Tiny Homes Improve the Economy and Are More Than Just Backyard Gimmicks (Edited)

Downsizing was the way to go as we got older and are kid free. Doing so had nothing to do with maintaining our larger house (2600 sq. feet) sitting on over 1/2 acre. I kind of liked maintaining it. It got me outside. In the new community, we are on a city-sized lot and ~1500 square feet of house living space. The only issue is the HOA and those critters cost money.

They are hired by the developer and are paid out of our funds. Right now, the monthly payment is not forbidding,

One rule to living here is not being able to set your garbage out till 12 hours before pickup. There is no set time for trash pickup, neither will they concede such, and neither will they just set a time to set garbage out. There is also recycled pickup. There is more to this which I will save for another time. If you find these restrictions inconvenient and need a more flexible solution, you might consider renting a dumpster from grissmandumpsters.com/green-bay-dumpster-rentals/.

Recycles were picked up at 12:30 PM. I am not up that late a day earlier to set the trash and recycle containers out.

My point being there are HOAs governing these communities in the Southwest and it is a business.. It is more than just community rules which are made up as they go along. It is the HOA rules which can go against community ordinances and laws. It costs money to have them monitor the community.

Now the article by Kelsey about smaller, tiny, and tinier homes. Some of this can fit in a large backyard and not violate setbacks. These are better than HOA governed small home communities as long as it is governed by community and state laws and ordinances. In order to understand the gained benefit from these homes, I posted the following article. This about housing even smaller than mine.

Tiny Homes Are More Than Just Backyard Gimmicks, business insider, Kelsey Neubauer

A nonprofit company leader and mother of two, Katie Sandoval-Clark built a bungalow in her parents’ backyard so she could afford to raise her children in the Bay Area.  

Blue Wells, a former corporate executive battling cancer, moved to a 600-square-foot house in a South Carolina tiny home village. He felt freer than he ever had living in his 3,500-square-foot home.

The Randolph’s own a business in New Hampshire. They are building a tiny home village to provide affordable housing to their employees and entice young people to set down roots.  

If you’ve ever had a conversation about what can be done to make housing more affordable, you have probably heard of tiny homes. They’re dotting backyards in San Diego, Denver, and Portland. Cities like Indianapolis and Austin are using them as temporary shelters for homeless residents. Amazon has several listed for brave DIYers.  

Tiny homes are generally defined as homes under 1,000 square feet as compared with the typical US home size of 2,500 square feet. It is a growing market for those seeking affordability, community, and simplicity. Tiny homes and the slightly larger accessory dwelling units are being eyed as a solution to the country’s housing shortage.

Tiny homes are cheaper to build and buy than the typical home. However, an uneven patchwork of zoning regulations impedes widespread use. As Zillow economist Skylar Olsen explained, since there are limited mortgages for manufactured housing, they are harder to finance than a typical house. When upgrading your home for better insulation and a touch of timeless elegance, consider having double glazed timber windows installed.

While the idea and the builds may not be a magic pill, they are an important tool in eliminating single-family zoning. Such local zoning laws limit the amount of housing which is the key reason why there is such a shortage. Zack Giffin, a tiny home carpenter and the host of “Tiny House Nation,” told Insider.  Adding . . .

“Single-family zoning is negatively impacting the potential for upward mobility, which is essentially the American dream. If you’re a patriotic American, believing hard work and dedication can pull you up by your bootstraps, you may find single-family zoning is the biggest prohibitor to that process.”

Tiny homes are “a spear point against the armor” to these restrictions, he added. 

AB: Mixed Village Use, When I sat on a Planning Commission as a Vice Chairperson, we helped to create and pass a Mixed-Village use concept on a few hundred acres of land. It included apartments, condos, and single-family residences. Included were open spaces and planting of trees and shrubbery. A walkable almost self-sufficient environment near a 4-lane highway. Incorporated was a commercial smaller store area to buy groceries (Trader Joes?), cleaners, etc. The idea was also to incorporate apartment dwellings about the stores like you might find in cities.

The US is short 3.8 million homes and prices remain competitive. Tiny homes pose a possible solution, experts say. 

They can be built on a plot already having another house on it, if the local zoning allows. They also require less materials. They can easily be built in a factory and trucked to their final location, a process called prefabricated or modular construction that cuts the overall price by up to 20%.

Consumers can buy them for as little as $10,000 per unit. Or for over $350,000 per unit such as this backyard flat a San Diego family installed. 

California offers a snapshot of the housing issues the country is facing in terms of affordability and availability. The typical California home cost $796,700 in June, according to Redfin, more than double the US average of $383,000. And, an estimated 172,000 people — the largest state total in the US — are homeless there. 

The Golden State’s laws and zoning regulations on ADUs can be a blueprint for other states considering zoning laws like these, Muhammad Alameldin, a policy associate at the University of California-Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, told Insider. 

California’s recent legislation around ADUs are like “training wheels,” that can offer a roadmap to remove restrictions on building more homes, he said.

Since 2018, some 60,000 ADUs — a house or apartment that’s up to 1,200-square-feet built on property that was previously zoned for a single unit — have been approved after new laws allow homeowners to build units in their backyards. Many ADUs are considered tiny homes. They now make up 20% of new units built, data from the state’s Department of Housing shows. 

Removing “barriers,” like single-family zoning is one way the state can allow more housing, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in 2019. 

With the widespread adoption of ADUs, up to 1.5 million more homes can be built in California, according to University of California-Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, which studies housing and policy. 

San Jose homeowner Joyce Higashi is one of the thousands of Californians who has built a tiny home in her backyard. She rents out her 500-square-foot abode for $3,000 per month to traveling nurses. 

While California was rolling back restrictions, her friend told her about an ADU company that was using prefabricated construction. “At first, I wasn’t interested. In my mind, prefab meant mobile home, and I did not want a mobile home in my backyard,” she told Insider previously. But as soon as she walked in she was taken aback at how luxe, spacious and modern the unit was, she said. Higashi loves renting out her ADU, as well as the mission of ADUs, she said. 

Now, she speaks at ADU networking events, attends ADU installations, and connects with people who are in the ADU business. She thinks that ADUs can provide homeowners with additional income and give elderly parents a spot to age in place — near their children. 

Tiny home villages for the homeless

Tiny homes have also been posed as a solution for the homelessness crisis, which affects over 580,000 Americans.

These tiny home structures are cheaper and easier to build than traditional temporary housing, and they usually provide houseless people with a room of their own. 

Tiny home villages are being built around the country. In California, Gov. Newsom allocated $30 million for 1,200 of them. 

Nonprofits have been building tiny home villages for homeless veterans, too. In Washington D.C., a bipartisan bill in Congress would allocate $100 million to building more of these villages for homeless veterans over the next five years.  

Other states are using tiny homes to help formerly incarcerated people. A New Jersey nonprofit built a tiny-home community for people recently released from incarceration, hoping they will better integrate participants back into society.

There’s more work to be done

Still, with all of this progress, tiny homes are a long way from easing the effects of a decade-long housing shortage. 

For one, there is the issue of scale. While some big cities and states have relaxed their stringent single-family zoning policies, many places in the country effectively ban the construction of units like ADUs, the Terner Center’s

Alameldin: “It’s our localities’ first attempt at trying to solve the housing crisis,” Alameldin said, speaking of California. “Everything that we will learn from legalizing its use we can use for other types of housing.” 

In the meantime, advocates believe that tiny homes will become an increasingly popular way to provide more housing, especially as lack of affordability starts to shake communities throughout the country. If you’re interested in finding a versatile housing solution, be sure to consider the relocatable homes for sale in Auckland.

Just ask Katie Sandoval-Clark, who split the cost of a $1.4 million home and a $325,000 ADU. It’s let her mother, Barbara Clark, keep costs down in retirement and spend more time with her young grandchildren, while allowing Sandoval-Clark to remain in the Bay Area. She previously told Insider.

“Our options would be totally different. This has allowed us to pursue what we really want to do.”