For Sale: 250 sq. ft. Condo for $279,000

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Heard some buzz today about some tiny new condos:

Via SFGate:

Home, small home: 250 square feet in SoMa
New condo development targets young first-time buyers without too much stuff

It’s about the size of seven ping-pong tables – and all yours starting at $279,000.

A San Francisco design and development firm has begun marketing 98 tiny condominiums – ranging from 250 to 350 square feet – at the Cubix Yerba Buena building in SoMa. […]

The kitchen area includes a mini sink, two-burner electric cooktop, half fridge and microwave-convection oven. The appliances are stainless steel; the countertop synthetic brown stone. There isn’t room for a bed and a sofa, so each studio is staged with a sofa-bed. They come with a wardrobe but no closets.

Efficient? Yes. $300,000? No thanks.

I could probably live in this place if I was single, but no way with two people working varying hours and wanting occasional privacy. At some point, why not just let people live in RVs in parking garages?

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  1. Wow, over $1000 a square foot. That’s pretty awful. I could understand living in a place like that if you had to, but why would you ever BUY a place like that?

  2. This is about the size of apts in Japan.

  3. where is the… bed

  4. It’s like living in a college dorm, except you’ve got mortgage payments instead of tuition.

  5. My cousin lived in an apartment very close to that size for about that much money when she lived in New York. I asked her about it and she said that she really liked the simplicity. Of course, she could also put her bike on the roof but she said that carrying the bike up the 5 flights of stairs was an extra workout.

  6. That’s no condominium, that’s a condominimum!!

  7. No washer and dryer? 🙁

  8. oddly, the ad that popped up when i viewed this… Get $40,000 towards your condo with the Army Advantage Fund.

    In 4 years I can put 14% down! Wonder if the mortgage mess will have quieted down by then.

  9. Hmm… looks amazingly similar to several apartments in Hawaii that I have seen. For the space I would drop the closet sized ‘deck’ and swap the sofa-bed and replace it with a normal bed and voila you would be back to having a hotel room.

  10. but where would you put the beer pong table? if you can’t envision that, then move right on to the next one…

  11. My living room is bigger than the entire apartment yet costs almost twice what I paid for my house.

  12. Many people feel the price of living in San Francisco is worth it.

  13. My boyfriend lived in a studio like that for a couple of years. I stayed there one summer with him. When we survived that summer without killing each other, I decided we were ready for marriage.

    It’s not a bad space for one person to live in, but the price is high. Still, might be worth buying if the mortgage is comparable to the rent and you’d stay for some years.

  14. Voice of dissent here… I think it’s kind of cool and a reflection of the changes coming to America given the questionable sustainability of the American suburbs. (Pricey gas being only one of the issues.)

    Certainly costly up front, but also on the large side considering that Tumbleweed sells homes (and plans to build your own) as small 65 sq. feet.

  15. I think RV trailer parks are pretty expensive in the area too. I can’t remember the amount, but I think it may be close to $1000/mo. So you might as well rent if you’re going to do that.

  16. “My boyfriend lived in a studio like that for a couple of years. I stayed there one summer with him. When we survived that summer without killing each other, I decided we were ready for marriage.”

    Ha, when my wife and I first got married we moved into a larger studio/loft (still one big open area) and it didn’t work at all. Too hard for one person to sleep while the other typed away on the computer all night. So we actually had to break the lease early. Is that bad? 😉

    p.s. HOA fees are another $250-$300 a month.

  17. I am a born and raised San Francisco and these lofts have changed everything. They are changing the neighborhoods and residents and are only getting more and more ridiculous. Put a stop to this Gavin!

  18. 250 square feet for $279,000? Talk about a ripoff. I know the cost of living in San Francisco is extremely high, but I could never pay that kind of money for a condo like that. At what point does one decide to move to a more affordable city?

  19. The insane part is, there’s many tiny house/tiny condo enthusiasts out there but the main idea is to live with less and to SPEND less as well.

    tinyhouseblog (you can google it, I don’t want to link directly to anyone), as well as a number of other sites on the web are dedicated to houses very similar to this size which are more like $15-50,000 at most.

    I just can’t understand why anyone would pay $1000/sq ft, single or not…. but then again, I live in Raleigh, NC where even downtown the sq ft price is closer to $300-400.

    Maybe the location is really that fabulous? I think they missed their target market by a long shot (young people, minimalists, people who are ditching consumerism, etc).

  20. Thinking back, I also spent a year living in a triple dorm room which housed 3 people in about 200 sf w/ shared bathrooms.

    They should include a high quality Murphy bed, not a sofa bed.

    Hmm… I’d buy one if it was $150k and I could rent it out most months to break even.

  21. My husband and I lived in a trailer in Miami, Florida for some time. It was fine with us.

    I actually don’t like big houses. I don’t like to manage a lot of space and objects. I am not good at it. LOL

    We now live in a beautiful, modern condo that is about $800 sf and if feels huge, humongous. Talking about perception.

  22. these cozy setups aren’t horrible but nothing for a thirty year obligation to loom over your head. try for extra tight comparisons. i dare you to click around!

  23. ChromeBrowserSucks says

    I wouldnt mind living in a hotel room for a year!

  24. And I thought I had no closet space.

  25. $279,000 would buy a pretty fine RV !

  26. I’d wonder about the resale market, if the initial buzz dies down.

  27. I paid about $103 per square foot for my house.
    I fully agree the small town/suburbs are horrible for a lot of reasons, but in my town of 30,000 we just dont have the people to allow for dense development… that and you can buy a lot of gas for the $200-900/sq ft that I saved on housing costs… of course I dont make squat either!

  28. I’m surprised that SF isn’t forcing its taxpayers to subsidize these ridiculously priced units to lodge for free illegals from MS-13 and welfare queens.

  29. Yes, it’s just like a hotel room. A friend of mine once had an apartment of 400 sq. ft. in NYC and it also felt like a hotel room. Here you are definitely trading comfort for convenience. I would live further from work and have more room any day. Even if I was single, I would like to stay home sometimes and it would be too confining. Of course, you wouldn’t accumulate junk because you couldn’t and that’s great. Otherwise, I don’t see any upside.

  30. fractalbrothers says

    I never understood why anyone would actually want to live in San Francisco.

  31. I know it sounds insane, but I have to say the price is about right in that area…. Most properties in SOMA cost that much.

    Two years ago, I was looking for a new apartment. A 1000 sq ft 3bd room apartment asked for $3000 a month. The bedroom barely fits a queen size bed. The former renter told me he rented that room out for $1000 a month!

    The SOMA area is definitely for young yuppie who makes big bucks but live paycheck by paycheck.

  32. Ted Valentine says

    Why not just buy your coffin and grave site, set up there early?

  33. auntie_green says

    What I thought of is a guy who is married, who works in SF but his wife doesn’t work, and she doesn’t want to live in SF, so the family lives in Carmel or Monterey or someplace like that, and the husband stays in town during the week and then goes home on the weekends….I know couples who do it. And if the husband is a high level exec who works crazy hours and/or travels alot for work, then its not so bad. Not what I’d want to do, but it is done

  34. auntie_green says

    Also, a law was just recently passed in California, in the last couple of weeks. where the state is encouraging cities/counties to stop encouraging growth to outlying areas, to get people to live close to work, the cities/counties will get tax breaks from the state and some think it will help ease global warming….

  35. Having lived there:
    1. For people in Silicon Valley, this is a perfect pied a terre.
    2. It’s not that expensive considering the location, where the sq foot pricing is about right.
    3. It’s not that crazy compared to DC where I was shown a 300 sq ft condo for $200K. (I looked at it as a dorm room but in NYC, I might have been thrilled.)
    4. Madame X in NYC lived in 250 sq ft before buying her condo.
    5. I live in 500 sq ft now and I’m pretty happy with living in a downsized spot. Less is more and perhaps folks would have more money for real estate if they asked themselves what was truly necessary in life. (Besides, you can hang a big a$$ flat screen tv in that space without losing too much footprint, but how about giving up tv altogether? That’s what I did and I don’t have monster cable bills to complain about. I have $80 more dollars for my mortgage and dining out.)
    6. The other amenities make this not unrealistic in that part of SF. You walk everywhere or take public transport. You could bike too, but the bus works just as efficiently if you have a hilly ride cross-town.
    7. This is not a home for couch potatoes and there is a lot to do in that part of town. (Ice skate, go to a baseball game, clubbing at 1015 Folsom and DNA Lounge, shows at Slim’s, etc.) I’d wager if you wanted to get out and about, this place is perfect.

    Think Different.

  36. Oh and another thing. This article at SF Gate reminds me that there a few house buying options in the Bay Area at the price point listed. (Unless you want to live in rapidly depreciating Vallejo in the East Bay, which declared bankruptcy last year and would involve a soul killing commute into the Financial District or Media Gulch.)

  37. Buying an RV (289 sqft) and parking in a park is exactly what we did. Our rent is now 475/month+electricity (water is included) – about an hour away from SF. Yes, SF parks are more expensive, but I don’t think they’re that expensive.

    If anyone wants to know more I wrote a post about it:

    BTW when I was a grad student I lived in a room that I’d estimate to be around three ping pong tables. The layout of that room was brilliant.

  38. Jonathan — thanks for the post and photo… it made me feel a lot better about my 510sqft place in NYC!

  39. Wow. Granted living in Texas I have no idea about SF real estate prices, in my perspective though $1000/SF sounds insane. Besides just the upfront cost, with no kitchen or room to do…anything, the resident is going to have to be out [eating, partying, breathing] all the time which is dramatically more expensive than staying at home.

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