Entering the Home Market in a Small Way

Some first-time home buyers are looking to enter the housing market in a small way.  And they’re doing so by buying small houses.  In some cases, very small houses.

The website of the Small Home Society (resourcesforlife.com/small-house-society) suggests the current interest in small homes resulted from weather-related catastrophes such as hurricanes and wildfires, as well as concern for the environment.  A shifting economy also has encouraged people to think about living more simply and scaling back.  Some architects and builders have recognized these trends and responded with small housing options.

One company, Tumbleweed Tiny House, offers fifteen models and variations of tiny homes.  A small home from Tumbleweed is designed to be placed in one location and meet International Building Code.  Each home has at least one room of no less than 120 square feet, and all home plans have the option for a 1st floor bedroom.  Tumbleweed’s bestseller is the B53, its largest home.  It can be built as a 2 bedroom (777 sq. ft.) or 3 bedroom (874 sq. ft.) house.  the estimated cost for the B53 is $51,000 for the 777 square foot home or $58,000 for the 874 square foot home.  Most of the homes have built-in cabinets and desks, finished interiors and stainless steel kitchens.

The smallest of the small homes, labeled tiny homes, range from 65-140 square feet and are built on wheels.  Because they are considered travel trailers, they do not require a permit and can be placed anywhere you can place an RV.

Micro-home pricescan start at under $20,000 and can range much higher depending on the desired amenities, such as granite countertops.

In addition to potentially much-smaller mortgage payments, energy consumption and energy bills are drastically reduced because of the smaller square footage.  Because of better insulating and sealing techniques, small hoes stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Smaller homes means minimal time spent cleaning, because there is a very limited area to clean.  These homes also encourage a minimalist approach towards possessions.  When space is truly at a premium, a purchase of a new pair of shoes necessitates getting rid of an old pair to make room.

Manufacturers have responded to the limited amount of space with some adaptions of traditional appliances.  There is a washer/dryer combo on the market that washes clothes and then goes right into a dry cycle in the same unit.  It elimates the need to transfer wet clothes from one unit to the other.  It needs no venting and uses a 110 volt outlet.

What about breakfast?  There is a 3-in-1 breakfast maker that combines the convenience of three appliances in one.  It features a toaster oven and coffee maker side to side, and a griddle surface on the top.  You can make eggs, toast, and coffee in a space the size of a toaster.

And there are refrigeration units even smaller than the under the counter sizes found in some dorm and hotel rooms.  The drawer refrigerator fits in th tiniest of spots and lives up to its name, sliding out as  10 inch deep, 17.5 inch by 26.5 inch drawer.

from Tek Inspections enews

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