We all thought a 230-square-foot micro condo selling at $425,000 was an icon for the crazy prices of the San Francisco real estate market, but it turns out there are even more unconventional living arrangements.
Bob Allen recently started a business renting out vans for Silicon Valley workers to sleep in on their company grounds. He bought and outfitted five vans with beds and kitchenettes that provide techies a way to beat the prices and the rush. Allen drops off the van at a requested location, where renters can pay $30 a day for rental lasting two or more weeks. However, renters can't drive the van - that's $89 per day more.
Allen says that it's a much bigger business than he expected. He makes about $1,000 per month per van, but he's just starting out. If he was younger, he'd invest in more vans, but, at 68, he'd have to hire outside help to grow the business.
"It's not for everybody, but it's a solution for more people than I ever dreamt of," he says. "The Bay Area is out of control — the rent is so outrageous. If I had 100 vans I could rent them all."