New York man lives in a 95 SQUARE FOOT apartment with no toilet

‘I feel like I’m paying a pretty fair price’: New York man opens door to his $1,100-a-month 95 SQUARE FOOT Manhattan apartment that has NO toilet or kitchen, and is only as wide as his arm span – but… utilities ARE included!

  • Alex Verhaeg, 23, lived in upstate New York before he relocated to Manhattan’s East Village, where he works as a bike messenger, barber, and content creator 
  • When he first moved into the five-floor walk-up in September 2020, the rent was $1,000 per month, $100 less than what he pays now 
  • Verhaeg’s shoe-box-style apartment is just over 15 feet long and 6 feet wide, but he has managed to fit a bed, a small table set, and a dresser into the space 
  • He admitted that he is too tall for his twin bed and has to sleep diagonally 
  • The unit doesn’t have a formal kitchen area or stove, so he uses a cooktop 
  • Verhaeg also doesn’t have a shower or a toilet in his apartment  
  • He explained each floor of the walk-up has 10 apartments, three shared bathrooms, and two shared showers 
  • Verhaeg believes his rental is a ‘pretty good deal’ considering the building’s prime location and the fact that his utilities are included  

A man has revealed he pays $1,100 a month to live in a 95-square-foot apartment in New York City that doesn’t have an in-unit bathroom or kitchen — but utilities are included. 

Alex Verhaeg, 23, moved to Manhattan’s East Village from upstate New York a few years ago and works as a bike messenger, licensed barber, and content creator to pay his rent and other expenses. 

‘Living in such a small space really makes you be grateful for the things that you do have,’ he told CNBC Make It while giving a tour of his apartment.

Alex Verhaeg, 23, pays $1,100 a month to live in a 95-square-foot apartment in New York City

The shoe-box-style unit is just over 15 feet long and 6 feet wide, but he has managed to fit a bed, a small table set, and a dresser into the space

He explained that his living situation forces him to be a minimalist because he doesn’t have enough room to buy and store ‘random things.’

Verhaeg’s shoe-box-style unit is just over 15 feet long and 6 feet wide, but it is undoubtedly cozy thanks to the candle he has burning and the artwork hanging on the walls. 

‘Any space can be made into a home,’ he said. ‘No matter how big or how small that space is you just got to put some love into it.’

Verhaeg has made the most of his limited square footage by having his twin bed pushed horizontally against the room’s only window, wedged between the walls.  

He noted that he is happy with his view — especially when it’s snowing — but he is notably too tall for his bed. In order to sleep comfortably, he has to lie diagonally.  

The full-time content creator keeps his shoes and other items lined up underneath his bed, and he has a few other storage spaces, including a small closet by the door. 

Verhaeg squeezed in a small circular table that he nabbed from a restaurant that was closing and paired it with two folding chairs. 

The work and dining area sits opposite a flat-screen TV and a floating shelf stacked with books that are mounted on the wall. 

Verhaeg keeps his shoes and other items lined up underneath his bed, and he has a few other storage spaces, including a small closet by the door.

Verhaeg has a small table in the room that sits opposite a flat-screen TV and a floating shelf stacked with books that are mounted on the wall.

The apartment has a refrigerator, but there isn’t an actual kitchen with a stove 

The apartment has a refrigerator and a small sink with a medicine cabinet, but there isn’t an actual kitchen with a stove. He uses a cooktop that sits on top of a dresser, which is also where he stores his food.  

Verhaeg also doesn’t have a shower or a toilet in his unit. Whenever needs to go to the bathroom or bathe, he has to use the shared facilities down the hall. 

He explained that each floor of the five-floor walk-up has 10 apartments, three shared bathrooms, and two shared showers. He has to bring his shower caddy and towel back and forth with him because he can’t leave them in the stall. 

‘Living in the building can sort of feel like you’re in the college dorms by the fact that you share bathrooms and you share showers,’ he explained. ‘Sometimes, you’ll see your neighbors walking around in the hallway in either a towel or a bathrobe, but you sort of just get used to it.’ 

He uses a cooktop that sits on top of a dresser, which is also where he stores his food

The unit has a bathroom-style sink that he also has to use to wash his dishes 

Verhaeg works as a bike messenger, licensed barber, and content creator, and he will sometimes cut people’s hair in his apartment 

There are no laundry units in the building, but his rent payment covers his utilities, including his electricity and hot water. 

‘The only bill I have besides my rent is my WiFi, which costs me $50 per month,’ he shared. 

The building has a security camera, but he admitted that it didn’t prevent his bike from being stolen from the first floor. Now, every time he comes home, he has to carry his bike up four floors to ensure no one nabs it. 

There also used to be a rodent problem, according to the tenant, but the issue was resolved when after a cat was moved into the building.  

The apartment has a small medicine cabinet and sink, but there isn’t a toilet or shower 

Verhaeg explained that each floor of the walk-up has 10 apartments, three shared bathrooms (pictured), and two shared showers

He has to bring his shower caddy and towel back and forth with him because he can’t leave them in the stall

When Verhaeg moved into the walk-up in September 2020, the rent was $1,000 per month, $100 less than what he pays now, which some would consider a steal by New York City standards  

He had two main priorities when he started his apartment search two years ago: He wanted to live alone and in Manhattan because he doesn’t like to take the train. 

Verhaeg found his current abode on Zillow and recalled the rental process being fairly easy. His mother co-signed for the unit, and he lucked out by not having to pay a broker’s fee.

He only had to put down a $1,000 security deposit and another $1,000 for the first month’s rent.

There are no laundry units in the building, but his rent payment covers his utilities, including his electricity and hot water

The building has a security camera, but he admitted that it didn’t prevent his bike from being stolen from the first floor

Every time he comes home, he has to carry his bike up four floors to ensure no one nabs it

Verhaeg is in his third year of living in the apartment, and while he thinks it will likely be his last, he feels grateful to call the space home. 

‘I believe that I do have a good deal here,’ he said. ‘I know it’s a lot of money, but for the location I am in, the fact that all of my utilities are included, I feel like I’m paying a pretty fair price.’

The video tour has been viewed more than 91,000 times on YouTube, and commenters were both appalled and impressed.    

‘There are prison cells that are larger,’ one person noted, while  another added, ‘$1,100 and he can’t sleep comfortably in his own bed.’ 

When Verhaeg moved into the walk-up in September 2020, the rent was $1,000 per month, $100 less than what he pays now

He had two main priorities when he started his apartment search two years ago: He wanted to live alone and in Manhattan because he doesn’t like to take the train

‘I believe that I do have a good deal here,’ he said. ‘I know it’s a lot of money, but for the location I am in, the fact that all of my utilities are included, I feel like I’m paying a pretty fair price’

‘It’s insane NYC has normalized this kinda lifestyle,’ someone else shared. 

Others were impressed by Verhaeg’s positivity and how he is making the best out of his living situation. 

‘It is very difficult for young people starting out in life on their own to find a good situation for themselves,’ one viewer noted. ‘Alex is satisfied with the life he has, including the neighborhood, that fits his needs. I wish him well in his plans for his future.’

‘I applaud you man. It takes a very unique person to live in 95 sq. ft., make it feel like home, and be happy living there,’ someone else wrote. ‘Hope you make it big someday. Your story is one that can never be forgotten.’

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