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Micro Apartments – Living Small in an Urban Hub

Gateway to Independence & A New Home!

Have you heard about the “Tiny House Movement?”  It’s all about homes under 400 square feet that are constructed for families who want to spend less money, be environmentally friendly and enjoy more time in the great outdoors.  Now there is a new trend being embraced by developers in the urban landscape – “Micro Apartments.”

Developers are designing apartments smaller than studios, averaging 380 square feet.  They are designed to get Millennials into affordable housing in some of the hottest, most desirable areas of our cities’ urban hubs.  First developed in 2009 in New York City, this trend is growing in places like San Francisco, Seattle and now  Washington, D.C. as well.

Mostly Millennials are renting these units, but seniors and college students are also finding them to be an affordable option suited for one or two people.  Prices are often 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of studio apartments and the spaces are being retrofitted with furniture.  Amenities you won’t find in most other apartment buildings will be included in these unique structures.

The construction of these units maximizes the space – a table can be transformed into a Murphy bed with the flip of a switch and a window seat can convert to a breakfast nook for two.  The space includes important “must haves,” like a full bath, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer.  Conventional stoves are sometimes included in a common area kitchen coupled with a rooftop garden that allows for fresh produce to be incorporated into meals and some great space for hanging out as well.  Bike and parking spaces are also shared as part of the design.

One community locally, Blagden Alley in Georgetown, just received final approval this past April.  This 121 unit building is steps away from the Metro and will even include a Continental breakfast each day to facilitate the resident’s transition to their work day.

Diminutive space or not this new trend in maximizing space will allow young professionals freedom from excessive bills and responsibilities.  Some may think of these homes like “dorms for adults,” but others will be welcomed home to a new style of living.  This may just be the tiny tip of the iceberg that is now trending.  In the coming years this trend could be the gateway to the Real Estate marketplace for many – the first place one can afford to live on their own and more importantly a means to save for their first home purchase!


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