Newlyweds, Magalie Lachoua, 32, and Vincent Brathwaite, 35, have chosen to live in a Williamsburg apartment with two people they never met.
"For us, it was the best thing to do," Lachoua said. "The financial part is very important."
In Williamsburg, the average rent for a studio apartment is about $2,800, and a 1-bedroom goes for about $3,000. The couple pays about $2,000 by signing up for a co-living apartment.
The company that runs their building, Common, pairs applicants up with each other based on availability in one of their 11 buildings in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
Each of the applicants has been pre-screened by Common, but roommates don't meet each other until they move in.
"It's about you being able to have the convenience of knowing that you are going to be living with people who are not crazy," Brathwaite said.
Common calls its tenants "members," but residents don't pay an additional fee to live in the building or qualify for the perks offered to residents.
Members pay between $1,300 to around $2,200 a month, depending on which building they want to live in.
There's a shared living room and kitchen, but members have their own private bedroom and the option of a private bath.
Sophie Wilkinson, Common's Head of Design and Construction, said she's heard people refer to it as dorm living, but she insisted it's not the same thing.
"The weekly cleaning is part of the rent, your building utilities are part of the rent," Wilkinson said. "So, all of sudden you're not fighting with your roommate about something silly."
The units are equipped with a dishwasher, washer, and dryer, and utilities at no additional cost. Wi-Fi, toiletries, silverware, and even the salt and pepper are also included in tenants' monthly rent. Each of the buildings also has a common space for members to use. On the outside, Common's apartment buildings look no different than any other in the neighborhood.
The company opened its first property in Crown Heights in 2015, but it doesn't own any of the buildings its members occupy.
In about three years, Common has accumulated more than 300 members. New York City is Common's biggest market right now and the company said it receives about 1,000 applications a week.
"It's going great, we never have any problems. You don't have complete privacy, maybe one roommate is home, but it's totally fine," Lachoua said.
Common has plans to expand. It plans to, in the next year, open approximately 10 more buildings in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.
"It's a type of living that a lot of people are doing already anyway," Wilkinson said. "The difference is, from our point of view, to design for that, instead of just letting it happen in a space that wasn't designed for it."