Archive for October, 2014

Micro-Living in Brooklyn

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Micro-living in Brooklyn

Micro-living in Brooklyn – My Micro NY units will be constructed by Capsys in the Brooklyn Navy yards. Photo credit:

by Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

In a previous blog post about downsizing, one of the questions asked was “How much living space do you really need?” Could you live in a 300 square foot apartment in Brooklyn? Data shows that today’s renters have an obsession with micro-living. Because rent is so expensive, more and more city folk are living alone. It makes sense for developers to invest in and provide small-unit, high-density buildings for the sake of cost, efficiency and affordability. The “walkability” of Brooklyn makes the city prime for micro-living because residents can easily access grocery stores, parks and other things that provide quality of life just outside of where they live.

What is the Meaning of “Micro”?

Every area has a different definition of “micro.” A micro-apartment has been defined by the City of Seattle, Washington, as “a small, typically urban, self-contained apartment that is between 150-350 square feet.” Wikipedi agrees on this size of “micro” and defines a micro-apartment, apodment or micro-flat, as “a one-room, self-contained living space, usually purpose built, designed to accommodate a sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom and kitchenette within around 150-350 square feet. Residents may also have access to a communal kitchen, patio and roof garden.” Most real estate experts define micro-units as any apartment having less than 500 square feet that is constructed for efficiency.

What is the Micro-Living Trend in Brooklyn?

Fewer two-bedrooms are being built by developers now than they were in 2000, according to research.

As the cost of rent increases, new apartment buildings are counting on studio and one-bedroom apartments as real estate’s answer to the question, “If millennials are living together and divvying up the cost of two- or three-bedroom apartments in nice buildings, why don’t we offer smaller spaces for one tenant to afford living alone?”

Micro-living appeals to millenials. Mini-apartments, ranging from 350 to 600 square feet, are built with young hipsters under the age of 30 and especially under the age of 27.

High-quality finishes and fixtures, oak flooring, stainless-steel appliances, movable islands, Bosch washers and dryers, well-designed floor plans and double-door closets with shelving come standard with some micro-apartments. Some micro-apartment buildings accommodate their tenants with features like rooftop grilling stations, seating areas or a penthouse lounge providing the opportunity to socialize and entertain guests. Others might have 9-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass, a glass-bottom pool, gardening plots, volleyball courts and other rooftop niceties.

Big cities are experimenting with micro-unit apartments. Brooklyn is just one of them. Some cities are deterred by local laws from building micro-units because of the minimum apartment size requirements.

In 2013, Brooklyn developer Monadnock Construction won the micro-unit competition and acquired the loan to build Manhattan’s first micro-unit rental property for micro-living, My Micro NY. This multi-unit building will be a nine-story tower built at 335 E. 27th Street in Kips Bay next year. Each of the 55 prefab units will come with almost 10-foot ceilings, seven-foot-wide balconies, 16-foot-long overhead loft spaces and full-sized closets making these 300 square foot units feel spacious. They were designed with the cabin of a ship in mind and will be long and thin, full of hidden details. The My Micro NY unit skeletons will be built at Capsys Corporation in the Brooklyn Navy yards and then stacked with a crane on the Kips Bay site. My Micro NY units will be available for rent in 2015 and nearly half of the 55 micro-apartments will be priced below market.

Micro-apartments, micro-flats, apodments or micro-units, whatever you choose to call these newly termed efficiency apartments for micro-living, are often nicer and more affordable than the traditional one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Every square foot becomes vital and important in a micro-unit. You must remain code-compliant while working to get maximum use out of minimal space. Well-designed floor plans, carefully laid out space, built-ins and small appliances are the key to getting a micro-unit to work.

The micro-unit will become a growing part of the real estate market as the demand for apartments continues to pass the supply in many cities.

Are you a 20-something single millenial with an obsession for micro-living? Are you a baby boomer looking to downsize your life, save money, improve the overall quality of your life in Brooklyn or gain economic freedom? Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. Whether you are a single millennial with an obsession for micro-living or a downsizing baby boomer, whatever your reason for interest in a micro-unit, I am your Brooklyn real estate agent who will help you find what you’re looking for!


Downsizing in Brooklyn – Thinking Big by Living Small

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
downsizing in Brooklyn

Downsizing in Brooklyn – thinking big by living small

by Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

What is downsizing? It is the concept of living simpler, utilizing space to its fullest. It is having fewer financial burdens, living in a home that requires minimal maintenance. It is getting rid of excess stuff that has been accumulated over time and paring down to basic essentials. After all, how much stuff do we really need to live a normal life? How much living space do we really need? There’s a trendy movement among us called micro-living. Fans of micro-living swear by it, and they are encouraging others in Brooklyn to start thinking big by living small.

Many people live beyond their means and accumulate stuff over time. Living beyond your means creates one or more of the following realities in day-to-day life that must be dealt with, sooner than later:

  • Excessive debt
  • Too much stuff
  • Debilitating stress

Enter the desire for change, the desire for simplicity, the desire for downsizing. Downsizing in Brooklyn can be stressful, but the benefits listed below far outweigh the negatives. Advocates of micro-living say downsizing will:

  • Increase cash flow
  • Provide more time
  • Lower utility bills
  • Reduce consumption
  • Minimize stress

Downsizing in Brooklyn requires:

  • Assessing your actual needs
  • Prioritizing needs versus wants
  • Getting rid of clutter. (If you don’t need or use an item within 6 months, give, sell or throw it away). (When you come across boxes of items that haven’t seen the light of day for years, get rid of them at once. You don’t need them).
  • Donating electronics and furniture
  • Moving to within walking distance of work, grocery shopping and downtown amenities

Once your downsizing in Brooklyn is complete, try to stay organized. Be ruthless about what enters your space. Then, relax and enjoy surrounding yourself with only those things that are truly most important to you. You’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing that a move to living a simpler life will be smoother, too.

And, of course, your Brooklyn area real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, knows where the smaller and good-quality houses are. I will find you just the right location to meet your needs for downsizing in Brooklyn. Contact me by email at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 today.