Small House Communities Are Here!

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For under $200,000 you could be a part of a new homeowner movement. Communities of small houses are popping up as new developments in progressive neighborhoods.

Spinet Street Cottages in the lovely town of Asheville, North Carolina was dreamed up and created by Ron & Laurie Czecholinski. Each house (700-1000 square feet) and lot has an option for building a smaller studio apartment (200-500 square feet) for rental opportunity or creative space.

If you are a tiny-house enthusiast in North Carolina I highly recommend you hook up with this project. They will be giving a presentation at Firestorm Cafe in Asheville this Sunday, Dec 5th at 4pm.

The Cottage Company in Seattle, Washington

Wild Coast Cottages is another small house development project on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They have 3 available homes for sale and 12 homes are due to be move-in ready just after the new year.

One may think it absurd to pay more to own an appropriately-sized home when you could buy a bigger home outside of town for much cheaper. But these small footprint villages are appealing to me and, I think, the many who would prefer quality over quantity. Now, what can we do about those darned minimum size standards

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Timaree (freebird) 12/03/2010 at 6:22 pm

They look great. The only problem is the expense. These neighborhoods don’t help more people own homes; they just help people who could already afford a home get one. I’d love to see some communities deal with the fact that not everyone is made of money or wants such a large mortgage.

Mo 12/03/2010 at 7:14 pm

Well said Timaree.

I live within a few miles of a small house community. The novelty is appealing but the value ($$$$) is not. The upside is they may actually blaze the way for truly affordable housing in the future.

On another note – I sincerely hope this doesn’t get politicized. I think we can generally agree, regardless of political bent, that living lightly/frugally/sustainably is a good thing. It would be nice to find a common goal to work together on than make it divisive like global warming has become.

Hillary 12/04/2010 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for adding to the discussion. While these are boutique communities, the hope is that they will indeed, like Mo says, pave the way for *real* affordable housing.

dj 12/05/2010 at 12:52 am

My dream is to downsize to a lovely small home. Something I can manage and not have to pay oodles & oodles on property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities. I’m looking for quality, efficiency, and something more sustainable all around. I love this site! I have an image of a smaller home on my refrig (vision board) that I cut out of an Information Week magazine some time ago. During the housing bubble I looked at moving. I was shown huge houses (even though I asked for smaller homes) that required lots of cash flow (mortgage is just one outflow of home ownership). The houses needed lots of work (Why do home prices appreciate?). I think it’s safe to say, any house that is purchased (unless new), figure additional cash, at least 30% of the purchase price, will be required to fix it up (i.e., paint, furnace, air condition, siding, roof, gutters, foundation or other structures, etc). Realtors turned their noses up at the suggestion anyone would want a small home. Llast, some subdivisions, and this was a rural country area, had minimum size limits and the range we saw started at 3k sqft. This is the first blog I’ve seen mentioned the size requirement. Small homes benefit people, especially the elderly and single, and they hurt no one. It’s crazy to require a minimum size. I haven’t seen small homes like those shown here in the midwest.

FYI: PBS Nightly Business News had a segment on, “Micro-House Building Booms in Japan”.

Hillary 12/26/2010 at 1:40 pm

Right on DJ: “Small homes benefit people, especially the elderly and single, and they hurt no one. It’s crazy to require a minimum size.”

Thank you!

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