Micro Living – Minimalism to the Next Level

A new trend is sweeping the country called micro living: with people moving into freestanding homes often less than 400 square feet.   Tiny homes are a source of endless fascination to people. More than 10 million viewers tune in to the Tiny House shows on HGTV. There’s a Tiny House Magazine and endless blogs about microliving.  The obsession with small spaces began in California and moved across the country and that trend is suddenly gaining steam in the Tri-state area: from Long Island to New Jersey to the Hudson Valley.

There is a website devoted entirely to selling these homes called: TinyHouseListings.com. But there are also manufacturers which will deliver the whole home to the NYC area.  There’s Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses where prices begin at around $35,000 and Nashville-based New Frontier Tiny homes with a starting price of around $79,000. They somehow pack a Jacuzzi, dishwasher and a dining table into the house’s 240 square feet. Keep in mind you still have buy the land you want to put the home on.

And it’s not just homes. There are micro apartments coming to NYC:

  •  A new apartment complex called Carmel Place is coming to Manhattan’s Kips Bay this Spring.  It will be the city’s first modular residential building withmicro-apartments. They’re about 300 square feet but they have nine-and-a-half foot ceilings, a full bathroom and a kitchen with modern appliances. The singles population has been on the rise in NYC and accounts for half of all renters- so this is an interesting new option for them.

But isn’t it a law in NYC that apartments have to be a certain size to be inhabitable?

  • Yes. Current NYC city laws prohibit constructing homes smaller than 400 square feet, but the city actually waived the regulation for this Carmel Place project. City officials are testing whether smaller apartments would be a viable option. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg first announced the micro unit pilot program during his term as a way to tackle New York’s housing crisis. Current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio also supports the project.

Gigi Stone Woods

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