The average monthly rent in the U.S. is now $2,062 — that’s 3.6% more than last year. So, it’s no surprise that people on tighter budgets are searching for more affordable homes! However, for some renters, smaller spaces simply fit their lifestyle and needs better. Thus, convertible apartments, which are often found in luxury apartment buildings, might provide a cost-effective solution for renters with limited funds, or they might just tick all of the boxes on your wish list. But, what exactly are they?
What Is a Convertible Apartment?
Definitions vary, but most realtors consider a convertible apartment a cross between a studio and a one-bedroom unit. Because it contains a designated space for a bed, this apartment style is bigger than your typical studio. However, it lacks the square footage of a one-bedroom, so it usually comes with a lower price tag. Below, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of convertible apartments and find out how much they really cost.
What Are the Advantages of Convertible Apartments?
Convertible apartments are usually more affordable than one-bedrooms, offer more privacy than studios, and are located in popular neighborhoods.
Cheaper than One-Bedroom Apartments
Perhaps the biggest benefit of convertible apartments is their price. The average monthly rent for one of these units is around five percent less than a one-bedroom, according to one estimate, making them an affordable option for renters in expensive property markets. That’s why you’ll typically find convertibles in expensive metro areas like Chicago and Dallas.
More Privacy Than a Studio
Although most convertibles come with a completely open floor plan like studios, the area where you’ll keep your bed is often separated in some way. For example, there might be a partition between your sleeping space and the rest of the apartment. That setup allows for more privacy than a studio, similar to a one-bedroom.
Located in Highly Sought-After Neighborhoods
Convertible apartments are usually located in popular neighborhoods where space is at a premium, such as downtown areas. So, living in one of these units means you could reside close to all the action in a big city. For instance, you might rent within walking distance of bars, restaurants, theaters, and flagship stores, allowing you to enjoy all the perks of urban living.
What Are the Disadvantages of Convertible Apartments?
Despite offering many benefits, convertibles often lack space and have standard and uninspired floor plans. You might also find them hard to decorate.
Not Enough Space for Some Renters
If you prefer a large apartment with a separate kitchen, bedroom, and living area, a convertible probably isn’t for you. Although these units are larger than studios, they are still on the small side, with the average square footage ranging from 600-800 sq. ft.
Limitations for Decor
A lack of space imposes limitations on how you can decorate your space. In some cases, you might not get to decorate your apartment precisely the way you want to. For example, a convertible might be too small for that super-sized modular sofa you saw at Ikea, or that antique dining table set you’ve had for years. However, with a little style inspiration, you can still turn your convertible into a cozy home that you’ll love coming back to at the end of the day.
Not a Wide Range of Floor Plans
There are far fewer convertibles than studios and one-bedrooms on the market, even in large cities like New York City and Austin. As a result, you won’t find much variety in floor plans, and the typical design of a convertible apartment can feel pretty uninspired. Expect a fully open square-shaped plan with a separate bathroom, a small kitchen, and, if you’re lucky, a balcony.
How Much Does a Convertible Apartment Cost?
It all depends on the location, the state of the market in that location, the size of the apartment, and other factors. However, the price of a convertible is comparable to a studio in many areas. In highly desirable areas, a convertible might cost a similar amount to a one-bedroom in a cheaper location.
Want Free Help Finding Your Own Convertible Apartment?
A convertible apartment could provide an opportunity to live in a desirable area for a relatively low price. But, where do you find these properties in your city? Let AptAmigo do the hard work for you! Tell us your budget and preferred location, and we’ll find you the perfect convertible. Start your apartment search now.
Kirk P. is a freelance writer specializing in content for businesses in various verticals, including real estate, digital marketing, technology, retail, health care, and lifestyle and travel. Kirk's work has appeared on Travelocity, Ziff Davis, StubHub, and more.