HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Call it a sign of the times: A studio apartment in Richmond was recently listed on Zillow for $1,200 a month. The unusual part? Renters would be living in someone else’s backyard.
The modified shed, described in the listing as a “sweet wee cabin,” totals 240 square feet, meaning potential residents would be paying $5 per month for each foot of space.
The listing also indicates that the dwelling contains a single bathroom, but does not show it in any of the photos or indicate whether it is located in the shed or in the house itself.
The property is located in an R-3 zone, meaning that the area generally permits only single-family homes on plots of a minimum size of 11,000 square feet. That means that the homeowner would have to seek a special permit from the county for a second dwelling.
For What it’s Worth
While $1,200 may seem like a steep price for living in a shed, it’s not an exceptionally high ask for the Richmond area. According to RentData.org, the average studio apartment here now goes for around $1,022 a month – though a “shed discount” may not be an unreasonable expectation.
(Data from Rentdata.org)
Data shows that Richmond experienced one of the greatest rises in average rents since the beginning of the pandemic, perhaps pointing to why some would be willing to shell out for a shed.
While there have been some efforts to create more affordable housing opportunities in and around the city, the end of popular rent-relief programs and closure of hundreds of public housing units means the squeeze on renters is unlikely to end anytime soon.