Friday Cabins #66: Tiny-Home Neighborhoods Have Arrived
Why more people are buying into living small, together, across America
Happy Friday! The EOW is here once again and we're back with another Friday Cabins, baked fresh. If you've been with us for a while, you know the drill, each Friday we bring you cabin inspo/info from around the world for a little pre-weekend boost. If you're a recent subscriber, hi, welcome 🙂
In other NYC news that’s not so fun, rents hit a record high for the second month in a row in April. The median price for a 1-bedroom apartment? $4,200/month. And while this fact is staggering, chances are if you're not a millionaire, you might be numb to the shock. As a millennial, it's just a solidified fact that buying or renting a place to live means shelling over a painful amount of money. And while people are quick to paint NYC as the poster child of unaffordable housing, tbh it's happening all across the country.
But why this rant in a newsletter about cabins? And why, dude, on a Friday afternoon? 'Cause it just so happens that neighborhoods of tiny cabins are popping up across the country as a solution of sorts.
And thus, today, we're talking about the intersection of “housing” and cabins.
Are Tiny Homes a Solution to the Country’s Housing Crisis?
It's hard to sum up the complexities of the country's housing crisis in an email newsletter, so we'll only attempt to paint a broad picture here.
In short: part of the problem began in the 2008 market crash, when many homebuilders went out of business. This means over the decade since, there simply hasn't been enough development to meet growing housing demand. 2020 only exacerbated these issues, and other hold-ups like archaic zoning laws didn't help either. As a result, estimates today point to a shortage of approximately 3.8 million houses across the US, and this is why you might be finding yourself bidding way over asking price to secure a home—we're all scrambling to get those that exist.
Granted, the exact shortage is a hard number to predict, and estimations vary, but one thing is crystal clear: we need more affordable housing and fast.
This is where solutions like prefab housing, ADUs, and cabins come into play because (if all goes well) they're quicker, easier, and more affordable to build, transport, and maintain. Pair this with what appears to be a growing desire for a more sustainable, simple, and (and smaller) lifestyle, and you get more home-buyers interested in taking unconventional approaches to home-ownership.
We see this perfectly illustrated in new tiny home communities popping up across the US, from California to Florida and everywhere in between. These communities are similar to many other suburban developments, except you'll be purchasing a tiny-home and plot of land starting for as little as $80k—like a chic, less stigmatized version of the trailer park communities that popped up across America post WWII. The neighborhoods as heralded as sustainable, community-centered, and affordable–and across the states units are already going quickly. Of course, the financing differs per community, and rental costs like water, sewer, garbage/recycling, landscaping maintenance, security (gated access), and parking also come into play.
Below, we take a look at 3 of these communities across the US for more details.
15 minutes outside of downtown Atlanta, South Park Cottages is a tiny-home community still under construction—but around 90% of their homes are already sold according to their website. Once completed, the neighborhood will feature an edible vegetable garden, solar lighting, a play area, walking path, and dog park, amongst other amenities. The homes themselves range from 335 square feet to 615 square feet and sell for between $190,000 and 230,000, respectively.
Escape is already developing its second tiny-home community in Tampa Bay, Florida, having successfully built and sold all units in a first neighborhood opened in 2021. The newest neighborhood called "The Oaks" contains tiny homes all under 400 square feet and starting at $100k. Including mortgage payment and lot rental fees, home-owners will be responsible for about a $1,455 monthly payment.
Located in Durango, Colorado, Escalante Village is located along the Animas River, surrounded by Colorado's famed outdoor attractions. The neighborhood is a bit more quirky than others, with colors and styles of homes varying widely, although they're all 20 feet wide x 40 feet deep. The site also offers storage units for those not ready to downsize fully. Prices here start at $72,500 for a unit.
So could you, would you, should you see yourself buying into one of these neighborhoods? Talk amongst yourselves… and drop us a comment :)