When it comes to education, there is always a rush for suitable and affordable student accommodation and, because of a shortage of flats or houses, some students may have to travel into the town or city, from the outskirts. There is obviously an investment opportunity there but, in the current economic climate, property investors have to be shrewder than ever when identifying accommodation that will offer the highest financial return against cost. A very attractive solution is found in self-contained independent accommodation pods, as these can be constructed quickly and at a reasonable price.
From an investment point of view, shipping containers are worth their weight in gold. These items come to England via products brought from countries like China and, once the goods have arrived, the shipping containers pile up, of use only to those who think laterally.
A standard shipping container measures 20’ x 7’ x 7’6” (height) and this space is ample to house all the living needs of a single occupant i.e. living/ studying area, kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom. These containers also connect together well so, for two people sharing, the living space can easily be doubled, connecting either alongside or by stacking, making the pods one of the most advanced modular building system.
The good thing about a shipping container is that you are starting from scratch. The basic shell is waterproof and very sustainable and you can clad the outside of the container with colours and materials which match both individual taste and the environment. Specific needs for people with disabilities can also be built into the empty shell e.g. wheelchair accessibility, lower cupboards, suitable bathroom facilities etc..
This fast track building takes a lot less time to construct than the normal brick-built flat or house and can incorporate modern eco-friendly systems such as rainwater harvesting, solar heating and recycling of grey water, making the cost of yearly upkeep less expensive and the property more inviting. With the necessary services at hand (i.e. electricity, water, telephone connection) and the ground prepared for arrival of the already prepared bespoke pod, the ‘plug and play’ unit can be up and running very quickly.
For landowners close to universities, such an investment opportunity should have them champing at the bit. When looking at planning permission, the site My Space Pod offers clear information about what is permitted (http://www.myspacepod.co.uk/planning-guidelines.pdf) and they make the paperwork easy, taking all the running around away from the buyer.
These finished low-cost buildings use highly efficient and environmentally-friendly building materials, space-age insulation technology and can be ready within six months, once planning permission requirements have been met. With a shelf-life of around sixty years, a container home in a fixed location will more than pay for itself, making it a very wise investment indeed.