Meanwhile In San Francisco - $400/Month To Live In A Box In Someone's Living Room

Tyler Durden's picture

We’ve spent quite a lot of time documenting the inexorable rise in housing prices across some of the world’s red hot markets.

Take Vancouver, for instance, where according to National Bank, one third of all homes sold in 2015 went to Chinese buyers whose voracious demand has driven prices into the stratosphere in both British Columbia and Ontario. Here’s what $2.5 million will get you in Point Grey:

Or how about London, where things are so out of control that it will cost you £500 to live under someone’s stairs:

Then there’s San Francisco, where the median home price is now well over $1 million. Indeed, as we noted just yesterday, San Francisco home prices rose 10.5% in January and, along with properties in Seattle and Portland, have now surpassed their housing bubble highs:

And when last we checked in on Silicon Valley, a tent in someone’s backyard goes for $46 a night (you get an extension cord, one shower a day, and wi-fi).

But if you aren't the camping type, there's another option: you can always build yourself a wooden box and put it in someone's living room. "The median rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is a stunning $3,670 a month, and a bedroom in a shared apartment will set you back at least $1,500 for a decent location on the peninsula," Gizmodo writes, on the way to recounting the story of Peter Berkowitz, a 25-year-old illustrator who devised an innovative way to save on rent in the Bay Area's lunatic market. Here's more:

Peter Berkowitz is my new favorite guy. The 25-year-old illustrator recently moved to San Francisco and instead of settling for some landlord’s price-gouging, he found some other cool kids who let him build a box in their living room. Peter’s rent is just $400 a month.


This box-in-the-living room idea, now that’s something I can get behind. You’re lucky to have any space at all to yourself in San Francisco’s housing shortage, but it’s damn near impossible to find such a cozy little sleep pod like this. Peter built the thing with his bare hands for only $1,300 and even included a little window and some fairy lights so that it feels less like coffin and more like a magical escape from the dystopia that is the city by the bay. It’s eight feet by 3.5 feet (a little longer and wider than a coffin). The real perk though is that it’s 4.5 feet tall (much taller than a coffin). And look, there’s a cute little shelf for his MacBook.



One time I lived in a closet in London for £250 a month, roughly the same as what Peter’s paying for his box. I was able to stand up straight in my closet, but I was not able to stretch my arms out in both directions. It was no problem, though, because I was broke as hell and got to use the living room from time-to-time. I even had a girlfriend for a little while.


In all seriousness, it’s absurd that Frisco living has come to this. It’s bad for everyone who’s not some overpaid Facebook employee, and it’s bad for America. The housing crisis also isn’t entirely the tech companies’ fault, although they could be doing a lot more to fix it. Take a hint from Peter. He seems like a real get-up-and-go guy. Well, more like get-up-slightly-hunched-over-and-crawl-out-of-your-box-and-into-a-living-room kind of guy. I like this guy.

It may be cliché, but this is one time where you really can blame China and if Beijing really does intend to liberalize the capital account while simultaneously orchestrating a far deeper devaluation of the RMB, you can bet things are going to get even crazier in the world's hottest housing markets. 

Trade idea: long prefab living room cubicles.

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Groundhog Day's picture

soon they'll be living in trees

pods's picture

Prices went up in San Fran when they all came out of the closet.


KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Temporalist Mar 30, 2016 1:31 PM

Berkowitz! ~ Son of Sam


Those 'competitive' jews are trying as hard as they can to BEAT the Tokyo Japs (who have been renting 'coffins' to sleep in for 2 decades now)...


Mazoltov! Keep trying! Maybe when Hillary becomes POTUS, she'll house her 'server' in one of your coffins! (so you have that to look #FOARWARD to)

Ghost of Porky's picture

That rug really ties the room together.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Ghost of Porky Mar 30, 2016 1:43 PM

Dat wacky cheapskate jew Berkowitz never really appreciated the fact that... It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.!

zaphod's picture

If you are under 30 and single, and the rest of the house is nice with people you like, this arrangement is actually a deal that I would have gone for earlier in my life. Most roommate housing situations are small crappy bedrooms that you never spend any time in anyway and instead live in the common areas. I don't see this as being much different, except for letting you save more money. 

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) zaphod Mar 30, 2016 2:00 PM

That's too complicated reasoning...


I'm just thinking that Berkowitz must have still have had some deep psychological trauma from when his rabbi bit the end of his dick off as a youngun'

Surviver22's picture

However the mainstream media isn't saying a word about it!

What are they really trying to cover up?

FrankieGoesToHollywood's picture

I like the optimism of have a double bed....Who said love is dead? "If the box is a rockin', don;t come a knockin'"

Dave Thomas's picture

You could stick that thing in a house you've bought in Nebraska, taken a 85% pay cut, and still stacked skrilla. Who needs all that bay shit anyways? I guess you'll miss out on the Emma Sulkowitz types, those cornhusker girls have big hands.

Squid Viscous's picture

he's a cheap fucking jew, still paying more per month than a nice comfy bed at Dachau...nighty night!

tarabel's picture



You sure seem fascinated with this idea of some guy's lips on a penis. Not a day goes by that you don't think about it and share the imagery with everyone else.

Golden Phoenix's picture

How long exactly have you been keeping a daily log of it?

any_mouse's picture

Good contest question. Where would the Hildabeast park her email server outside of the WH as POTUS? Be very creative.

buzzkillb's picture

If the location is in the States, in the middle of a HFT server farm or the Chinese Embassy?

semperfi's picture

at $500 per branch per month - extension cord $250 extra

Id fight Gandhi's picture

They're living in a doghouse and calling it a deal. People are fucking nuts.

Vageling's picture

But, but, but I have acces to water. Eh heating and uh... Electricity... And uh... A nice box. Extreme way to always look on the bright side of life.

Indeed, completely nuts. Screw the $400 dollars and build a cozy shack in the forest. $400 for my pocket. I got my fire and i will 'borrow' some electricity in te civilized world as there are outlets everywhere.  Heating... Wel man learnt how to make fire didn't they?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I'd encourage them to live in a Yurt.  

See the Dave Canterbury "Journal of the Yurt" series on Yutube

- American Yurt  (

- Journal of the Yurt (

I'd imagine that the Yurt could be adapted to an Urban setting, outside of large urban areas, although you still would have to commute to work.

p.s. I share these links as a fan, not for monetary or other compensation.  

Urban Redneck's picture

It has already been adopted to an urban setting ("forest" is Swiss English means "park or backyard" in 'Murican English)

Couple illegally living in forest yurt go undetected for 4 years

A l'abri des regards ? Mon oeil !

En lisant : "A l'abri des regards...", on imagine la tente cachée au milieu de la forêt, à bonne distance de tout autre habitation. Ça fait marrer ! Regardez sur Google Maps, la partie Sud du Sentier d'En-Vaux à Lutry ! On la voit très bien, la yourte. Elle est quelques mètres devant une série de villas.

Sanctuary2's picture

its NOT Frisco-its San Francisco-as my dad used to tell me---what about that dirt covered crawlspace in that city that was for rent-THAT was downrigh dangerous for health, firecode and other reasons.

The SF bay region has been know to house a Black Widow/Brown recluse or 2


>>Treehouse above San Francisco Bay, $275/month

Its per Night, not per month!

pawn's picture

bet good young peter ain't bringing no young chicky home to his pad.

Vageling's picture

@Groundhog Day

Beats living in a box for $400. Something tells me lawmakers suddenly get this bright idea to tax that as well. I see shady men already marking trees with unique digits. God forbid if IRS letters can't be delivered.

Yen Cross's picture

  I wonder if the walls are made from Chinese concrete?

Urban Redneck's picture

Stupid Chinamen and Canadians...

$2.5M upfront and $XXXX per year to maintain or flip a bug infested bug out.

According to Zillow I can buy five my (comparatively palatial) Redneck Reduits for one of those dumps. 20 minutes from a commercial airport and 20 minutes from a civil airfield, and NO Canadians or Chinese as neighbors.

The game is to park your wealth and beat both the local and foreign Statists and their taxmen.

CPL's picture

You mean the same people that define where the best place to park your wealth that work with the central banks and are deep in their pocket?  

Yeah, let me know how that attitude works out given all the conditions are built to make sure you don't have a choice in the matter.  The fact is all that's happening at the moment is they are determining whether they rob you fast or slow.  They will rob you though, that's a guarentee.

Urban Redneck's picture

So what's new? The point is that I am positioned at the correct end of the marginal utility curve, they will go for the low hanging fruit first. More mils on property tax is not going to cause me to lose any sleep, I am covered in the event of that contingency, and if they bankrupt 99% of the US population just to mail me a tax bill that might force me liquidate something (on some continent) to cover that bill, then we all will have much bigger things to worry about. Far more likely from a historical perspective, is that the overheated segments of the Canadian joke of a real estate market revert to their means (or overcorrect), and the banksters run the table and skin the sheeple. I understand national pride, but you might want cash out of any unrealized gains and look to more reasonably priced opportunities, like in Alberta or NT/YT.

CPL's picture


Dude, honestly does not matter what you choose out of all the contingencies.  Not a lick.  Bury 50 tonnes of gold if you'd like.  I can guarantee that regardless of the situation and your preparation; finagle's, murphy's and sod's law will always be there to harpoon the effort to the wall.  The Canadian real estate market has zero to do with the bigger picture.  nothing at all. The process is called gentrification.  It's built into the central bank model with the lack of capital controls.  Essentially communists run the world and the price action from everything to dog food to houses is controlled by money supply  and the hidden tax called inflation.  Governments follow along because they falsely believe they can maintain the rising cost curve, which obviously they can't since most of them are well and over 100% GDP now.  They borrow more money from the central bank regime and...rinse and repeat...Anycase...

As far as home ownership.  Meh.  I can always rent much cheaper all inclusive with controlled costs to plan by better leveraging another person's poor decision making.  Because that's how it works best for a traveller.  There is no home, just blood/kin.  Besides the 'joys' of home ownership are so over rated, in my experience it's just shit to take care of and about as disposable as tissue from a box.  If that sounds too mercenary, as a contractor you always keep in position to move onto other more lucrative business once the proper carrot is wiggled.  Right now though I don't see any carrot in NY or Alberta.  Not at all.  Don't see a carrot anywhere in fact.  Just a lot of monkey's in a cage flinging dung and making noise waiting for feeding time.

Remember the cardinal rule taught by the world around you:  Stash, gas or ass...ain't no one get a free ride.  Ever.  Especially in a world run by communists that can't count or control themselves.

NidStyles's picture

Ammo and clean water are the only two commodities that will matter in the next decade. This commie money shit will not last, and when it burns out it will burn fast, hard and hot. Commies are always the most short sighted retards of the bunch. Their Tribe overlords are almost as bad with their constantly hand rubbing and obsession of their messiah.


Everything else should be focussed on providing those two.

CPL's picture

Got a lot of both in Canada.  Lots of space to explore and limited seating.  Fun fact if you are trivia buff, the word Canada from it's native tongue in Algonquin means 'Village'.

Urban Redneck's picture

Those looking for a free ride, tend to get what the deserve, on a long enough timeline. Accepting the BIS member banks' Hobson's choice at face value leads one to an ugly false dilemma. Despite what you wrote about gold, you appear to buy into the goldbug's monetary theory ravings about what money should be. Money is a unit of measurement, which doubles as a convenient medium of exchange. Nothing more. The unit of measurement is variable and usually depreciating domestically, and now the Banks seek a monopoly on that medium of exchange (although counter-intuitively, it is only as a medium in exchange in a minority of transactions settled by the central banks). Moreover, participation in the Banker's farce is voluntary, except for those times when one is coerced into participation by the Statist and his tax man.

It's what you exchange your money for that should (attempt to) preserve wealth. With real estate, the non-portability factor ties the risks of the local central bank's relative performance vis-a-vis its peers (as well as the local taxmen) to the property.

The carrying cost and downside risk to those overbought real estate markets is INSANE, and an order of magnitude larger than xCNY currency risk in either CAD or USD. People who own property there should know when to FOLD and take "money" of the table even if they aren't actively speculating in the market, or they should not blame anyone but themselves, when they cannot realize their fictitious unrealized gains at some indeterminate point in the future.

Several acres, 6500ft2, 6 bedrooms, 7 baths, 2 kitchens, 2 laundry rooms, 4 car garage, 1000ft2 bomb and tornado shelter, 500ft2 armory, a couple outbuildings, and largely fireproofed. If I lost my mind and wanted a depreciating pile of Yellen asswipes I get could over a million of them on a trade now. Until then I have a really big box which stores a huge amount of Carlin's worthless stuff at a low carrying cost that I can also convert to Yellen asswipes, or relocate to another continent as I see fit. That's a very high opportunity cost for the bragging rights of owning a looney shit shack valued at CAD 2.5M. The deer transfixed by the oncoming headlights doesn't come close to capturing the ignorance or fear of not getting out of the way of what's coming down the pike.

CPL's picture

If someone wants to throw their money away on what amounts to their own private purchase it's literally none of your or my business.  A fool and their money are soon parted in terms of professional offers.  Just the way it's always worked.

Dragon HAwk's picture

Must be a lot of Vans parked in the back lot of Wallmart.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

There's no Walmart in San Francisco LOL.

HectorCamachoTrump's picture
HectorCamachoTrump (not verified) Vlad the Inhaler Mar 30, 2016 1:32 PM

Their coroporate office is there and there are thirty in that county stupid.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

No Walmart stores in San Francisco County sorry bud.

NidStyles's picture

There aren't enough Tribe members on the board.

Consuelo's picture

"...have now surpassed their housing bubble highs:"


Lines like that have become just a ~tad~ outdated...   In many areas of the Bay Area (surrounding ones included), home prices had exceeded their 'bubble highs' by 2012...


What is going on right now is simply the silliness - on a heretofore unprecedented scale, that occurs before a major 'restructuring'...

Pumpkin's picture

If I could somehow get my house to SF, I'd be a billionaire.

MoHillbilly's picture
MoHillbilly (not verified) Pumpkin Mar 30, 2016 1:28 PM

That's why us Hillbillies live in mobile homes,I'm on my way there right now. I'll be rich Rich I tell ya

Whalley World's picture

Long Shipping Container Communities

NoDebt's picture

Around here we refer to that as "Wheel Estate"

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Buy on the eastern side of the fault line and wait a few decades. The big earthquake is long overdue. Sodom and Gomorrah.

ebear's picture

Lucky bastard. My family was so poor we had to live in a shoe box at the bottom of a lake!

Villageidiot777's picture

You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.