There's a growing hype surrounding tiny homes and micro-apartments, especially in places with skyrocketing rents like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, but what's it really like to live in one?

A New York Times reporter recently spent the night in a brand-new 302-square-foot micro-apartment, and gave an in-depth account that may help real estate pros understand the benefits and the drawbacks of this real estate niche.

Key Tiny Housing Takeaways:

  • Tiny homes are defined as being 500 square feet or less, and while micro-apartments like the one featured in the New York Times represent the most extreme side to this trend, apartment size across the country is dropping.
  • Micro-apartments are typically designed in a way that maximizes space and features a lot of storage storage options. Even an apartment like the one features in the New York Times story has kitchen amenities that include a refrigerator, microwave, stove top, and even a dishwasher, though it surprisingly did not come with an oven.
  • Tiny housing is often already furnished, with pieces that are designed to have multiple functions, including desks that transform into dining room tables or beds that fold into walls so they're out of the way during the day. The downside to this, however, is the daily grind of moving and transforming furniture can get a little tiring, and the wall-bed featured in this story was pretty difficult to set up.
  • These types of spaces are probably only ideal for one person to live in, but even the smallest unit can be used to entertain up to 10 people comfortably.
  • Not only are these spaces eco-friendly and leave a smaller environmental footprint, as the New York Times points out they may offer residents in high-rent areas the only chance to afford living alone and having some peace and quiet from hectic city living.

Want to experience micro-apartment living? Check out the New York Times' video: