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This man built a bedroom 'pod' because San Francisco housing was too expensive

Peter BerkowitzPeter Berkowitz

As home and apartment prices in 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, by constructing a 8×3.5×4.5′ “bedroom pod” that costs about $500 to live in per month. 

He originally planned to split a two-bedroom apartment with a friend, but 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 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 to look for apartments,” he says.  

Although 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:

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

All told, it cost $1300 to build. Add that to the $400 a month in rent he pays to live in an apartment near San Francisco's Ocean Beach, and he's out about $508 a month.

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

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

There's also this little 'sky light.'

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

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.'

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

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

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

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

'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.'

'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.'

Although he tells us that 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.

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