In my community you won’t notice any tiny homes, but they’re there. The average neighborhood here consists of lavish five bedroom homes. If you see an older, possibly broken down, three bedroom home, you assume it’s soon to be torn down and “remodeled” to match the rest of the neighborhood. However, there are renegades hidden in this community that choose a more humble residence. You just need to know where to look. Oddly enough, the renegades in my community come across as wealthy and superior just because of the setting they chose for their tiny home. Interestingly, people don’t see “tiny home” if they think you’re “wealthy” and/or “superior”, they only see “living the dream.” Yes, we are living the dream. That’s the point of reducing our expenses, work output, and overall stress. The added bonus of waking up with a view of the beach or lull of the ocean is the exact point of finding your tiny home.
The tiny home movement is growing! Generations old and new are downsizing their lifestyles to live more fulfilling lives and minimize their debt and mortgage payments. Millennials are choosing to spend money on traveling and social interaction. Baby Boomers are appalled at the cost of living in their family home, preventing them from enjoying their retirement. Those who are more globally aware realize a large home is in most cases an unnecessary burden. Tiny Homes are more than just a passing fad, they’re here to stay!
So Many Options
People are choosing a variety of options in their choice to downsize. Our family went with a beach cottage. Many retired persons have been enjoying RV life, giving them a chance to travel as well. If you enjoy the mountains a nice cabin would suit you well. People are finding transformed carriage houses, countryside bungalows, and even house boats as a viable way to live
Tiny house options are just as varied as buying a standard house…
- prefabricated home
- build yourself
- average cost $23,000
- can be done for $500-$12,000
- buy already built
- on property
- in community
Or you can get more creative…
- customized house on wheels (trailer your home to new and exciting locations)
- RV (recreation vehicle)
- Garage and Carriage house conversion
I found some great examples on Jamaica Cottage Shop
As a global community, we are facing some serious issues. Tiny homes are a choice for some, but a lifesaver for others. For many countries, especially the United States, we have a shortage of low income housing. Raising the minimum wage is a must, but it will not be enough to buy and maintain today’s standard home. Tiny homes allow lower income families to make an investment in property and begin to build their net worth. Owning your own residence helps build self worth and promotes stability. If you add a community setting, you can reduce the probability of drug abuse, violence and crime in the neighborhood. We can eradicate poverty in the U.S. with simple “tiny” solutions.
Many Tiny Homes are being built to be self sustaining or at least eco-friendly. These initiatives boost climate caution and help reduce our carbon footprint. Communities of Tiny Homes are adding gardens for produce, shared green spaces, solar power, and much more to be leaders in this initiative. “Tiny” steps will get us closer to saving Mother Earth.
Communities are popping up
Green Bridge Farm is a “sustainable utopia” near Savannah, Georgia. At the center of this community is a four acre organic farm surrounded by woods for growing your own produce. A one-acre lot can be purchased starting at $30,000 and smaller plots are available to lease at $300 per month.
Airstream Village is a part of a project created by Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh to revitalize the ailing downtown of Las Vegas. This is Nevada’s first tiny home community.
The village has a mix of Airstream trailers and homes by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The monthly rent is $1,200 including utilities and Wi-Fi and as an added bonus, Hsieh’s alpacas, Marley and Triton can usually be found freely roaming the village.
Sprout Tiny Homes in La Junta, Colorado is developing projects for communities in Salida and Walsenburg, Colorado (both mountain towns). Salida, aka “heart of the Rockies”, is about to be the largest tiny home communtiy in the U.S. Homes will range between 260 to 760 square feet. Salida will offer rental homes while Walsenburg will begin sales at $60,000 for their “micro homes.” Both communities will have walkable neighborhoods, retail spaces, and shared amenities (ie; fitness center, green spaces).
Cass Community Social Services is building 25 different Tiny Homes (250-400’ squared) in Detroit where low-income residents will have the opportunity to own a home and property. Each lot is roughly 30 by 100 feet and each home will have a front porch or rear deck and a back yard. After seven years of renting ($1 per sq.ft.) residents have the opportunity to own their home. Residents are chosen through a lottery system while homes are being built to accommodate more people. These low income communities will comprise a range of members (formerly homeless, college students, senior citizens, and more). What a great solution to rebuild a city and restore the “American Dream” (40% of Detroit’s population is below the poverty level).
Tiny Home Difficulties
Tiny Homes are not legal as full time residences in many areas of the United States due to ordinances and zoning. It seems like a no-brainer to invest in this market. Of course, different states will want their say as to building requirements for safety and maintaining surrounding property values. However, if we can find the ability to “gentrify” low income communities and find plots to build McMansions on, then it would be logical to assume we can find space to develop tiny home communities. In the meantime, you can find your own home with some research, networking, and the tips I supply each week on my Tiny Living blog!