Since the year 2011, Shoebox units have grabbed the spotlight in the real estate market. This has been noticed especially in countries that see a large population influx and are faced with the dilemma of accommodating a surging population while the availability of property at hand remains the same.
Shoebox units – What are they?
Shoebox units, also nicknamed "Mickey Mouse" apartments, are compact structures. In most cases, they are not larger than 500sq.ft. A boxy appearance is a distinctive feature of shoebox units. This is because of the rectilinear and orthogonal shapes they are designed and constructed in. They also feature a horizontal arrangement of windows, while others have wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor glass doors. They closely resemble dingbat apartments. The cost per square foot is generally higher than other apartments. However, if you calculate the overall cost you would pay for a larger apartment it works out to quite less; It comes at a very affordable price.
In constructing shoebox units, functionality is given more importance than the aesthetic appeal. They were designed to be practical housing options. This does not however mean that they do not look good or lack the luxuries of a condominium. Shoebox apartments have space constraints, but they are fully-equipped with facilities one expects at a condominium. For a monthly or annual maintenance charge, you can enjoy high-end luxuries such as swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym etc.
Shoe box units are a popular choice with young couples and singles that do not have a budget to spend on larger residential spaces. Expatriates coming into the region also prefer this residential option given their temporary stay. They are also great for smaller families – nuclear families – that don't have too many children. One might need to consider other alternatives, if one has pets. It works out to being a budget-friendly and decent place to stay for students and young professionals too.
How do you gain?
From an investor's point of view, the rental yields are good. You stand to gain more if you own a shoebox unit in the central regions than in the suburban areas.
A smaller space means lower maintenance requirements, which is a must have for singles and couples who have long working hours and little time to invest in household chores.
It also offers an opportunity to possess property at a lower demand of upfront cash in cities with an extremely high standard of living.
Maximizing space in your shoebox unit
In a shoebox unit, space is limited; one cannot deny it. But there are a few tips you can use to stretch the space at your disposal.
Declutter. Get rid of all those things – pots, pans, clothing, and furniture – that are not really essential and take up unnecessary space.
Using foldable furniture designs that can double up in their utility and functions is another smart space saving tip.
Built in storage can really help you expand your living space. Try to fit a few shelves and racks above the door or create lofts to tuck in some of your belongings.
Go for downsized appliances like a refrigerator that fits under the counter.
Make your closet doors as potential storage places by hanging stuff behind it.
So, if you are wondering whether a shoe box unit will be worth your investment, it is definitely going to be.