250 s.f. condos for first-time home buyers

The median home price in San Francisco is $749,000, so being able to buy anything new at a third of that price is noteworthy, especially if it’s in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.

Enter Cubix Yerba Buena in SoMa (South of Market), an eight-story building of 98 condos starting at $279,000. The key to affordability is not in government subsidies, but in size – each of the condominiums range from 250 to 350 s.f. It’s the U.S. version of the UK’s iPad, or the housing version of the Smart car. It’s features include:

– 9 foot ceilings with floor to ceiling windows – high ceilings and large windows are standard features in lofts that provide a larger sense of space;
– Kitchen with mini sink, two-burner electric cooktop, half fridge and microwave-convection oven, all stainless steel, with synthetic brown stone countertop – quality over quantity;
– Sofa-bed, and a wardrobe with no closets.

The city government played a huge role in allowing the condos to be classified as SROs (single-room occupancy), in that they weren’t treated like standard residences. What’s the big deal? Limited parking requirements and relaxed restrictions on the total number of units – two fundamental elements of building attainably-priced housing. That’s a big deal indeed.

The destination’s tagline: “It’s your small piece of the big city.”

Read more in the SF Chronicle article, Home small home: 250 square feet in SoMa.