February 2017   Volume 43, Number 2      


Tiny Home Neighborhoods Are Popping up Across America

Although tiny homes are still illegal in many places across the U.S. because they often don’t meet zoning and building standards, some cities are starting to change ordinances to allow the downsized dwellings. In some places, entire tiny home communities are developing.

Tiny homes typically have between 200 and 600 square feet, although in some cases they may be as small as 80 square feet. They can be set on wheels or on foundations.

Tiny homes also tend to be more affordable than traditional homes. However, the appeal of these homes isn’t only financial. It’s also about simplifying one’s life and growing closer relationships with other household members and neighbors, a niche concept that appeals to certain homebuyers who don’t want to live in traditional homes.

Planners and builders are starting to develop neighborhoods and subdivisions that allow tiny home enthusiasts to live together in towns around the country, including Texas, Florida and Colorado. In 2014, Spur, Texas changed its local laws and claims to be the first tiny home-friendly town in America.

“Most of America is struggling with affordability,” said Alexis Stephens of Tiny House Expedition, who is also working on a documentary on tiny home living. “We can activate existing land and create housing that is affordable by design.”

Spur’s population was declining as people left for bigger cities. However, its friendly attitude toward tiny homes has helped generate a lot of interest and attract new residents.

Tiny home dwellers have a lot of options for land to build upon in Spur. Danny Schallenberg, a tiny house builder and developer in Spur, is also building a tiny home subdivision. The tiny home subdivision will sit on two acres and have 22 homes.

The properties will be a mixture of one or two-bedroom one-level homes that will be close together to promote a sense of community. Each house will have its own driveway and will cost between $30,000-$50,000. Schallenberg says that he is receiving calls daily from buyers interested in purchasing homes in the subdivision.

In Rockledge, Florida, another tiny home community is being built thanks to Rene Hardee. After deciding it was time to downsize her family from a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, Hardee became interested in building and living in a tiny home. Initially, she only wanted to build a tiny house for her own family, but she soon found out that the city council wasn’t likely to approve her proposal if she were the only person living in a tiny home. As a result, she started to develop plans for an entire community of tiny homes.

The city has changed its zoning laws and they’ve almost settled on a site plan. Now Hardee is looking for a developer to build the tiny home neighborhood. She said she is struggling to find a developer because there is already a lot of building going on in the area and developers and builders are choosing between multi-million dollar projects.

She hopes to build the neighborhood within a year. The current plan includes 13 homes. Hardee is excited about the sense of community that a tiny home subdivision will create.





In this issue:

Tiny Home Neighborhoods Are Popping up Across America

Chinese Developers Reassess U.S. Projects

Commercial Real Estate Market Sees Mixed Results After Election

First-Time Homebuyers Struggle to Find Affordable Homes to Purchase

Hiver CEO Predicts Major Tech Trends in Real Estate for 2017

Homebuilder Confidence Has Increased, but They’re Not Building New Homes

Newly Created S&P 500 Real Estate Sector Continues to Decline

Redfin Predicts 2017 Will Be the Fastest Housing Market on Record

Russian Interest in U.S. Real Estate Increases After Trump Election

Rising Sea Levels Are Forcing Agents to Rethink How They Sell Coastal Properties


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