A number of new companies have brought the co-living model to market in an effort to provide more affordable housing options for younger renters. In L.A., PodShare provides "pods"--complete with a twin bed with a small flat screen TV in a communal bunk room, some immediate storage space and access to lockers--for $1,400 per month, says Anna Scott for MPR News.

The kitchen, bathrooms, yard and other common areas are all shared. PodShare opened it's fifth location in L.A. this year.

The co-living trend, however, is about more than economics. Jill Pable, a professor in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design at Florida State University, said co-living "fits very hand in glove with the sense that we are now moving into an experience economy rather than a possessions economy."

"This is tied to, for example, the tiny house movement," she said, "and a great emphasis on travel these days."

PodShare member, 36-year-old Mike Liu, agrees that embracing co-living is about socializing as much as lower rent. "There's always somebody new coming through and that discovery feeling is always there," he said. He added that, among the longer-term residents like himself, there's a sense of built-in friendship and community.

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