While it may appear that Americans are working harder and wanting more out of life, a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders shows that more than half of Americans would consider living in a 600 square foot space. The average home in America is 2,600 square feet.
One person that isn’t shocked by this statistic is Mike McCann, founder of Simple Life communities. “Every day we are giving tours to people who are ready to leave their larger homes and downsize to what we call a Simple Life,” shared McCann. “They are embracing the idea of tiny home living where you can simplify your life and really live a higher quality lifestyle.” “We work very closely with award-winning architects to design exactly what our tiny home buyer is looking for.
Just because our homeowner is giving up more than 2,000 square feet in most cases doesn’t mean they want to give up style and function,” said McCann. Simple Life communities are giving more than 200 tours of their tiny homes each month in their Flat Rock, North Carolina community.
Consumers aren’t the only ones openly accepting of this tiny lifestyle. There is even bigger demand and interest from planning and zoning departments in cities across Florida. “We are working very closely with officials in several highly desirable Florida locations because we have something they know their residents need. More affordable living .” The tiny home living is synonymous with relaxation but the zoning process is often linked to frustration.
Getting legal clearance to develop affordable housing can be a tedious process often delaying and canceling developments. “Planning and zoning departments have embraced Simple Life as an affordable solution sorely needed throughout the U.S., specifically the southeast,” shared McCann. “We at Simple Life are helping blaze the trail because there is actually no official zoning for ‘tiny home communities.’ We’ve already successfully cultivated tiny home communities that residents are living in and loving and were able to prove that our process works and it benefits both the county and its residents.”
The tiny-house movement isn’t exactly new, states chomp.org. Those in search of tranquility have long been seeking to carve out their own small spaces since the dawn of time. Now we’re seeing the resurgence of simplicity with a shift toward minimizing and downsizing. A tiny house is generally one that’s under 400 square feet, says Chris Dorsey, founder of Dorsey Pictures, the producer of Tiny House, Big Living.
They’re generally built on trailers for mobility, but they can be built on foundations. “What attracts most people to tiny homes is that they are redefining the American dream by owning a home with little to no debt while traveling the country and even working on the road,” explains Dorsey. “With a tiny home, people can design their own space that fits their personal interests and tastes at a much lower cost than a standard custom home — and because everything is smaller in a tiny home, you can pick from top-of-the-line finishes at more affordable prices.” That being said, moneycrashers.com warns that when it comes to the question of how much does it cost to build a tiny house, there may be subtle or even hidden expense that add up fast. Here’s what you need to know.
“What’s cool about tiny houses is that they can be built to match anyone’s lifestyle and budget,” says Dorsey. They can range from $10,000 to $180,000, but the average falls somewhere in the range of $30,000 to $40,000. “Some people are shocked at how much tiny homes cost while others can’t believe how inexpensive they are,” Dorsey explains.
How much it will actually cost to build your own lilliputian living quarters will depend upon a combination of factors, including what locale you’ve chosen, whether you will build on a foundation or on a trailer (figure $25,000 if you’re building on a foundation, and $35,000 if you’re building on a trailer), the complexity of the building plans, how much you plan to do yourself, and the materials use. “You should budget at least $65,000,” says Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, and “you might be spending $25,000 on building materials, alone.” Watch out for these surprising costs that come along with buying a home for the first time.
“I’ve seen several people take off work for a month or two to build their own tiny homes and think they are saving money by doing so,” says Rachel Preston Prinz, who runs an architectural firm, “Then, months later, they’re still out of work and building.” So anyone who wants to go DIY should be aware of the money they won’t be making while they’re saving money on contractors.
Tiny homes are also often linked to traditional mobile homes. However, there is a vast difference between mobile homes and a tiny home in a Simple Life community. McCann works closely with architects, manufacturers and land planners to provide a luxury experience. “It’s a downsize with an upgrade,” said McCann,
“Most people are shocked when they tour our tiny home communities and see winding streets, with well-manicured common areas, and a variety of high-end small homes. It doesn’t look anything like the grid and vinyl siding of a traditional mobile home park.”
Tiny homeowners are often from the baby boomer generation and their priorities surround living a high-quality lifestyle. However, Simple Life is securing land in popular cities and tourist destinations as the enthusiasm of living in a tiny home continue to grow with younger home buyers as well.
With two Simple Life communities already on the map in Western North Carolina and several more slated for the upcoming year and beyond in North Carolina and Florida. McCann and his team are excited to be paving the way and working with city and county officials in providing what so many are looking for.