In many places across the U.S., a garage is seen as a luxury, an additional space that provides convenience and adds value to one’s home. In fact, an estimated 53% of home buyers today say they look for homes with two-car garages.
But in Silicon Valley, CA, the home of tech giants like Google and Apple, home prices are skyrocketing, and a garage is all that many people can afford — literally.
According to a March 4 New York Daily News article, one single mother living in Silicon Valley is now paying $1,000 per month to live in a garage after losing her job and apartment while she was pregnant with her now-18-month-old daughter.
Nicole Jones lives in this San Mateo garage with her two young children. The 250-square-foot space contains a bed, toilet, stand-up shower and microwave. Jones also has a TV set and a gas fire in her living space.
San Mateo boasts the second-highest rents in California, behind San Francisco, with rents throughout Silicon Valley jumping 16% over the last two years, NBC Bay Area reports. The average two-bedroom apartment in San Mateo costs $3,066 per month to rent.
Since her story first aired on CNN, Jones says she has received tons of attention, including some less-than-friendly emails — but she says she doesn’t regret her decision to find an affordable housing solution for herself and her family.
“I like it here. For people that don’t like it, count yourselves lucky that you’re not in this garage with me. I think that it’s a home,” Jones says.
Jones has since found a new job as a bartender, which pays well, but still struggles to keep up with the expenses of child care and transportation in addition to her monthly rent.
“What you see is what you get,” she says.