Considering renting or buying a studio apartment but still have some hesitations due to a lack of information? In this post, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the topic and you’ll get an idea of whether is it worth living in a studio apartment.
The major cities in the US are starting to become more and more overcrowded and unfortunately the real estate market can’t keep up with this trend.
Problem is that the buildable land area is becoming scarcer and that is why the cost of buying and renting homes is rising dramatically.
However, location is still king and most renters prefer to be close to the central parts of these big cities even if it means living in a smaller apartment.
Therefore, in recent years there has been a high interest in studio apartments from both renters and investors because of their smaller size and affordability. In this article, you will find more information about living in a studio and whether it’s suitable for you or not.
Living in a Studio Apartment: FAQ Before Buying or Renting
Why Do People Buy Studio Apartments?
People buy studio apartments because they are more affordable, easy to sell, and can generate a good rental income.
If you want to invest in real estate, studio apartments can be a great choice. Usually, due to their smaller size, they are more budget-friendly and so you can afford to get a property with a better and more desirable location in the city.
Moreover, due to the better location and lower rent compared to 1-bedroom apartments (see the charts below), studios are quite preferred by students, young professionals, and even couples without children. It is therefore advisable to purchase a studio near a university or business center to more easily target these top tenant groups.
What Is a Studio Apartment?
A studio apartment (bachelor apartment) is a single-room flat where the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedroom share the same space and are not separated by walls or doors. The only separate room in a studio is the bathroom. Sometimes there could be also partial walls that are used as room dividers.
Are Studio Apartments Cheaper to Buy?
A studio generally costs less than a one-bedroom apartment due to its smaller square footage and fewer amenities. If you want to buy a property in the city, a studio apartment would probably be the most affordable option.
Of course, there are exceptions and sometimes studios can be more expensive than 1-bedroom apartments depending on the city, neighborhood, furniture, and so on. Typically studio flats are located in the city center or its proximity and this may be a huge factor impacting a higher market price.
How Long Does it Take to Move Into a Studio Apartment?
Moving into a studio shouldn’t take more than a few hours to a day. The main reason is the small and compact size of these apartments, which do not allow too much furniture and personal belongings. Because of this, the process should be quick and easy.
However, this time period will only be reasonable if you aren’t moving to another city or state.
How Small Can a Studio Apartment Be?
There are studio apartments that are under 100 square feet (less than 10 square meters) in some of the major cities in the US.
They are also called micro apartments, but it is generally accepted that these are just smaller versions of studio apartments where again the bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen are all crammed into one small space.
If you can’t believe it, here’s a video of Erik Conover showing you the smallest studio in New York City, which is located at 14 St. Marks Place, near New York University.
Why Would Someone Want to Live in a Studio? Benefits of Living in a Studio Apartment
Studio apartments in big cities are especially preferred by young people who have not yet started families. Despite their smaller size, these flats can also be made functional and cozy with a little more imagination and effort. Some of the benefits of living in a studio are:
- Мore affordable monthly rent
- Better location for a lower budget
- Lower electricity and heating bills
- The furniture will cost you less
- Easier to clean and maintain
Of course, living in a smaller apartment has its drawbacks as well and is definitely not for everyone. Here are some examples:
- Limited storage space
- Things can get very cramped
- Doesn’t allow you to invite many guests
- Food odors will permeate bedding and clothes
- Difficult for larger pets
What is Considered a Small Studio Apartment?
According to this research conducted by the Urban Land Institute, a studio apartment should be under 350 square feet (32 m2) with a fully functioning and accessible kitchen and bathroom in order to be considered small.
By comparison, the average size of studio apartments in the US ranges around 500 square feet (46.4515 m2).
Are Electricity Bills Lower for a Studio Apartment?
Theoretically, when you live in a smaller apartment, your electricity bills should also be lower, but it mostly depends on your personal needs and rate of consumption.
Things like home insulation, apartment exposure (south-facing, north-facing), as well as occupancy rate, are all factors that have more weight on the cost of your electricity bills than just the size of the apartment.
Is It Easier to Warm Up а Studio Apartment?
One of the advantages of studio apartments is that they are very easy and fast to warm up, because of the smaller square footage and since all the rooms are combined into one.
When we talk about heating an apartment we can’t help but mention the importance of insulation. If the flat is well insulated it will retain warmth and this will certainly reduce your heating costs.
What Is the Difference Between a Studio and a One Bedroom Apartment?
The studio consists of one large room in which the bedroom, living room, and kitchen are combined and only the bathroom is separate. In contrast, in a 1 bedroom apartment, the bedroom is a separate room and the kitchen and living area can also be divided by walls.
In any case, one-bedroom flats are more convenient and larger in terms of square footage but are also more expensive to rent or buy compared to bachelor apartments.
Related post: Read about my renovation my 1-bedroom apartment.
What Is an Ideal Size for a Studio Apartment?
I would say anything from 450 square feet (40m2) and up is ideal and quite satisfactory for a studio flat. Anything under 300-350 square feet is going to be more challenging for comfortable living, and you’ll need to get more creative when arranging furniture and dividing the different areas.
In my opinion, if you live in a studio, it should be big enough to fit a small dining table with 2,3 chairs, a sofa, a twin bed, and a wardrobe. It’s also good to have sufficient space for a TV set and a small bookshelf.
Is It Bad to Live in a Studio Apartment?
Living in a studio apartment is not for everyone and it certainly has its drawbacks because of its size. However, if you don’t need a lot of space, want to live in a good location, and save some money, then it is a great option, especially if you are still young and single.
Which Is Better for a Student, a Studio Apartment or a Dorm?
If you prefer to live in a private apartment as a student, then a studio will be the most affordable option. Its rent will be more expensive than a dorm room, but you’ll have more space and privacy. Another big plus is that you have a kitchen, which can save you a lot of money if you learn how to cook.
However, living in a dorm room can have many advantages as well. Such as the fact that bills for electricity, internet, water, etc. are usually included in the monthly rent.
Furthermore, dormitories are usually located near the college campus which saves you again time and money from using public transport. Moreover, you have a much greater opportunity to create friendships and a social circle while living there.
On the other hand, living in a studio apartment also has its perks like having more privacy, many amenities like a kitchen and a bathroom, and extra storage space for personal belongings. What’s more, you also have the option to live with a pet, which is strictly prohibited in dorms.
Nevertheless, living in a studio will be more expensive and it will be harder for your to build a social circle. Additionally, your flat may not be located close enough to your campus and this may also cost you time each day in travel.
These are some of the more important pros and cons of studio apartments and dorms. You need to think carefully about which things you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of others and decide for yourself which one is better for you.
Can You Fit a Full-Size Bed into a Studio Apartment?
Yes, you should have no trouble fitting the bed in the studio. However, it is desirable to position the bed so that it takes up as little space as possible. In this way, you’ll leave enough room for other larger furniture as well.
Because space is more limited in bachelor apartments, you have to use your imagination and be careful not to clutter your home with too much stuff. Therefore, furnish it with only the essentials and then you’ll certainly have room for everything.
Where Should I Put a TV in a Studio Apartment?
Mount the TV to the wall to save on space. Many TV wall mounts can rotate so you can watch from almost anywhere in your room. You can also put it on a TV cabinet which will serve as additional storage space.
Can You Have a Dog in Studio Apartment? Are Pets Allowed in a Studio?
Ask your landlord if it’s okay to keep a dog or some other pet in the studio. Some bachelor apartments are pet-friendly, while others are not, you should check this for yourself.
I would strongly advise you to go for something larger than a studio if you have a larger breed dog. That’s simply because the space may be too small for its needs.