Micro suite living - is shoe box lifestyle for you?

Micro Suite Living

Micro suites are becoming the latest rage in urban development. Even in our small city of 200,000 people, micro suite living is becoming a reality and a choice for those looking for hamster-sized accommodations. There’s a number of micro suites projects completed with more to come:

Worman Developments - http://worman.ca/micro-suites

Cambridge House - http://cambridgehousekelowna.com

The Flats - http://www.landmark-properties.ca/properties/the-flats/

The Sole - http://soleklo.com

Let’s discuss this rather amusing trend in home building.

What is micro suite?

Depending on whom you ask, micro suites are the best thing ever or absolutely horrific way to live your life. While they have all the features any other condo would have to offer such as kitchen and bathroom, they’re extremely small when compared to an average condo and somewhat large when compared to a dumpster. Size ranges from 150 sq feet to 350.

Micro Suite Living

Micro Suite Living

Micro Suite Living

Micro Suite Living

Micro Suite Living

Micro Suite Living

They’re usually equipped with pull down beds. Because conventional beds will not fit. Flat screen TVs are sometimes provided too - once again because conventional TVs will drastically limit your living space.  Heck, even an extra toaster will force you to reorganize your entire pad.

Developers usually try to make up for the lack of space in suites by providing better common amenities. This way even though the unit looks small, you get extras such as gym, community space, and bicycle storage.


Micro suite living can be kind of affordable. But not really.

Look at Vancouver. With how crazy real estate prices are in this city, micro suites are a relative bargain comparing to full size condos. With full size condo starting at whopping half a million dollar price range, micro suites can go as low as $250,000 or $300,000 which is relatively cheap if we’re talking living downtown or prime areas like Kitsilano or West Side.

It also means they rent out at much affordable price points. Once again, in relative terms. You can live in one for around $1,600 - $2,000/month in Vancouver.

The sad part though is that these numbers are rather deceiving.

For example, bottom monthly rate for a micro suite in Kelowna is around $800/month. Let’s say it’s 300 sq feet in size. You’re basically paying $2.66/sq foot of living space.

You can also rent a normal sized condo (800 sq feet) for roughly $1,200/month. In this case, you’re paying $1.50/sq foot of living space.

Seems like micro suite living isn’t that affordable. Unless you suck at math.


Micro suite living is definitely right choice for you if:

  • You want to jump on the latest trend and become a minimalist. You will have to give up 90% of your processions. Every time your mom gives you a pair of shoes as a gift, you’ll have to say things like - “Oh, you didn’t have to, I already own two pairs, and that’s all I can fit in my apartment!”
  • When it comes to pets, you prefer small pets. Like goldfish or a well-behaved spider.
  • You’ve applied and have been selected for a space mission. Nothing will prepare you for close quarters living up on International Space Station like living in a micro suite.
  • “Anti-social” is your middle name. Because living with roommates seems to make more sense than micro suite living. Even though you rent only a room, it’s cheaper and more convenient than living in a shoe box. Unless you hate other people and would rather pay more money to live by yourself.
  • You just need cheap accommodation for a short period of time such as going to school or trying to save money for a down payment on your own place. If micro suite living is your long term plan, I’d question your sanity.
  • All your hobbies are digital. Like photography. Or collecting digital pokemons.
  • You have no issues telling your date you’ll have to take turns standing in a hallway while making love. Simply because if one person standing in a micro suite can easily reach either wall … with two people standing next to each other they’ll have to use the hallways space to simply fit in there.

In all seriousness, would you consider living in one?

On a serious note, this type of living space can be useful for some people. Perhaps it isn’t for everybody, but it might work for some for sure.

For example, I can see somebody living in one of these places when going to school - it’s a short defined period of time when you’re focused on something, and don’t need a lot of space to live your life. A laptop, set of books, endless supply of quick-ready noodles … that’s pretty much all you need, so why bother with renting a house or an apartment. Micro suite will do.

I would definitely would have to be single because my wife would never agree to live in a cramped space like that.

Also, I’d definitely get a giant hamster wheel installed. Gotta stay in shape!