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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 21 April, 2019
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Man can't afford to live anywhere - builds bedroom 'pod' in someone else's apartment

If you think the rents in Dublin are crazy, you should see what they’re like in San Francisco, California…

1 Peter Berkowitz

AS HOME AND apartment prices in California’s San Francisco have skyrocketed, finding an affordable place to live isn’t easy.

That’s why 25-year-old illustrator Peter Berkowitz decided to get a little creative with his living situation, constructing an 8-by-3.5-by-4.5 “bedroom pod” that costs about $500 (€446) a month to live in.

He originally planned to split a two-bedroom apartment with a friend, but he quickly realised that, price-wise, he couldn’t make it work.

I was far too optimistic at first that we could find a place that wouldn’t cost a fortune,” Berkowitz tells Business Insider. “It didn’t take long to realise that wasn’t a feasible plan though.

That’s when Berkowitz decided that he’d construct a pod so that he and his friend could split a one-bedroom instead.

“Two people looking for a one-bedroom apartment makes the city a lot less scary,” he says.

Though he didn’t end up living with that friend, he did move ahead with his pod plan in the living room of another apartment.

Take a peek inside Berkowitz’s interesting digs:

Here’s how Berkowitz’s pod looks like from the outside. About three weeks ago he enlisted a few friends who were handy with power tools to help him construct it:

2 Source: Peter Berkowitz

When we talked to him, he said he was working on putting cork board on the outside to help make it more soundproof.

It cost $1,300 to build (€1,140). Add that to the $400 (€350) a month in rent he pays to live in an apartment near San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and he’s out about $508 (€446) a month.

3 Source: Peter Berkowitz

Not bad considering the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,460 (€3,040) a month, according to the most recent analysis by the real-estate marketplace Zumper.

The pod comes with a fold-down desk, a slanted backboard, and pretty LED lights he can use to read:

4 Source: Peter Berkowitz

He already has a fan, but he wants to add extra ventilation to make sure it never gets stuffy.

5 Source: Peter Berkowitz

There’s also this little “sky light”.

6 Source: Peter Berkowitz

Berkowitz describes the pod as a “cosy” living space. “I really don’t mind living in here at all,” he says. “I don’t really notice the size anymore.”

7 Source: Peter Berkowitz

He says he’s lucky to have roommates who tend to vacate the living room at normal hours, but he believes that once he’s fully soundproofed the pod, it won’t matter anyway.

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The biggest challenge? It took a while to master the skill of changing his pants inside.

9 Source: Peter Berkowitz

Here’s what it looks like from the outside when his door is closed:

10 Source: Peter Berkowitz

At the moment he’s still trying to make his own pod as comfortable as possible, but he loves the idea of eventually helping other people who want a cheaper living situation build their own.

11 Source: Peter Berkowitz

“If pods can provide an attractive way to add a bedroom to an apartment, I think they could help a lot of people out,” he writes in a blog post about the pod. “People with the extra space wanting to bring in more money by subletting, people looking for cheap and simple housing, or people wanting to add another bedroom so their friend can move in could all benefit.”

12 Source: Peter Berkowitz

“If you live in the Bay Area and are perhaps quite possibly vaguely interested in maybe having or living out of a pod yourself, please please please send me an email,” he adds. ”I’d love to work with you on building a suitable pod for whatever space/needs you have at a very very very reasonable price.”

Though he tells us he hasn’t gotten any bites since he posted about the pod last week, he’d love to eventually get a few people interested.

Read his whole blog here.

- Jillian D’Onfro

Read: Go inside the world’s most expensive hotel, which is set to open this summer

Read: The incredible life of Margarita Louis-Dreyfus – one of the world’s richest women

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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