What is a Micro Unit?

Rents seem to keep going up, no matter where you are in the country. While it’s still possible to find a deal, thinking smaller can also be an option if you’re looking to stay on budget. Many city planners and developers are turning to build micro-units to house more people within city centers to fight the affordable housing crisis.

For others, lower rents or proximity to their desired neighborhood, according to this 2015 report, drives their interest in micro-units. Micro-units tend to target young professionals in their 20s and other singles.

Thinking of living small? Keep reading to see if it fits your lifestyle.

Micro unit defined: What is a micro-apartment?

Studio apartment.

Micro units are very small apartments, typically less than 350 square feet — slightly larger than a one-car garage. Think of a tiny home, but an apartment instead. You’ve most likely seen them in Japan and Europe.

In the last decade, New York and Seattle have seen a surge in availability to accommodate their growing populations. The only thing to keep in mind: size requirements aren’t always the same. In San Francisco, for example, legislation passed allowing apartments as small as 220 square feet.

While you trade-off space, you may gain savings from the lower monthly rent as well as lower utility bills, thanks to its energy efficiency. Each unit usually comes with a small kitchen and a bathroom, or there’s a shared kitchenette with the unit only for sleeping. The buildings often offer more amenities as well.

However, since micro-unit apartments are often not regulated, the rents may be higher than a standard studio apartment. But usually, what wins out is the location for prospective micro-unit renters.

What does a micro-unit look like?

Tiny kitchen.

A micro-unit apartment focuses on efficiency. The unit is a smaller studio with an open concept area that includes a small bathroom and kitchenette. Depending on the complex, the unit will offer a Murphy bed option to save space and create a living room. It may also include modular furniture that has more than one way to use it — think a wall bookcase also contains a table.

Some complexes may offer a shared kitchen option in a communal space instead, so the small unit is only used for sleeping.

Most units are eco-friendly with low-carbon footprints, and the complexes often offer luxury amenities like car-sharing discounts, communal lounges and pet perks. Cubix North Park in Seattle (shown above) provides 231-square-feet studios for $995.

Pros of a micro-unit


Let’s talk about the positive features of a micro-unit apartment and how it can benefit your lifestyle.

Lower monthly rent

The main appeal of micro-unit apartments is the allure of lower rent for a better location and maybe even kicking your car to the curb. In Urban Land Institute report, most respondents surveyed expected micro-unit apartment’s monthly rent around 21 percent to 30 percent less than that of a comparable studio.

Just make sure you do your research. In some cities, standard studios are the same or less than a micro-unit in the same neighborhood.

Eco-friendly amenities

A significant perk of this kind of unit is that developers kept eco-friendliness in mind when building. Complexes use eco-friendly products and LEED-certified appliances and fixtures to keep costs down for them and you. Believe it or not, you’re also saving money and the environment by not buying more furniture and things for your apartment.

Get rid of clutter

If you hug it, does it bring you joy? If you hate clutter and live a very minimalistic life, micro-units will alleviate the stress of finding more storage. You can easily optimize your small space for what you have and just practice ‘one in, one out’ without worrying about clutter.

Location, location

The trade-off for less space? Location. If you’re looking for a place closer to work, public transportation and nightlife without affecting your wallet too much, micro-units are the way to make your city life dreams come true.

Cons of a micro-unit

While there are plenty of pros, it’s good to balance out the cons you may not consider when thinking about micro-unit apartments.

Higher price tag

Because micro-units are the new thing, they can also be incredibly price-prohibitive in certain areas. While the amenities and location may sound tempting, check for market rates and protect yourself before signing a lease.

Potential mental and health risks

The smaller space, no actual outdoor options, not entertaining friends or guests and increased stress can quickly escalate as health risks for those in micro-unit apartments. Feeling isolated can affect your mental health in such a small space. You must understand your lifestyle and mental health balance before agreeing to live in a smaller space.

Not ideal for families or roommates

While most people who choose micro-unit apartments are single professionals, micro-unit apartments are affordable housing options. However, it is difficult to live with others in such a small space, so it isn’t a good option for families or sharing with others. They’re often not pet-friendly either.

Finding a micro-unit

People choose micro-units for a better location, lower rent or just because you like having a smaller space. It’s truly an excellent option for you if it fits your lifestyle. Whatever your reason is to live in under 350-square-feet, you can find micro-unit apartments in your city right on Apartment Guide.

The post What is a Micro Unit? appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.

Source: apartmentguide.com

Apartment Highlights: Aura Pentagon City

Camden Midtown Houston Apartments Property Highlight

Sponsored Post-All images provided courtesy of Polinger Management Company

Apartment Community Spotlight: Aura Pentagon City

Aura at Pentagon City is the destination address that proves you don’t have to live in the District of Columbia to be a true resident of the nation’s capital. Your new address is the center of the DC Metro area, including all commuter routes and, of course, the area’s parks, shopping, dining, and nightlife options. A quick walk–just blocks from either the Pentagon City or Crystal City Metro and you’re home!

Choose a beautiful studio, one or two-bedroom apartment home that’s designed just the way you like it, with just enough space for your needs. Apartment homes range in size from 519 square feet to 1,243 square feet and with nearly 20 options to choose from, you’re sure to find a floorplan that suits your life. And our favorite feature; they’re pet-friendly! 


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Aura Pentagon City truly makes residents feel at home. They treat residents with high-end customer service, regardless of the situation. In addition to the wonderful team at Aura Pentagon City, the community amenities are top-notch. Whether you value underground parking, outdoor space, a business center, valet dry cleaning, rooftop pools and sundecks, on-site maintenance, fitness center, and even a dog park for your four-legged friend,  they have it all — and more.  Two resort-style pools, a fully equipped fitness center, and concierge are our favorites! Additionally, there is on-site parking, trash and recycling, and on-site dry cleaning. Can you think of anything missing from this community, because we can’t!


All in all, Aura Pentagon City is our community of choice when it comes to the Pentagon City neighborhood. The lux amenities, stellar service, and its central location are our main reasons why we love it. If you are looking into making Arlington, Virginia your home, Aura Pentagon City should be at the top of your list – we promise you’ll love it!


Read Apartment Highlights: Aura Pentagon City on Apartminty.

Source: blog.apartminty.com