Written by Lindsay Wood, Edited by Sharon
It's July 6th one day after rent is finally due. With so many across the US facing potential evictions or foreclosures this is a perfect time to share how Tiny Homes can be a terrific solution for this crisis.
Before Covid-19 Tiny Homes were gaining in popularity due to the existing housing crisis resulting in housing prices being upwards of 6x the average income. (Note housing prices in the 70's were about 2x the income)
Now with so much disruption from Covid-19, housing instability is even more of a concern and a reality for many. This housing eviction or foreclosure affects those who are renters but also homeowners where the banks typically "own" the home and require the mortgage to be paid.
So how can Tiny Homes help both?
The more cities and counties that approve Tiny Homes to be located in backyards where there is space for a Tiny Home, the more this gives both the homeowner the opportunity to earn additional income as well as a Tiny Home owner the opportunity for home ownership and lowered rent.
For example, let's take my friend Kristen in San Jose area. She currently lives in San Jose and her rent is $2,800 a month for a 980 sq ft apartment. She is not in love with her apartment as it's very dark and must turn lights on even during the day. She is also grown tired of her own clutter and wants to downsize and let go of stuff.
She wants to downsize and move into a 350-400 sq ft customized Tiny Home on wheels and her budget is $100,000. For the sake of this example let's assume her credit is not that great so her interest rate is 16% and she will pay that off in 10 years ( I know that sounds like a high interest and a low payback term, but stay with me). This monthly fee ends up being $1,675.
As of May 2020, the nearby City of San Jose and County of Santa Clara just approved "Tiny Homes on Wheels" as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs is the legal term many use to talk about Tiny Homes built on foundation in the backyard of a single family home. ADUs are often referred to as In-laws, granny units, laneway houses, etc.). A typical ADU built on foundation ranges anywhere from $300k-$700k in the San Jose area, is built to the state of CA building code, and takes about 12-16 months to get completed. Note: the price for a foundation built ADU is about 3 to 7 times higher in cost than a Tiny Home on Wheels and takes 2-3x the time to be completed.
Let's now say that Kristen finds a homeowner in the City of San Jose or the County of Santa Clara who has space in their backyard for a Tiny Home on wheels and who would like receive rent to help pay for the mortgage, send their kid to college, save up for retirement, etc. etc.
After applying for the permit, creating the plans, expanding the underground water, sewer and electricity lines to run out to the Tiny Home the landlord determines land rent will be $1,000. (This land fee is largely determined by the local rents. For example, in Sonoma County that may reach as high as $800 but meanwhile many RV parks are charging $800-$1500-$2000 per space in populated areas).
So let's sum this up...
Tiny Home loan $1,675
Land fee per month $1,000
Total per month $2,675
Based on her previous rent amount she gets to pocket $125 a month. That may not seem like much savings but the major differences are...
Now, if Kirsten had great credit the loan term could be more like 15 or 20 years. Or let's say her future land fee is only $800 a month, then the numbers would look even better. I always like to play the conservative game when I run numbers so that way you can start with reality vs. fantasy.
So what is the alternative to this plan?
Continue paying rent for the next 10 years which will result in Kristen paying a total of $336,000 (assuming the rent does not go up which is unrealistic, even in rent controlled areas rent still goes up and up.) At the end of those ten years, Kristen will be nowhere closer to home ownership. Unless moving to another area of the state or country or moving in with family is an option, the only way to change this direction of her life is a Tiny Home On Wheels.
Ok so now let's say Kristen has $50,000 to put towards her Tiny Home and does not need the entire $100k. This makes her numbers even better...
Tiny Home loan $868
Land fee per month $1,000
Total per month $1,868
Now Kristen gets to choose whether or not she'll take the difference of what she was paying in rent to pay down her loan faster or put money away into savings, pay off higher interest debt, go on a vacation, send a kid to college, etc. etc. The key here is she has even more options.
For homeowners facing potential foreclosure what can Tiny Homes offer?
For homeowners who have enough space in their backyard, they can place a Tiny Home in their backyard and begin to collect rent from a Tiny Home owner. Getting anywhere from $500 to $1000 could be a game changer for a homeowner struggling to pay the mortgage. Additionally homeowners can provide multi-generational housing and bring family members onto the property providing a way for the entire family to support one another.
So what's the catch? It all sounds so easy?
Beyond the cities of Fresno, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, San Jose, and Santa Clara County there are many cities and counties who are still not allowing Tiny Homes on Wheels or Movable Tiny Houses...but that is changing and the more people learning how to advocate for this kind of change the more we all benefit.
The type of changes that will allow more Tiny Homes to populate our US soil include:
If you are eager to see your community, city, county or state legalize Tiny Homes as an ADU, or planned urban development, cluster cottage housing or a Tiny Home Village the best place to start is the...
Legalize Tiny Homes 2 Part Advocacy Training
Wednesday July 8th
By joining on July 8th you will be part of a live Q&A with Dan Fitzpatrick, Lindsay Wood and Alexis Stephens with the Tiny Home Industry Association.
As a bonus you'll get a 1 year individual membership to the Tiny Home Industry Association which is working on behalf of its members to make Tiny Homes permissible as permanent housing all over US and Canada. Your membership will give you access to quarterly trainings, seminars or Q&A sessions.
To sign up for the Legalize Tiny Home 2 part advocacy training please click on the orange button below.
With so many interested in owning and living in a Tiny Home, our story is an important cautionary tale for who you choose to design, and build your Tiny Home. For anyone interested in going Tiny and not sure what their next step may be, schedule your 20 min Tiny Home consult call.
This article says what I was imagining during all the changes going on in the world.
More time being spent with family or your selected quarantine mates, the desire to get out of town but also stay safe...Tiny Homes can be the answer.
Take me to the article
Ever find yourself hunting around the web for Tiny Home Festivals? You find some here and some there but no one calendar that has them all?
Well, we desired this so much we started one of our own so we could see where all the Tiny Home fun was to be had around the US. We are sharing it with you our Tiny Home Fam!
Due to me (Lindsay here) being sick with a cold and cough for over a week, the list is currently in a google spreadsheet. We may get around to upgrading the visual, but until then, the Google spreadsheet should do the trick to get you the info you need.
CLICK HERE TO GET TO THE GOOGLE SPREADSHEET OF FESTIVALS
Not sure which event to attend?
Make it a vacation.
Join us in San Diego...the first Tiny Home Festival to kick off the 2020 Tiny Home Festival Year !!
February 29th - March 1st
Tiny Fest California- San Diego
Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Lindsay will be speaking about how to finance your Tiny Home as well as invest in the wave of Fast Affordable Housing.
Experience Tiny Homes will be attending more festivals throughout 2020, however, we'll be going to these festivals without our Tiny Home (WHAT!!)
Yes, that beautiful home over 7000 people have toured is staying put in Sebastopol, CA. We are parked in a pasture that gets very muddy and will sink if you try to move a 20,000lb Tiny Home.
We look forward to seeing you out there at the festivals!!
PS If you are looking to go Tiny and you need design, financing or certifications, sign up for a free 20 min Tiny Home Consult call. We look forward to talking with you about making your Tiny Home Dreams come true!
YES !! Yahoo!! Jumping for Joy!! Excited about our future!! Thank you Council members and all who made it happen (Dan, Tessa, and all legalize Tiny Supporter) !!
For the first time a major city has said yes to Moveable Tiny Houses (2nd largest city in the US with population of 4 m+...I'd say that's major). This is a watershed moment in history and we are all here to witness and benefit from it.
What this really means is homeowners and those choosing to live Tiny, have within their power the opportunity to create affordable housing on their own terms in a quick affordable and efficient way. I call this fast affordable housing.
I just read the blog post that Alexis created about the news of the City of Los Angeles approving Moveable Tiny Homes as Accessory Dwelling Units and seeing as how they are the creators of this awesome T-shirt I'm showing off at the Chataqua park in Boulder, CO, I'm going to have them explain more about this momentous occasion of LA saying YES to Tiny Homes!
Click here to read more about this awesome news.
PS I am honored to say that Alexis and I are co-directors of membership committee for the Tiny Home Industry Association. This is going to be a big year for THIA and adding great members to our growing Tiny Home Tribe will help the industry grow with integrity and quality, sharing it with so many who stand to benefit from affordable housing...possibly in their backyard! If you are interested in learning more about Tiny Home Industry Association and becoming a member, click here.
To read the full article click here
Hello Tiny Home Fam!
Since leaving Ukiah, CA March 1, 2019, Eric and I (Lindsay is writing) have been on a journey that has taken us 2500+ miles around the Southwest and into Texas.
We are so relieved to have the opportunity to spend 3 whole weeks in the amazing Santa Fe, New Mexico. From the beautiful mountains and great outdoors vibe to the people we've met, to a local coop, dance scene, and Kombucha brewery we are officially smitten with Santa Fe!
How we got here starts with friends and dance. Since the 90's, I've been free form dancing all over the San Francisco bay area. Dance to me is my gym. It's where I get to move my body and release any tension that has built up from driving or staring at a computer screen and with this trip those are two very common realities.
Another good thing about dance is it tends to attract other amazing souls and over the years I am proud to say that all of my nearest and dearest friends are dancers.
One of those dearest friends is Raina Satori, amazing clothing designer, shamanic cheerleader founder and all around amazing woman!
Raina knew Ana Biel who lives in Santa Fe and is very connected with the dance community as a dancer and a DJ
Upon rolling into Santa Fe, NM for the Thursday "Embodied Rhythm" dance, we were met with Ana and after two hours of dancing people are invited to circle, share names, any experience we had on the dance floor and promote any event that is going on in the community.
I shared we are looking for a space to park our Tiny Home and John with Enchanted Cafe Bulletin Board shared he had land and within that moment our boondocking in Santa Fe National Forest plan got shelved and here we are three weeks later.
Thank you to Raina, Ana, John, Michael, Mohammed, Crow, Billy, Ray, Bettina, Rama and the two pedicab dudes that drove us around the infamous old town square while standing and dancing on the pedicab. Santa Fe you are forever in our hearts.
Santa Fe Tiny Home perspective...like most states, Santa Fe does have an accessory dwelling unit ordinance allowing land owners to build a small home in the backyard.
However they do not yet allow for Moveable Tiny Homes like they now do in the city of Fresno and San Luis Obispo, CA. With the amazing couple, Rama and Bettina at the helm of Santa Fe Tiny Houses, it's only a matter of time and we want to be here when that happens.
As movie buffs we recognize there are typically three acts to every movie.
It all starts with the preamble where the hero/heroine demonstrates their powers. In the first act they use their powers but it doesn't go so well. The second act, they try harder and so does the villain. The third act the hero/heroine overcomes the villain with their superpowers utilized in a new way.
Our tiny Home Journey in three acts... Our preamble was leaving our careers, moving from our comfortable home, and significantly downsizing our belongings. Our first act was choosing a builder who went out of business in the middle of building our Tiny Home. Our second act was a 6 month process of completing our tiny home. Our third act is getting our Tiny Home on the road, against all odds and stepping into the life of digital nomads.