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San Francisco Rents Are So High That I Am Living in a Birdhouse

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And it's a lot nicer than you'd think

Recently, Flipped managed to hack into the database of the highly secretive architectural firm Willard (+) TRELLIS and get a look at some of their recent projects. Here is another of their innovative designs.

How high is the rent in San Francisco? Let's put it this way: the average rental price is down 2.5 percent from last summer, and San Fran is still the most expensive city for renters in the entire country. To put it another way, it's really freaking high.

I have been a San Francisco resident for over ten years, and even though I have a decent paying job, it's gotten to the point where I can't afford to live by myself basically anywhere in the city. So, recently, I made a decision that may seem drastic to some, but makes perfect sense to me. I decided to shack up in a custom-designed birdhouse.

Not everyone would live in a birdhouse, but to me it came down to a simple choice. Do I move out of the city entirely, live in a birdhouse, or go on Craigslist to find roommates? When you think of it in those terms, it's a pretty easy decision.

What might surprise you is that I love living in my birdhouse! I have the place all to myself, and though there isn't as much room as I'm used to—I had to get rid of my couch, dining room table, chairs, bed, bookshelves, framed photos, dresser, cookware, linens, plants, books, and clothes—is has really made me realize what's important to me (having a place to call my own) and what's not (having any possessions). Sure, there are drawbacks. It can get pretty cramped when I have company over. But every apartment has its pros and cons. I would also wager that I have a closer relationship with my living space than most other people have with theirs. Sometimes (most of the time) when I'm leaving my birdhouse, my head gets stuck inside and it takes hours to pry myself loose. It's like the birdhouse doesn't want me to leave!

Are birds constantly flying in to my house? Yes. Literally all the time. But what can you do? Birds are smart around here. When they see a birdhouse, they assume it's going to be filled with birdseed. That's just something I have to deal with.

Ultimately, while birdhouses certainly aren't the solution for everyone, for me it's working out great. I think that everybody should at least consider living in a birdhouse. The key is keeping a positive attitude. Instead of asking why it can't be done, just hire somebody to build a birdhouse, and then throw away all your stuff, and then move in. And who knows—maybe someday we'll all be living in birdhouses and the birds will be living in our houses.

And what a world that would be.