So Why a Studio Apartment?

Why did I go with a studio apartment?

I’m in debt. A studio apartment was the cheapest option I could afford and not be super house-poor or have roommates. One of the many reasons I moved away from Ohio was to get away from having a roommate. During my search, I had the following options:

  • A micro-suite in Ballard because I wanted to have all utilities included.
  • A studio apartment in Wallingford near a Pole Dance Studio I really wanted to check out.
  • A 1-bedroom up in Shoreline
  • Or a house further up North.

I wanted to be close to Downtown Seattle, without being in Downtown Seattle. But one-bedroom apartments around here start around $1,400 a month. I wanted to keep things under $1350 if it meant I had to eat utilities. Because I do like having somewhat decent credit and to keep it somewhat decent means paying my bills on time all of the time.

After hearing a friend’s struggles living in a microsuite for a year over in Capitol Hill, I decided having a full kitchen and separate bathroom were a better idea since I work from home. Proximity to a walking-friendly neighborhood would be a worthwhile investment.

I also knew I could get away with a studio, because after spending $650 a month back in Cincinnati on a 2-bedroom apartment, where I pretty much ignored every room save the kitchen, my bedroom, and the bathroom, I knew going in that I honestly didn’t need 1,000 sq. ft. to myself.

Which left me with a studio.

Challenges of a Studio Apartment

That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges to living in a studio apartment. There are plenty!  I’ll share just how I manage and still stay sane.

Space (or Lack Thereof)

I’m careful about who visits me because I live in 400 sq. ft. If there’s an argument, there is no place to run and hide.  One door separates my sleeping/living space from the kitchen leaving my bathroom as another place to pout. So unless I physically leave my apartment, visitors are trusted friends who are on my level of woo-woo, glittery bullshit**. (I say this with love.)

Stuff Management

There, I said it. I don’t have a lot of stuff in the studio. Art has its place, but unless I have a designated spot for something, it does not come home with me because I don’t have space. If I want new clothes – old clothes are sent to the neighborhood Buy Nothing Group or Goodwill because this bares repeating, I don’t have space for them. There are some sacrifices, but I will go pretty damn far to maintain a beautiful space.

Working from Home

Space isn’t the challenge here. Having a dedicated place to work isn’t a challenge either. My studio apartment has a bar in the kitchen where I have a small corner to work. In my main living space, I can be found curled up in a chair with a lap desk. The true challenge is being lonely. I could go for days without seeing a soul and it gets old.

Parties

I don’t have them. My building has small get-togethers in the upstairs apartment whenever the Landlord calls for one, but the largest number of people I’ve had in this space has been… four people. I’m hoping to rectify this one with a small cocktail party in the Spring of 2019. We’ll see if it actually happens.

August 2019 Edit: It did not happen.

Lease Agreement for Visitors

One of my lease conditions states overnight visitors can stay up to 5 nights during a month. It took about a year for me to suss out the actual legal reasons for this. Now why only up to 5 nights during a month?

  1. My utilities are included in my rent. The overage has to be paid off by somebody and it will fall to me. Also, because any longer over a month and by Seattle law, the visitor is now someone who lives there.
  2. Seattle Housing Laws: Dictate that only 5 people not related to the owner of the home can live with the homeowner. The house is currently at that limit with the addition of an infant.

Benefits of a Studio Apartment

Easily Accessible Humans

My building is a house split up into 4 units. The landlord lives downstairs. My floor neighbor is across the hall and a super sweet couple lives upstairs. I’ve been encouraged to go knock on their doors when lonely because they all are either retired or work from home as I do. Granted, I know this wouldn’t apply in a big complex, but I can get away with it here.

For readers in a big complex or may move into one, get to know your neighbors! You never know if one may need to move your car.

Easy Rent Payment

Most of the building uses checks. Once my bank accounts are completely switched over, I’m setting up a bank transfer with my landlord so he can always have the payment by the 5th each month. I could use a check, or I could eschew writing in cursive all together by doing it digitally. It helps that our bank is two blocks away.

All-Inclusive

Even my internet. Don’t get me started on the A/C that a lot of Seattle just doesn’t have. I’m not really looking forward to the day that I have to set up various utility accounts and get charged a deposit because I have no rental history in Seattle.

At least, none that the companies will be able to tell. All-Inclusive utilities makes for an easy one-check a month deal. If I have a visitor, I gently add a little more to rent to help cover for the upswing.

Space (Lack Thereof)

My studio is pretty damn easy to keep clean when I can see every room from any spot in the flat. But when my space is messy, it gets gross. When folks do want to visit, I just meet them somewhere else for dinner so I can deal with my mess later.

Quick to Decorate!

There’s not a lot of space to mess around with in the studio, so it keeps me creative with what I can and can’t do here.

There’s a lot I can do!