Family of Four in a One-Bedroom Apartment - Could Your Family Make the Squeeze?

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In this fascinating NYT piece "Move Up? Move Out? Families Squeeze In," we meet several city-dwelling families who are willing to give up household space for the city life.

The families interviewed live mostly in New York City, with one family residing in San Francisco, and have one to two children each with whom they share small quarters—several families of three and four living in one-bedroom apartments. Whoah!

Could you share small quarters with your family in order to live in the pricey city of your choice?

This kind of small space/big city living may seem tough or even unbearable to some, but in these cases, the families are living small purely by choice and based on their individual priorities (of course, there are plenty of families who don't have a choice about the size of their living space...). The parents interviewed for this story site lots of reasons for choosing a small space in a big city, including:

  • Neighborhood charm
  • Monthly savings
  • Close proximity to parks, shops, and restaurants
  • No commute to work
  • No time-consuming home or yard upkeep

Could you squeeze your family into a smaller space just to live in an expensive city? Do you do it? Why or why not? I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.

real estate, thrifty solutions

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MaMaL... MaMaLaLa369

i could never live like that. i'm not a fan of city living to begin with, and i especially could not live in an apartment again, especially with a child (or two). we have a cute little 3 bedroom rancher. we are extremely lucky to have found it too- the rent is less than HALF of what most of the other houses the same size or smaller are going for. if we had to live in a one bedroom, i think i would lose my mind! i love to cook, and i need lots of space in the kitchen. i like to do my business in the bathroom without an audience nearby- i don't care if it is only my husband who can hear! plus, i love love love to have my alone time with my husband! can't exactly get in the mood with a sleeping child a few feet away!!

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

My dad grew up in Queens and lived in a small two-bedroom (where the living room was actually a bedroom) with his mom, three brothers, and one sister. They had no choice. He never speaks bad of it though, he says it encouraged them to play more outside and to interact with the community.


But I also know a lot of moms in NYC area who feel they can only have one child because of space issues in the house.

cafemama cafemama

We're living in a 1.5 bedroom with a 2 year old right now. (He has an alcove, but not an actual room). It's cozy but doable. Though we definitely need more space if we have another child. Oh, and we live in Brooklyn so this is fairly common here.

Peace... PeaceBstill07

We are a family of four living in a two bedroom, but we only have one bedroom. My brother in-law lives in the living room and keeps his cloths and things in the other bedroom. We have a 10 yr old and a 2 yr old and have been here for three yrs.


I hate it.


I am the kind of person who needs space  and organization. I don't have either here and it really affects me. It is the sacrifice we had to make. We are both in school full time to get out sooner and have little income coming in, so it was safer. I have noticed that all of us are affected in one way or another except my brother in-law who helps himself to what ever he likes. I have never had a room mate, so I was not prepared for this added stress. I am also an only child, so I never had to deal with pesty siblings. I don't have a problem sharing, but asking first goes a long way with me. I try to counter act this kind of behavior in the girls.


Of course if we had to be in our own place and living like we are I guess it could be harder financially so complaining is worthless.

Cafe... Cafe Sheri

Wow, all these perspectives are very compelling. Keep them coming.

JayGi... JayGirlsMom

WE ARE A FAMILY OF 3 LIVING IN A 4 BEDROOM. BUT ONE OF THE ROOMS IS A DEN/TOYROOM.  IT SEEMS SO HUGE TO ME COMPARED TO OUR FIRST PLACE.


OUR FIRST HOME WAS A 950 SQ FT   HOUSE, 2 SMALL BEDROOMS~WE LOVED THE HOUSE, BUT JUST NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR US AND OUR 130 LB. DOG, AND CAT. SO WE MOVED.


NOW WE WORRY ABOUT THE HOUSE PAYMENT WITH THE CRAPPY ECONOMY, BUT WE LOVE OUR HOUSE!

justa... justanotherjen

We live with family right now but if we chose to move out on our own and stay in this city we would have to make that choice.  We couldn't afford anything more then a 2 bedroom apartment (and that would really strain our budget).  With 4 kids that isn't much room.  We always figured we'd set up a futon in the living room and sleep there and split the kids up into the 2 rooms.


If we had no choice we would do it.

jencr... jencrazywith2

So, I rent a garage from my sister... My children and I (age 10 - girl and 13 - boy) share about 260 square feet of space. we use the house kitchen and bathroom, but otherwise, that is our "home"! It suck...

twinn... twinnmom222

Could my family of four live in a one bedroom apartment?  Certainly, if that was our only option.  Would I choose to live in a one bedroom apartment?  Absolutely not.  That's just my personal preference.  If financially we were backed in to a corner and had exhausted all other option, we would find a way to make a one bedroom apartment work, but to do it for a social experience - no thank you.


 

medus... medusa2420

it's really not that bad ppl! we as a young family of four share a one bedroom apartment. it can be challenging but we find ways to cope.  do we feel cramped in space? sure, but  just go down stairs to the rec. room or walk to the park or library and problem solved.  sleeping arrangements? everyone has their own bed, and most of the time we sleep soundly through the night (not too far to walk when kids wake up in the middle of the night) and sharing the room with kids is a form of birthcontrol! or at least gives us other places to get intimate when the kids finally dose off!  if we had a choice of more space would we? of course, but we are thankful for what we have, we make it work.

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