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What is Micro-Apartment? Is Renting a Micro-Unit Right for You?

No one can deny that the prices for real estate and rentals have been continually growing over the past decades. What’s more, the population of our planet has been increasing as well; just from 1950 to 2010, it grew by 174%, from 2.5 billion to 6.9 billion

These are just two reasons why the micro-apartments have become so popular during the past few years. Today we dedicate our article to this new symbol of urban living and discuss what exactly a micro-apartment is, the pros and cons of living in a micro-apartment, and if living in a micro-apartment is a good option for you.

What Is Micro-Apartment?

Many of us, dwellers of a big city, might be under the impression that we live in the micro-apartments, unhappy with the amount of space we get for paying an awful lot. However, the reality is, micro-apartment or micro-unit is a living unit with a size under 350 sq ft (32.5 m²), which contains all the amenities typical for a regular apartment. As a result, it requires some thought out design and multifunctional or even modular furniture to accommodate a kitchen, bathroom, some closet space, and other necessities you’d expect to have.

Micro-apartments are common to encounter in bigger cities of North America, Europe, and Asia, such as New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo, or Rome. Such appeal of micro-units to renters and even buyers in the big cities can be explained by the lower rental or buying costs and attractive districts where they are located. As the Urban Land Insitute research shows, for 97% of micro-unit renters, the location was the most important cause to choose micro-apartment. At the same time, 86% of respondents mentioned that the apartment’s price influenced their decision. By constructing buildings with micro-apartments, developers, on the other hand, can acquire a higher revenue per square foot in the long run. 

More like this: Can’t afford a big apartment? Make your small one look bigger

In many cases, micro-unit buildings come with standard amenities you would expect from a residential building. For example, Carmel Place, the first micro-unit apartment building in Manhattan, lists a fitness space, indoor lounge, and even a multimedia entertainment room as amenities they offer to occupants. Another example is Cubix Apartments in Seattle, where you can find a rooftop deck with a grilling area, on-site storage, and laundry room. What’s more, as many buildings with micro-apartments have been constructed recently, they comply with the various sustainable building and development practices and requirements.

Who Is Renting Micro-Apartments?

Single young professionals are one of the most common groups of renters who would find micro-apartments desirable. For many of them, living in a tiny studio is a perfect solution, as they use it mostly solely as a place to sleep, spending the majority of the time at work or out with friends. Young people can use micro-units as their first “adult” home, upgrading later on to a bigger apartment if they start living with a partner or their income increases. Also, as they only start living by themselves, they usually don’t need much storage space, as they did not have a chance to accumulate too many possessions.

Another group of people interested in micro-apartments is older singles deciding to downsize or searching for a place for occasional use.

what is micro-apartment

Pros and Cons of Micro-Apartments

As you can see, living in a micro-apartment comes with some perks and some shortcomings. To make it easier for you to figure out if you should consider renting a micro-apartment, check out the list of main pros and cons.

Pros of Living in Micro-Apartment

  • In many cases, rental prices for a micro-unit are lower than for a regular studio
  • Prime locations in metropolitan areas 
  • Lower utility costs due to smaller square footage
  • Ability to live alone without roommates
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons of Living in Micro-Apartment

  • Limited amount of space, both for living and storing your belongings
  • Not suitable for families, couples, and renters with large pets
  • Significant renters’ turnover, which can result in worse condition of the apartment

More like this: Not The End of The World: Guide to Moving Into A Smaller Place

What to Pay Attention to While Searching for Micro-Unit

If you think that the micro-apartment concept sounds like a great deal for you, make sure to watch out for a few things when you’ll go to check out the place before renting it.

First of all, make sure that you feel comfortable being inside. If the small space feels suffocating, you might not find it enjoyable spending time at your own home. See if the windows let in enough light and what view out of them you’ll have, as this can also influence your well-being.

The storage space is another factor that is crucial when it comes to choosing a micro-apartment. Before agreeing on renting the first place you encounter, estimate if you are able to fit all your belongings into your potential home without feeling cramped. See if there is some extra storage space under the bed and if you have a storage space to the ceiling, which can provide more storage room without taking any space from your actual living space.

Also, pay extra attention to the kitchen, as it might not have all the appliances you’re used to living in regular size space. If you love cooking and, especially, baking, double-check if the kitchen has an oven. A fridge of a decent size and some room for stashing your food supplies and kitchenware is a must as well.

Finally, do not judge a place only by the square footage. Some smaller homes can be way more livable and more organized than a bigger apartment. Instead, be on the lookout for well-thought design and multifunctional furniture! And, if you’re ready to go on a hunt for your next home, choose among the wide range of apartments on Rentberry!

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