-ops typically have their fair share of restrictions.  Take a close look at the fine print of the co-op agreement and you will find numerous restrictions regarding what occupants are permitted to do with their housing unit.  Though such restrictions can be amended, co-op owners have limited influence into the types of changes that can be made.  The co-op board of directors ultimately determines the restrictions as well as amendments to those restrictions going forward.



Advantage: Co-op Housing is More Affordable

The average millennial cannot afford to purchase a moderate-sized home in or near a major city.  Though some members of older age cohorts have the assets necessary to purchase housing in a desirable area, it will cost a pretty penny.  Co-op housing is comparably affordable.  Co-op housing reduces the cost of living by spreading out the cost across several people living in fairly close proximity.  If you are looking to spend as little as possible on housing to pay student loans or save for a traditional home of your own, co-op housing just might be the answer.



Advantage: A True Sense of Community

Those who participate in co-op living tend to be fairly social.  If you are looking to make friends or obtain social stimulation, co-op housing is perfect for you.  Live in a co-op and you will cross paths with fellow co-op owners every single day.  Make an effort to be social and you will likely make several lasting friendships.



Disadvantage: Fees

Co-op owners typically have to pay a recurring maintenance fees as well as other fees that have the potential to add up to a considerable amount of money in little time.  However, once all the costs of co-op living are added up, it is likely to be more affordable than renting or buying a traditional home and paying for all of the subsequent maintenance on your own.