Author Topic: question about renting out super small rooms...  (Read 4463 times)

FuckRx

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question about renting out super small rooms...
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:42:47 PM »

i'm curious, why doesn't someone buy an older house in a decent downtown area like here in San Diego that's somewhat beat up for let's say 600k (i'm looking at one right now across the window of the library that i'm at) and turn it into like 12 small 100-120sqft units each with it's own bathroom and rent them out? i mean i live in a 200sqft place for $850. i would totally do a 120sqft place for $450-500 as long as it had windows though.

AJ

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 01:51:26 PM »
I don't know for sure, but the things that jump out to me would be the cost of adding all those bathrooms and the potential difficulty obtaining permits to do so. If it was in my county, the property would need to be zoned medium density residential to have that many units.

For the cost and difficulty it is possible that it's just more profitable to add a few more square feet and charge the $850 you're paying now. Bathrooms and kitchens are the expensive part, living and bed room square footage is cheap by comparison.

NumberCruncher

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 01:53:20 PM »

i'm curious, why doesn't someone buy an older house in a decent downtown area like here in San Diego that's somewhat beat up for let's say 600k (i'm looking at one right now across the window of the library that i'm at) and turn it into like 12 small 100-120sqft units each with it's own bathroom and rent them out? i mean i live in a 200sqft place for $850. i would totally do a 120sqft place for $450-500 as long as it had windows though.

Some others will have to chime in  for the costs of so much remodeling (I'm assuming these houses don't already have so many bathrooms)...why 12 units? How common are small apartments like that? I mean, I've lived in almost-300 sqft with another person, but 100-120 sqft seems quite small just about anywhere (except maybe NYC), meaning it might be harder to rent the units out.

CommonCents

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dcheesi

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 03:10:29 PM »
I believe some cities regulate a minimum size for residences. I remember reading about some place like San Francisco lowering their limit recently.

AJ

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 03:26:10 PM »
Some are.
http://boston.curbed.com/tags/micro-apartments

Even the smallest of these micro-apartments is still 300% larger than what FuckRx is looking for:

Quote
Micro-apartment rents at Factory 63 range from around $1,200 for a 337-square-foot unit to $2,450 for a 597-square-footer

the fixer

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 03:31:03 PM »
A trend I've seen is to create group houses in college towns. 8+ bedrooms that share only 2 or 3 bathrooms. The whole thing gets rented out as a single unit on one lease to a giant group of students.

meadow lark

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 08:16:45 PM »
I think it is a great idea.  Of course, any remodeling in SF is incredibly expensive, much, much more than just installing bathrooms,  due to unbelievable red tape.  (Yes, I have been a landlord in the Bay Area.)

CommonCents

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 09:48:00 PM »
Some are.
http://boston.curbed.com/tags/micro-apartments

Even the smallest of these micro-apartments is still 300% larger than what FuckRx is looking for:

Quote
Micro-apartment rents at Factory 63 range from around $1,200 for a 337-square-foot unit to $2,450 for a 597-square-footer

True enough, I posted the link relying on my memory of the article I had read. Looks like there are 225 sq feet micro units here in Boston but not smaller. I suspect for the reasons named above, plus there's probably insufficient demand for the tiny units. That said I have friends that have rented rooms in a house (with strangers, all separate leases) for less space, and that's probably the most likely way to approach it.

electriceagle

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 10:30:31 PM »
Permits & zoning.

Zoning may prevent the owner from renting those rooms to different people as separate apartments. If the owner has to rent to one master tenant, he'll have to accept the master tenant's choice of sub-tenants, however distruptive they may be.

This plan sounds like a lot of plumbing. Permits may be a pain to get.

That said, people do this lots in college towns.

iris lily

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 08:38:41 AM »
Zoning no longer allow "boarding houses" which is what you are proposing.

I live in a neighborhood of big old victorians that were turned into boarding houses in the 1940's - 1950's. The last boarding house here closed about 18 years ago.

Zoning in my city limits residents of one household to no more than 3 unrelated persons per unit. The Catholic friars up the street who went in together to buy a completely renovated (and gorgeous!) house for $850,000 had to get a variance for their living situation.

I've always pondered this issue. I like the idea of simple bed-sitters (that's what they are called in the U.K.) for single people, small units with a bed, sofa, and sink. The toilet is shared, is out in the hall. That seems like a practical and good deal to me. And actually, the bed-sitter places I've seen are pretty because they are in Victorian buildings with high ceilings and crown moldings, often with a lovely bay window. Those rooms can be handsome as hell and seemingly roomy because of the high ceiling.

 But due to the kinds of people, low lifes, who inhabited our boarding houses here just a few decades ago, that kind of housing now has a bad reputation. I would be driven out of our neighborhood for suggesting that we go back to that despite its theoretical practicality.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 08:46:58 AM by iris lily »

viper155

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 08:43:19 AM »
In New York City this unit would be classified as a "single room occupancy", or SRO. They are illegal. They are an extreme fire hazard. Getting a building like this up to code would probably be cost prohibitive. They would have to be of fireproof construction, sprinkled and and have multiple means of egress.

LennStar

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 10:12:06 AM »
Here in Germany lots of students homes are (very) small. I have a friend who lives in one of those "bathroom outside" rooms on perhaps 100ft. I had a complete flat on maybe 20m. (this would be the 225ft Boston things) If you are not cluttering, thats spacy. I mean, I had 2 tables in there and still room.

Or just look at the japanese. They know how to do small houses ;)


I dont know why this should not be allowed. Especially considering environment.

CommonCents

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 12:17:09 PM »
I dont know why this should not be allowed. Especially considering environment.

See above - fire hazards, egress problems.  Overcrowing can also breed diseases.  Also many more issues than I can think of, like the denser population can be noisier, which many folks don't want.

Cpa Cat

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Re: question about renting out super small rooms...
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2014, 12:33:48 PM »

i'm curious, why doesn't someone buy an older house in a decent downtown area like here in San Diego that's somewhat beat up for let's say 600k (i'm looking at one right now across the window of the library that i'm at) and turn it into like 12 small 100-120sqft units each with it's own bathroom and rent them out? i mean i live in a 200sqft place for $850. i would totally do a 120sqft place for $450-500 as long as it had windows though.

Boarding houses are considered a blight on most neighborhoods. They attract single people (usually single men), who are in the market for low-cost housing and who have no investment in the community. The properties often end up run down, noisy and generally bothersome to neighbors. Parking is usually insufficient. There are often trash problems.

And so... most cities just zone them out of existence.