Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | December 23, 2011

Micro Living

Who would ever thought you could rent or purchase a home the size of a walk-in closet?

Well you can. Vancouver is one of the first cities to generate “Micro Living” but will certainly not be the last. It represents affordable housing for those who have missed the boom and are unable to accumulate the needed down payment or for those single individuals who simply want to live in the city core.

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Do you need to declutter your home and silence that inner voice egging you on to buy more stuff? Don’t risk the producers of Hoarders showing up on your doorstep. You will soon be able to down-size to a 226-square-foot apartment or condo here in Victoria.

In a city known for expensive real estate these small self-contained units — just 226 to 291 square feet — rent for about $850 per month, including cable and Internet. Location comes with a price tag, of course. These “micro-lofts” are the result of the high cost of land and while they may not be for everyone, they definitely serve a purpose.

The tenants, most 25 to 35 year-old working professionals, say they appreciate the chance to live in the historical downtown core, even if it means sacrificing on space. “It doesn’t feel that small,” says a top-floor corner suite resident with three large windows, “a ton of exposed brick, and a beautiful view of the inner harbour is hard to beat at any cost.”

All suites have space-efficient design, including flat screen TVs, compact appliances — a dishwasher, but no oven — and built-in pull-down wall beds with integrated folding tables. Put up the bed in the morning and fold out the table. Each unit comes furnished with a sofa, chairs and coffee table.

Referred to as a “cosy nook.” Owners and tenants alike can walk to work, and they would have paid the same price or more for 400 square feet in a neighbourhood much further from work.

The downside?

There’s a microwave and stove-top elements but no oven, no bathtub, but “It’s not forever, but it’s great for right now.”

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