25-Year-Old Bro Found A Genius Way To Pay Only $400-A-Month Rent In San Francisco: Build A Pod In His Friend’s Living Room

by 2 years ago


Much like New York, San Francisco is an absurdly expensive city thanks to the tech boom and limited housing options. Market rent in the Bay Area can easily go over $3,000 for a one-bedroom that’s barely a couple hundred square feet. I sympathize with San Franciscans as a proud, happy Manhattanite: What you sacrifice in space and amenities you make up for by living a culturally-rich, socially-rewarding life. Being able to lay your head down in a truly great city comes a premium.

Which is why 25-year-old illustrator Peter Berkowitz is a genius. Berkowitz is the subject of a Washington Post feature going viral today thanks to his unconventional living choice: A pod he built out of plywood that’s in his roommate’s large living room. Here’s what it looks like on the inside:


It’s only 8 feet long and 4.5 feet tall, but it does the trick. He built it himself for about $1200, roughly. Cost? $400 a month to “live” in an apartment a few blocks from the beach. Go read the WaPo profile, then check out his explanation for the DIY digs in his own words:

Three weeks ago, with the help of friends who had touched power tools before, I started building a pod for me to live out of in my friend’s living room. It’s now pretty much complete. People are typically surprised that I would want to live in a pod, but I think they tend to underestimate how pleasant a pod can be if it’s designed smartly. It’s the coziest bedroom I’ve ever had. It’s the only bed I’ve had with a fold-down desk, a slanted + cushioned backboard, and uniformly ideal light for reading (I can read comfortably from anywhere on my bed. This sounds trivial but isn’t.). Moreover, I’m now only paying $508 / month to live up the street from the beach in San Francisco ($400 / month is for rent, $108 / month over the course of a year covers the full cost of construction. Building the pod cost $1300 total, $550 excluding up front capital costs).

Yes, living in a pod is silly. But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco’s absurdly high housing prices – the pod is just a solution that works for me. Many people have apartments with the space/ capacity to house another person but choose not to because there isn’t an attractive way to do so. Temporary partitions offer poor privacy, especially in terms of sound. They also tend to ruin whatever room they’re in – you’re less likely to use your living room if it doubles as a bedroom.

I think pods can provide a needed fix here. Yes the living room housing my pod is smaller – but it’s by no means ruined. If pods can provide an attractive way to add a bedroom to an apartment, I think they could help a lot of people out. 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.

Hate to be the one to do this,  but have to say what everyone is thinking: No one asked him what sex is like in the pod yet. Definitely seems do-able give the specs of the space, but we need more details than that, Berkowitz.

We’re all thinking it.

Wonder what he could get for it a night on AirBNB?


TAGSApartmentsHousingReal estateSan Francisco

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