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The Trend for Tiny Homes and Micro-Apartments Continues

By Allison Halliday | April 14, 2016

Real estate and rental prices are still increasing in many major cities, leaving potential homeowners and renters wondering where they will live. However an article in points out that there is an increased number of more affordable homes coming onto the market that includes micro-apartments.

The need for more affordable housing has led to an increase in the number of creative solutions that are being used to help meet the pent-up demand for affordable homes for first-time buyers and for renters. Not surprisingly these options include smaller living spaces and a micro-apartment can make a traditional studio apartment look positively spacious. As expected, these micro-apartments are becoming increasingly common in major cities and are normally substantially cheaper than studios.

Photo Credit: stumayhew via Compfight cc

However this isn’t always the case as in Manhattan, renters will soon begin moving into their brand-new micro-apartments in a band new development. While some will pay just $950 a month after winning a lottery for a number of units designated as being affordable, the rest of the fully furnished units can cost anywhere from $2,446 a month to an eye watering $2,907 a month for a space ranging from just 250 ft.² to 365 ft.². Tenants do get a weekly housekeeping service and Wi-Fi and the furniture is specially made to help maximize use of the limited space. The idea is to provide tenants with amenities and services that are valuable in exchange for living in such a small space. An increase in the number of these micro-units available for rent could help lower housing costs in the city. In comparison, data from the US Census Bureau shows the median square footage of a newly completed rental in eight multi-family building was 1043 ft.² just three years ago.

The trend for tiny homes is also increasing throughout the US with people in all parts of the country choosing to downsize from their larger homes to properties that are 400 ft.² or less. Doing so can set them up for retirement and gets rid of expenses such as mortgages, property tax and costly energy bills. However, the article does point out that some small homes aren’t as cheap as they seem to be, with container homes being a typical example. Apparently a container home can be 2 to 3 times more expensive than a standard wood framed home, with the biggest expense being insulation. Additionally, once the containers are cut then they lose some of their sturdiness and may need reinforcing with steel beams that require skilled installation.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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