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San Francisco Newcomer Pays $400 Rent To Live In A Box In Friend's Apartment

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Amid the Bay Area's red-hot real estate market, a newcomer to San Francisco is living in a small wooden box at his friend's home.

Illustrator Peter Berkowitz recently moved into the box, which he described as a "pod." The box is tucked away in a corner of the living room at his friend's apartment, located a few blocks from the ocean.

On his blog, Berkowitz said the pod is the "coziest bedroom" he has ever had. Along with a bed, the box has a fold down desk, a cushioned backboard and LED lights for reading.

Berkowitz posted a video tour of his living space on YouTube.

ODAP2225 by cat32orhat23 on YouTube

The pod, which measures 8 feet long, 3.5 feet wide and 4 feet tall, cost $1,300 to build.

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Berkowitz also has access to the rest of his friend's apartment.

"I built it largely myself, with the help of some friends who kind of knew what they were doing," Berkowitz said in an interview on Live 105's "Kevin Klein Live" Tuesday morning.

Berkowitz told Klein that living in the pod is not without its challenges. "Putting on pants requires a bit of yoga," he said, "but no potential injuries," he said.

When asked what he would do if he were to build a pod again, Berkowitz said he would make it taller.

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Berkowitz said he is paying $400 a month in rent, far lower than the $3,000 average rent for a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment.

"Yes, living in a pod is silly.  But the silliness is endemic to San Francisco's absurdly high housing prices - the pod is just a solution that works for me," Berkowitz said on his blog.

High real estate prices and rents have led to some creative ways to lower living costs. Last year, an employee at Google lived rent-free in a truck parked at the company's headquarters in Mountain View. The employee slept in the truck, while he ate at the company cafeteria and showered at the company gym.

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