Looking for a property, whether it’s to buy or rent, is a minefield. There are so many different types to choose from it’s hard to know where to start.
It becomes even harder to decide when you come across words like studio flat, leaving you wondering ‘what is a studio flat? How is it different to a ‘normal’ apartment?’
Well, you’re in the right place! Let us guide you through the world of studio flats, including their pros and cons AND our verdict on whether or not they’re a good investment…
Ready to get started? This menu will help you decide where to get stuck in:
- What is a studio flat?
- Can I have a dog in a studio apartment?
- What is the difference between a studio apartment and a regular apartment?
- Pros and cons of a studio flat
- Is a studio flat a good investment?
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What is a studio flat?
A studio flat, also known as a studio apartment, is a property type which contains all its living functions in the same room. This means your living room, bedroom and kitchen are all combined into one open space. The only area which will be separate is the bathroom, just to add that little bit of much needed privacy.
A variation of a studio flat is an ‘alcove studio’, which may have a small separate area, like a little wing off the main living space, which can be used for dining or sleeping.
The size of a studio flat will vary depending on country, but in most cases the maximum size is around 600sq foot.
Can I have a dog in a studio apartment?
There’s no straight one answer to this and will depend upon each individual situation. We know that’s not the answer you’re looking for though, so we’re going to do our best to advise…
If you’re renting a studio flat, then it will be up to your landlord whether or not you’re allowed a furry friend. It’s likely they will be reluctant to let you have a dog as there will be concerns about any potential damage to the flat or any noise disruptions they may cause to the neighbours.
If your tenancy agreement doesn’t state whether or not you’re allowed a dog, but your landlord gives you a verbal agreement, it’s best to also get this in writing to ensure you have proof, just in case anything goes wrong down the line.
Most studio flats are leasehold and so it will be written into the lease whether or not you’re allowed a dog and, in most cases, they’re not allowed. If, however, you buy the studio flat and it’s a freehold, then you make your own rules!
Even if you are allowed a dog, it’s important that you also take into consideration the welfare of the animal and whether it’s right for them to live in a studio flat. There are specific breeds which will be better to have in a studio flat and these are the smaller breeds, such as:
- Small Terriers, e.g. Yorkshire Terrier or Boston Terrier
- Bichon Frise
All we’re saying is, if you’re given the green light for a dog in your studio flat, make sure you do your research before diving straight in!
What is the difference between a studio apartment and a regular apartment?
The main difference between a studio flat and a regular, 1 bed apartment is a regular apartment has separate living areas, meaning each room has a defined purpose and is closed off from the rest of the space.
The differs to a studio flat which has the bedroom, living room and kitchen all in one, with the only separate space being a bathroom.
Also, a studio flat normally has a maximum size of 600sq foot, with the minimum size being around 300sq foot, whereas a regular apartment will normally be much bigger, with the smallest one equalling that of the biggest studio flat.
Even if a studio flat and a regular apartment were the same size, you may find a regular apartment feels bigger as everything is spread across different rooms, compared to a studio where you’re just looking at the same space.
Pros and cons of a studio flat
So maybe we’ve got you curious about a studio flat and you’re starting to think about if they’re something worth your attention. To help you out, we’ve got a list of the pros and cons of living in a studio flat listed right here for you:
- Cheaper – A studio flat normally has lower rent rates compared to one-bedroom apartments. And if you’re looking to buy, a studio flat is also cheaper compared to a more standard apartment, making them more accessible
- Easier to maintain – Due to the nature of a studio flat being all on one level and smaller than other properties, they’re easier to keep clean and tidy as the whole living space is in one room, meaning it requires
- Cheaper utility bills – Because a studio flat is only one room it means less energy is needed to heat and cool the area, resulting in lower utility bills. There’s also a very low chance of you accidentally leaving a light on, as the whole living space is within the same room, meaning that the energy bills will be lower than a ‘standard’ apartment
- Easier to fill – Due to the small nature of a studio flat, they require less furniture to be able to furnish and so is ideal for those who have a slightly smaller budget
- More eco-friendly – This sort of slots in with utility bills being cheaper, but due to a studio flat being on the smaller side, less electricity and less energy is needed to heat the flat and your water usage will be lower, making a studio flat easier on the environment (yay)
- Small size – Although there are several benefits which come with a smaller living area, it can also have its downsides. After a long period of time, the space may begin to feel TOO small, especially due to the fact a studio flat has no outside space, such as a garden or balcony
- Less division in space – As a studio flat is all in one room, there’s no real divisions in the living space, as there’s no dividers between the living room, the kitchen and the bedroom and so all these areas will blend into one
- Harder to entertain – Having visitors over in a studio flat is much more difficult as you’re unable to close off areas. For example, you can’t just shut your bedroom door or close off areas. This also means living in a studio flat you will get less privacy
- Mainly suited to people who live alone or with one other person – If you’re wanting to live with more than one other person or you’re looking to start a family, then a studio flat will not be suited to you, as the living space will become increasingly more cramped with additions to the family
- More difficult to sell – We’re going to go onto this in the next section in more detail, but a studio flat is much harder to sell, especially when the market is slow
Is a studio flat a good investment?
Once again, this is another one of them ‘down to personal opinion’ answers but we’re going to do our best in giving you the good and bad bits, alongside our opinion!
A good part about studio flats is that there’s a growing demand for small apartments, with the population and cities increasing. This is causing an increased number of people looking to rent somewhere for themselves or with a partner, making a studio flat the ideal solution.
A studio flat is also ideal for people both young and old, as they’re all on one level, making them cheap and easy to maintain and furnish.
A studio flat is also a more affordable investment compared to other property types and also come with high rental yields. If you’re reading ‘rental yields’ and scratching your head thinking ‘what is that’ then don’t worry, we’ll explain…
A rental yield is an annual rental income as a percentage of the total value of the property, meaning the higher the yield the better the return on the investment. The average studio flat has a rental yield of about 6% but some have even higher. For example, Liverpool’s Fabric District Residence studio apartments offer an 8% rental yield!
Also, as we mentioned earlier, a studio flat is more eco-friendly than other property types as they’re smaller and so require less energy and electricity. This is something which is becoming increasingly appealing, as the world constantly looks to find ways to become more eco-conscious.
However, as we said earlier, one of the main problems with a studio flat is they’re very difficult to sell, especially in a slow market when prices are lower, and a ‘standard’ apartment becomes more affordable. Generally speaking, people see a studio flat as a short-term accommodation and so aren’t looking to buy but rent one instead.
If you’re asking us, we say if you’re looking at buying a studio flat as a buy to let, then it’s definitely a worthwhile investment, as there’s always an opportunity to rent. If, however, you’re looking at buying a studio flat as a property to improve and quickly sell on, then it’s probably not an investment worth your time.
So that’s everything you need to know about studio flats, including the answer to the important ‘what is a studio flat’ AND whether they’re a good investment. Do you have something else to add? Or maybe you’d like to have a go at writing an article yourself? Whatever it is, get in touch today!
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Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.