Wednesday, June 12

Could You Handle Living in a Tiny Home?

As housing costs and rents in cities like New York and San Francisco continue their upward trend, more people are looking to downsize and reduce spending. The growing movement of people building and living in tiny houses has influenced developers in larger cities to consider building tiny apartments for single tenants.

In New York, the city had to waive current zoning laws that require apartments to be at least 400 square feet to allow the construction of My Micro NY, the first apartment complex of its kind. Featuring studio apartments between 260 and 360 square feet, My Micro NY offers amenities such as large windows, storage units, and common living spaces. Units will have nine foot ceilings, kitchenettes, and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. Rents will be set between $2,000 and $3,000 per month.

Before developers pitched the idea of My Micro NY, people across the United States were starting their own micro-living revolution by building tiny houses. The Tiny Home movement started with people who wanted to own their own homes, while getting rid of clutter and simplifying their lives. Now, tiny homes (usually under 500 square feet) are popping up all around the country. Some tiny homes are even built on trailers, so that they can be relocated when and if owners decide to move.

“It’s understandable that people in a larger city such as New York would want to buy a smaller home; the real estate is at a premium there and the more space you have, the more you pay,” says Russ Wald of Russ Wald Realty. “But people in non-metro areas are still looking to expand with larger lots. I think that this trend may continue in large cities but that there will always be buyers that are looking for large homes with plenty of space.”

Both the My Micro NY building and developers of tiny homes are brainstorming ways to make living spaces feel less claustrophobic. In addition to the vaulted ceilings and larger windows, many of the My Micro NY apartments will feature sliding glass doors and small balconies, while tiny home manufacturers are encouraging the use of high quality building materials, integrated speaker systems, and even tiny hot tubs.

If My Micro NY is a success, tenants can expect to see more developers following their lead. Soon, tiny apartments may be an affordable option for singles in cities across the country.

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