Space is becoming more in demand than ever and, inevitably, property prices and rent have increased in U.S. cities in recent years. So, in an attempt to combat the high costs of living, micro-condos are cropping up in many urban areas around the country.
These tiny homes offer a more affordable option than more traditional properties. But, are they a good idea for you? Read on to discover exactly what a micro-condo is, as well as the pros and cons – and if it’s the right choice for you.
What It Is
As the name suggests, micro-condos are tiny versions of regular condo units. Typically between 200 and 400 square feet in size, they’re even smaller than most studio apartments. However, they’re designed to maximize the space they do have.
First, most micro-condos are fully furnished, featuring special furniture designed to serve a multitude of purposes – such as a bed that folds up into the wall, perhaps providing shelving when not in use. Most micro-condos also feature high ceilings and large windows, giving the illusion of more space. They usually come with a small balcony or outdoor space, as well.
Additionally, micro-condos are often located within a larger complex, and residents may have access to a number of communal facilities and amenities. These can range from a gym to on-site restaurants or lounge areas, depending on the complex. In some cases, residents may share communal kitchens, bathrooms or laundry areas, although it’s more typical for a micro-condo to be self-contained with its own private kitchen and bathroom.
Micro-condos are typically aimed at young professionals who are looking to move into inner-city areas. These people may not be able to afford the rent of a traditional city apartment and would be even less likely to buy one. Members of this younger niche are typically single and value location over space. They are also less likely to have accumulated an abundance of possessions over the years. As such, micro-condos may be suitable for college students, single parents or short-term renters – such as travelers or interns.
Benefits of Micro-Condos
The major benefits of living in a micro-condo are the affordability paired with the location. Younger people who would typically be priced out of prime, inner-city neighborhoods now have a viable option. Because most young adults value location over anything else when it comes to renting or buying a property, the majority of micro-condos are built near business areas, colleges, and restaurants. Consequently, tenants don’t have to spend hours each day commuting.
For those looking to buy, the cost is extremely low compared to other options in the city. This puts micro-condos within financial reach for many. Younger people, in particular, are far more likely to be able to afford the smaller down payment and mortgage payments of a micro-condo as opposed to a traditional unit.
However, it’s not just the rent/price tag that’s appealing. Small spaces are far more energy-efficient, resulting in lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. They’re also subject to lower maintenance costs and property taxes.
For those looking for a more minimalist way of life, living in a small space means you can’t realistically splurge on things you don’t need. It’s hard to be a hoarder when every inch of space counts!
Disadvantages of Micro-Condos
Despite the numerous advantages of micro-condos, tiny-home living is certainly not for everyone, and it’s important to be honest about your needs. The obvious disadvantage is the lack of space; 200 square feet is smaller than many family dining rooms! They’re also not the ideal choice for most couples, and they’re absolutely unworkable if you plan to have kids any time soon. Of course, there are exceptions, but many people will find that living in such close quarters with someone else is unbearable at times – no matter how much they care for one another.
Even when living alone, some people will still find the space too small. Passionate cooks may find that the kitchenette doesn’t allow them to prepare the food they want, while those with large wardrobes can find the limited space frustrating. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time in a tiny-home before committing to it.
Furthermore, if you plan to buy, it can be difficult to get financing for a micro-condo. Because they’re a relatively new concept, some lenders may be wary of financing something they’re not sure they can make their money back on.
Micro-condos are a great new concept, and can really save renters and investors a lot of money. But, they’re not for everyone, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your choice.