Is a Studio Apartment Cheaper Than A One Bedroom?

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Studio Apartment versus One Bedroom Apartment

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If you live in a big city like New York, Washington D.C. or Los Angeles, you are probably looking at a smaller apartments – either to be close to your workplace or to save on the cost of living. Is a studio apartment cheaper than a one-bedroom?

Yes, a studio is almost always cheaper than a one bedroom apartment in terms of a total dollar amount, but keep in mind that a studio is usually more expensive on a price per square foot basis.

Update: During the COVID-19 pandemic, rent per square foot of studio apartments has been declining as renters seem to want more space in major urban city cores where studio apartments are typically most popular, resulting in increases in studio vacancy and lower studio prices. 

Though studios and one bedrooms have a lot in common, there are also some major differences.

What is the Definition of Studios and One-Bedroom Apartments?

A studio apartment basically merges the dining area, kitchen, bedroom and living room into a single room. There are usually not separation walls, except for the bathroom.

On the other hand, a one-bedroom apartment usually includes a separate bedroom and a defined living area. The kitchen may also be separate depending on the layout of the apartment.

As a rule of thumb, one-bedroom apartments are typically larger in size than studio apartments and offer distinct living areas.

Differences Between Studios and One-Bedrooms

Apart from the layout and size, there are some other differences that you will need to consider if you are choosing between studios and one-bedroom apartments –

Rental Cost

A studio apartment will almost always cost less to rent than a one-bedroom apartment in the same area. But it is important to keep in mind that the lower rent directly corresponds to a smaller space and usually you are paying more per square foot for a studio apartment. If your biggest priority is the total dollar cost of rent, a studio may be a better choice.

Utility Usage

Utilities will depend on the way you use the apartment and how utilities are billed, so this is a difficult prediction. For example, if you are prudent in a one-bedroom with your electricity consumption but have your heaters and air conditioners on all day in a studio, then you will pay more for utilities in the studio (all else being equal). There are a lot of factors that go into utility cost so this is a difficult assumption to make.

Privacy

This depends on whether you are living alone or intend to share with a roommate. If you are planning to share with someone else, then a one-bedroom apartment may be a better choice to help maintain your privacy.

Entertainment

This depends on the number of people you want to entertain at once. But a studio apartment will likely be more cramped for space compared to a one-bedroom.

Working from Home

If you intend to work from home, then you may prefer the separation of a one-bedroom apartment. That being said, you could also create a segregated workspace within your studio too.

The Choice is Yours

Ultimately, the decision is entirely yours based on your lifestyle needs. Think about what makes sense to you and start your apartment hunt accordingly.


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