140-Square-Foot California Tiny House Is Under $2K a Month

published Jul 12, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A tiny house with large glass windows, sits in the backyard surrounded by a wooden fence and trees.
Credit: Mireya Acierto / Getty Images

In CNBC’s Unlocked series, the show explores “how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen,” according to the network’s description. For this episode of the series, Santa Monica resident Sung Yoo highlights her tiny-home lifestyle near the beach. 

The designer and entrepreneur pays $1,600 per month for her 140-square-foot tiny home, which includes utilities and wifi. In addition to her monthly payment, she also pays $236 per month for a storage unit. Designed by California-based design firm Minarc, Yoo’s home is comparable to the average size of a parking space.

“The style is very minimal and designed to be energy efficient as well as sustainably built,” she said in a video. Yoo hinted that misconceptions about tiny home living revolve around space, but filling her home with “intentional objects” and adapting to a minimalist lifestyle benefitted her transition to a small space.

Inside of the tiny home, the bedroom cozily fits a full-sized bed, the living room doubles as her work area, the kitchen is primarily a mini fridge and sink, and the bathroom fits a shower, sink, and toilet. Yoo shared that the home doesn’t have any heating or AC, but the temperature is regulated by durable, weather-proof concrete panels. Since the kitchen doesn’t have a stove, Yoo placed a double burner in her outdoor space to cook.

Although some may believe that Yoo pays a lot for her small space, she has no regrets and is grateful that she downsized her belongings. 

“Living in Santa Monica has a lot of benefits,” Yoo said. “I love being close to the ocean, being able to go on hikes, and having access to the outdoors has been really amazing.”
For $1,600, Yoo seems to be thriving in her small space, and she did say that she’s saving around $2,000 per month with her minimalist lifestyle. While others are questioning if downsizing is right for them, it’s beneficial that people like Yoo offer a realistic and positive experience with tiny-home living.