Buying a home in one of Canada’s booming real estate markets like Vancouver or Toronto can be depressing. Younger couples and first-time homeowners are likely to find that their options for living in the city just won’t happen.
There’s a huge demand for affordable housing, but with developers getting the outrageous prices they’re asking for, there’s not much incentive to offer any.
That’s why there’s some great news from Surrey, BC developer Tien Sher. They’re planning on creating affordable condos that, according to their president, will be affordable to anyone with a $6,000 down-payment and an annual income of around $35,000.
Each unit will have all the modern amenities you’d expect: stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and a balcony.
The catch? They’re SMALL!.
Over half of the units in the building will be 305 square feet or smaller. That’s about 17’ x 17’.
What’s Life Like In Such A Tiny Space?
Make no mistake, this is a small area to live in. If you live by yourself, it can actually be surprisingly comfortable. There’s no room for clutter, but with a proper layout you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips (almost literally).
For a couple you’ll have to have a VERY good relationship. Units this size don’t have much in the way of privacy (or walls), and you’ll probably have to make some interesting arrangements for things like noise levels (get some good headphones for when you want to watch TV and he wants to sleep), and personal space. All of a sudden sleeping on the couch after you get into a fight doesn’t really accomplish anything, since you’ll probably be able to reach out and touch the bed.
Will It Work?
Of course it will work. It will work for the simple reason that it’s affordable. For anyone who’s given up ever being able to afford a property in their city, this is the perfect way to get their foot into the market. It’s easy to imagine these buildings offering more common areas to help with the personal space issue, and extra storage (available for an extra charge) for those who need it.
At the end of the day, many people would rather live in a tiny place that they own than a larger space that they don’t.
Technology And Living Small
One of the biggest issues with living in such a tiny space is storage. There’s barely enough room for you to move around, much less store all of your stuff. Technology is really helping us with the space issue. Not many of us have racks of CD’s and DVD’s anymore. Your old clunky desktop is now a laptop or an iPad, so you don’t need a large desk (if you need one at all).
- Your TV fits on your wall, and your iPod speaker dock replaced your old stereo.
- As more and more of our lives become digital, physical items in our lives become less prevalent.
- With a greater demand for smaller living spaces, furniture and appliance companies will start catering to that market more.
- Condo-sized sofas will become easier to find, and multi-function furniture will become more common-place.
Your clothes, on the other hand, are probably going to be a perpetual problem.
If projects like this one work, we can expect a wider variety of options in the future. Once developers see that people are more than willing to sacrifice size for location, truly affordable housing options will sprout up everywhere, giving a generation of renters the chance they’ve been looking for.
If your currently interested in buying a home or condo, we recommend shopping around for a mortgage and comparing the best rates. One of the best mortgage comparison sites in Canada is MortgageRates.ca.