Size doesn’t always matter, especially when it comes to apartment size.
Let us introduce you to one of the newest apartment living trends — micro apartments. The best way to think of them is the urban version of a tiny home. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What is a micro unit apartment?
Usually smaller than a studio apartment and averaging between 200 and 400 square feet, micro apartments or micro units are popping up in major cities all over the country. Typically designed as an open-living concept with high ceilings and big windows to create the illusion of more space, they’re a great fit for single residents, as opposed to families or people with roommates. Most are usually designed with efficient furniture, such as Murphy beds and kitchenettes, too.
However, some micro-apartment buildings offer a mix of private rooms and communal spaces, such as bathrooms, large rooftops or lounge rooms. The location of micro apartments, high-end amenities and community features tend to balance out the lack of space for most people who choose micro-living.
What to look for in a micro apartment
When looking for your perfect micro apartment there are some key amenities you should look for before signing a lease.
Architecture and design
The architecture of the building can have an effect on the micro-apartment design. Try to look for micro apartments that have been built with tall ceilings, large windows, balconies or decks because these features will amplify the space. You should also look for space-saving furniture that can serve dual purposes. Here are some examples of how to best design your space.
- Murphy beds: These beds allow you to put your bed away while you’re not using it to clear up some space in the living area. In some cases, Murphy beds have dual functions, such as turning into a desk or storage space. This type of dual-purpose furniture clear up more space in a tiny apartment.
- Loft beds: Using a loft bed is a great way to create extra space in your micro- apartment design. Since your bed is out of the way, you can use the space below for an office, a TV room or anything your mind can dream up.
- Lounge chairs or bean bags: Instead of a large couch that takes up most of your space, consider a nice recliner, beanbag or nest chair to decorate your living room.
- Bar area: Use your kitchen bar area and bar stools instead of a large dining room table. This can help save space while still allowing you to have a dining area in your home.
Common areas and community spaces
Whether they be rooftop patios, gardens, lobbies or club rooms, communal spaces are key elements of many micro-apartment buildings. Since the apartment itself is smaller, these areas offer a great space to work or relax outside of your small space. When looking at a prospective apartment, check out these features offered and make sure they work for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is the community within the micro-apartment complex. The shared space gives micro living a communal feel. This can be very appealing for young residents who are new to the area as a way to meet people and make friends. However, since you could be sharing areas, such as rooftops, kitchens and even bathrooms, in some cases, it might be a good idea to make sure you vet the people with whom you’ll be sharing your space.
Pros and cons of micro-apartment living
Here are some pros and cons to think about before renting a micro apartment.
- Saving money: Micro apartments are a way to live in a big city and save money as they typically cost less than a studio apartment. Since they’re a small space, you won’t need to spend a lot of money on furniture, either.
- Location: Micro units can often be found in the heart of the city, offering breathtaking views and convenience. Being close to restaurants, parks and museums is what makes giving up space worth it for so many people. Also, you can live, work and play within the same area and won’t need to spend a lot of extra money on travel and commuting expenses.
- Space: While the tiny space appeals to some, it’s not meant for everyone. If you enjoy having a separate room for your bed or like to spread out, micro-apartments might not be the best option for you as space is very limited.
- Guests: Living in small spaces makes it difficult to have guests visit, whether for dinner or for a longer stay. These spaces also aren’t ideal for sharing with family or friends.
- Cost: Although micro apartments do tend to cost less than a traditional one or two-bedroom apartment, that doesn’t mean they’re inexpensive. Prime locations and new amenities contribute to their cost.
How much do micro apartments cost?
The cost of micro apartments varies greatly from city to city, but generally, rent is around 70 to 80 percent of what a typical apartment costs.
Although micro apartments can cost more per square footage than a traditional apartment, overall, they’re still more affordable and a great option for mid-income earners who want to live in the city.
Who lives in micro apartments?
While micro apartments can house a large range of ages, they typically target single, 20-somethings or millennials with few possessions and moderately well-paid city jobs. Millennials are taking longer to settle down, making micro living a great option as they’re best suited for single people not families.
They’re a great starting apartment for young renters who are also willing to exchange space for location and convenience and enjoy spending time exploring the city and socializing outside of their apartment. People in this age range don’t want to be tied down to one place. They want to move and explore, which is why renting is best suited for them.
Are micro apartments right for you?
Micro apartments might start popping up in more cities across the world. Although micro living may require you to adjust your lifestyle, they can be a great starter apartment for young people moving to a new city. Not only are they often centered in great locations, but they also offer great amenities, a sense of community and above all, a more affordable way to live alone in a big city.
Published at Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:00:01 +0000
It’s a learning experience.
Moving for the first time? Even if you think you know it all, you probably aren’t quite ready. A move, no matter how far, typically involves a lot of moving parts. And moving mistakes.
Check out our list for some common first-time errors and to learn how you can avoid making them.
1. Packing up your home “as-is”
When moving for the first time, you might be tempted to just pack up your existing home “as-is” and move your entire past life to your new home. This is usually not a wise decision.
If you’re the type of person that’s very thorough and regular with cleaning out your home, you can skip over this step. But, if you’re like the rest of us and have packrat tendencies, you need to listen up.
Before moving day rolls around, take at least a week to incrementally purge your personal possessions. If you’re honest with yourself, there’s probably a good amount of documents, clothes, tools and more that you don’t need to take to your new place. Donating or tossing these items before packing can save you time and money in the long run.
There are a number of ways to tell if you own too much stuff, according to organizational experts, but one works particularly well. Dorothy Breininger of the TV show “Hoarders” told Bustle that if you can afford to go days or even weeks without unpacking after a trip, you own too many things. “For people who don’t keep a lot around, they can’t afford to not unpack and put their things away,” she says.
2. Skipping over the planning
It seems simple, right? Put your things in a box and get those boxes to your new home. No matter the size of your move, you have to plan ahead, especially if it’s your first move. If you don’t, moving day will be a harsh and, likely expensive, reality.
There are plenty of easy-to-follow moving timelines that will help you be sure you’ve covered all the bases. From the months leading up to the move all the way to the very day of the move, you need to have certain preparations made.
You can also utilize a number of tech tools to help avoid any moving mistakes. One great online tool is MoveAdvisor, a mobile app that can help you find the right professionals, keep an inventory of your home and organize and schedule your move based on the time remaining until moving day! MoveAdvisor is available for both iPhone and on the Google Play store.
3. Forgetting about your first night in the new place
One of the most common yet most aggravating moving mistakes you can make is forgetting to plan for your first night in your new home. On moving day, you’ll probably move all of your boxes and furniture into your new home.
The next few days or even weeks will likely be consumed with unpacking. But, you don’t want to wait days or weeks to get to all of your essential items!Before you pack, put together an “overnight” kit to use during the interim between move-in day and finishing your unpacking. This kit should have everything you need for basic survival and hygiene, such as:
- Phone or laptop chargers
- Important documents like insurance info, social security card and driver license
4. Forgetting to forward your mail
Granted, much of our important correspondence these days comes electronically, but snail mail still plays an important role in our lives. Before you move, you shouldn’t forget to forward your mail to your new address. It’s easy to do online, and if you’re in the U.S., it only costs a dollar to officially change your address instantly.
5. Falling for a too-good-to-be-true price for movers
Like the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If your move involves hiring professional movers, you’ll probably want to avoid being swayed by a too-good-to-be-true cost.
Before hiring a mover or moving company, check at least three references. You are 100 percent within your rights to ask for a moving company to provide their licensure and insurance information, and you should. Lastly, be sure you read any contracts thoroughly before signature. A shady company could leave you with a big mess that you’re ultimately liable for.
According to Moving.com, “The average cost of a local move is $1,250. The average cost of a long distance move is $4,890 (distance of 1,000 miles),” based on a 2-3 bedroom house and average 7,500 pounds of cargo.
That price estimate is based on licensed, professional movers, so if you receive a quoted price much lower than that, you should be wary. When in doubt, you can use an online moving cost calculator to see about what you should be paying.
6. Forgetting about Fido
Obviously, you won’t forget to move your pets with you. But, many people do forget to plan their big moves with their pets in mind.
Before moving with a pet, make sure they have a “survival pack” for them, too — just like the one we mentioned you would need for yourself. This should include food and water bowls, blankets and waste bags. A few of your fur baby’s favorite toys can’t hurt either.
There are also a number of health precautions you should take with your pets. Prior to a move you should have a regular vet checkup. If you’re moving across state lines, your new home may have different health requirements for animals that you’ll need to educate yourself on.
Moving with pets is not hard, it just takes a bit more planning.
7. Equating DIY with money-saving
There’s a reason people do things professionally — because they’re good at it. The same can be said for professional movers. If it was easy to do it the right way, everyone would do it for themselves.
Despite the fact that self moves are growing in popularity, moving is complex, tiresome and often high-stakes. The smallest mistake can end up costing you a ton of money. If you’re considering a DIY move because it will save you money, think about the overall value of some of your most expensive items.
If even one item is damaged, you could end up losing all the money you “saved” by doing it yourself in the first place. Some of the most common moving mistakes center around an over-ambitious DIY move.
If you’re considering a DIY move, perhaps consider some hybrid option. A model of moving known as “You Pack, We Drive” moving is increasing in popularity. This option allows you to pack up your belongings at your own pace and have them professionally transported to your new home, where you will then unpack on your own.
Be smart and avoid moving mistakes
Whether you’re dreading your move or you’re excited about it, chances are there are some anxious feelings surrounding moving day. With that, you can easily make moving mistakes that will cost you in the long run.
Be smart, plan ahead and follow our advice to avoid those moving mistakes, and you’ll thank yourself in the end.
Published at Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:00:30 +0000