Sunday, March 21, 2010

new model for apartment living

One of the benefits of apartments is that they can leverage the common areas to save residents (owners, renters, whatever) money, time, and space.

For example, instead of 100 different driveways, you can have a single parking lot/garage. It takes much less space and everyone can chip in for cleaning, maintenance, snow removal, security, etc (usually through association fees).

You can have one big pool instead of lots of individual ones. Again, residents can combine on cleaning, maintenance, capital costs, etc. Each person gets a better pool and it costs less.

You can reduce the size of residents' living rooms by having a really nice social area that could be rented for entertaining more than 5-10 people at a time. Instead of getting your own living room dirty, you could reserve the buildings social room. In case many people want to entertain at the same time, you could have some partitions and a reservation system for different sized parties.

So what else could be combined in this way if we use our imagination? How about the kitchen? How often do you use your oven on average? 60 minutes per week? That seems ripe for sharing. What if we created a shared cooking space on each hallway (say for 10-20 apartments). It would require much less space than 10-20 separate kitchens and still could accommodate a kick ass industrial size and strength oven, range, microwave, convection oven, grill top, pressure cooker, and perhaps more. You would never have to clean the appliances or the cooking area (but you still would your dishes!!) because that could be taken care of centrally. And if you are the type of person who likes to reheat leftovers at 2am in your pajamas, you could still have a microwave or toaster oven in your own pantry in your apartment. Maybe a wet bar too for plumbing. You would still come out ahead. This shouldn't resemble a dorm kitchen because you are sharing with other people like yourself - families, professionals, and so forth. Not 18-year olds who are away from home for the first time.

And even better, we can make use of technology. We could have a log-in on the appliances so if someone abuses their privileges, we would know who and could make them fix it/pay for it.

How about bathroom facilities? Not the master bath. Even though it is still not a college dorm, I think I would prefer my morning shower with more privacy. But how about the second bathroom? That could be out in the hallway and shared - big enough to accommodate the needed demand. It would cut down on the household chore that people hate the most - cleaning the bathroom. You would only have to use it when your house is busy. And it would be your guests that have to use it ;-D.

Would any of these be attractive to you? It could make apartment much cheaper (to buy or rent), reduce your household cleaning chores, give you better equipment and facilities, and more.

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