“Mortgage, schmortgage…who needs a mortgage, anyway?” That’s what a lot of city dwellers are saying as they condense themselves into micro-homes and bed down for the night in the heart of major cities that have jumped into this growing (shrinking?) trend.
Picture a two-car garage, then cut it in half. That’s the average size of a unit in a micro-housing community, or a closet in a high-priced custom home. It’s all in how you look at it:
- If you need to stretch your legs into a little more space, the 23-unit Harriet SmartSpace complex in San Francisco lavishes 285 to 310 square feet on its residents, mostly tech industry yuppies. A hydraulic pop up table, fold-up bed and high ceilings help to keep the Chateau Shoebox feeling to a minimum.
- Close to jobs and close to transit, a “roomier” micro-home of 600 square feet in greater Boston brings its landlord almost $2,300 per month. The ad boasts “ample storage space,” though, so maybe it’s not “paying more for less” as much as you’d think.
- Mayor Bloomberg’s recent approval of micro-housing in New York City will cut in half the required minimum size of an apartment of 400 square feet. Even at that small size, though, the units will still be four times the size of a prison cell. It’s all good.
- On the other side of the world, micro-housing isn’t even a new trend; it’s just a way of life. With the average rate for Hong Kong real estate at nearly $1,300 per square foot, many families can only afford a miniature “cubicle apartment” of 40 square feet. That’s just too cozy.