In today's expensive real estate market, some people are choosing to give up space in order to live affordably in desirable locations like New York City or Santa Monica, California. CNBC Make it recently featured three individuals who have made it work in less than 300 square feet.
One example is Alex Verhaeg, who moved into a 95 square-foot apartment in Manhattan's East Village in 2020. Despite its small size, Verhaeg considers it home and pays $1,000 a month in rent. The apartment doesn't have a bathroom or much of a kitchen, but Verhaeg appreciates the minimalist lifestyle it requires.
Sung Yoo, on the other hand, downsized to a 140 square-foot tiny home in Santa Monica after a breakup and a death in the family. Her tiny home, located in her landlord's backyard, is just an eight-minute drive from the beach. Yoo pays $1,600 a month in rent, which is $600 less than the median studio apartment in Santa Monica. She enjoys the intentional living and the serenity of her tiny home, and she plans to live in it forever.
Precious Price took a different approach to downsizing. After buying a three-bedroom house in Atlanta, she decided to build a tiny home in her backyard and rent out the main house. The tiny home cost around $35,000 to build, and Price recoups the costs by listing it on Airbnb. She now lives in the 296 square-foot tiny home for free, as the rent from the main house covers the expenses of both properties.
Despite the limited space, these individuals have found ways to make their small homes feel comfortable and functional. They appreciate the benefits of living with less and have embraced a minimalist lifestyle.