Mega Tiny Home Communities Coming to Austin

Are tiny home communities the next big thing? The movement has gone from obscure to a hot housing trend. It has even made it into the marketing big-leagues; see Andrew Odom’s recent post, Big Business for the Tiny House. Last year I sat down with Jay Shafer, who built his first tiny home in 1999, and he shared his insight on the growth of the movement:

“It’s gone from renegade to mainstream. People know what tiny houses are now. That’s a big step. Not everyone recognizes the value of tiny houses, but I bet a lot of people do.”

This broad interest can be seen this at tiny house events that are attracting tens of thousands across the country. Now laws are changing in a dozen states to accommodate this growing housing trend, and with that, community developments are on the rise. Just this past week, it was announced that two big tiny communities are coming to the greater Austin area.  And when I say big, I mean BIG—between 275 and 500 tiny homes total.

Constellation ATX, located just south of Austin and only 10 minutes from downtown, will feature 85 lots. Your personal home maybe tiny but the planned community experience is anything but, with extensive amenity offerings and a focus on sustainable living, with features like onsite recycling, rainwater catchment, and native plant landscaping. The look and landscaping of the community will be crafted by the award-winning Mark Word Design, the group behind Avenue’s Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia.

Developers James Stinson and Lauren Carson of Tiny Dwelling Co. have partnered with tiny house manufacturers, Kasita and Sprout Tiny Homes. All of the modular tiny homes are portable but are not on wheels. Financing will be available.  Per Stinson, the estimated cost of community living will begin at $1,100 per month, which is around the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Austin. The difference: you will ultimately own your own tiny home at Constellation ATX.  Are the amenities, hip walkable location and close proximity to downtown Austin worth the cost?  For Kasita CEO Jeff Wilson, the answer is yes:

“One of the hardest obstacles in the affordability crisis is the ‘land problem’ i.e. for many folks that want to get into a home, even a tiny home, they don’t – or more likely can’t – own land to put it on. We are proud to announce a partnership to create a new model of home ownership – without the land. Think about it someplace between renting and owning while living a lifestyle that is green, minimal, and community-centric.”

Constellation ATX is scheduled to open March 1, and they are now taking reservations. Their second development in Kyle, TX, tentatively named Stage Coach, is slated to open later in 2018.

Contact Sales at Tiny Dwelling Co. to learn more: sales@tinydwellingco.com

Would you live here? Share in the comments!

-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor

My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

 

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Rob - West Texas - January 14, 2018 Reply

Although not every state is Tiny House friendly, Texas ranks up at the top of the “Best Places To Build A Tiny House” list.

Spur, Texas has named itself the Tiny House Capital of the World, and major cities like Austin and Fort Worth have relatively lax rules about Tiny House zoning requirements.

    Bryan - January 24, 2018 Reply

    One of the main ideas of tiny living I have discovered is to eliminate debt and own your own home with little to no debt, especially with the younger generation with college debt. The idea of possibly building your own home with little to no debt is what is liberating to a lot of tiny house dwellers, however there are folks(mainly developers and contractors) encouraging the idea of spending HUGE amounts of money to live tiny which to me really defeats the purpose. Spending $1200 a month for a tiny house seems a little steep. The “American Dream” has been to get a HUGE mortgage and work to pay for it until you are 70 which has turned out to be the “American Nightmare” for some. The cycle of debt is what has brought us in part to the very tiny house movement itself. Debt can make you a slave and not realizing this can cause unintended consequences.

      Alexis Stephens - February 14, 2018 Reply

      I completely agree but also recognize that some are attracted to a minimalist home for aesthetic and environmental reasons and many have discovered they thrive in a community setting. What I would really like to see is more legal ‘micro-communities’ in backyards or large lots, greater opportunity for affordable living and an increased connection between tiny house dweller(s) and host.

    Alexis Stephens - February 14, 2018 Reply

    So true! Every thing is bigger in Texas, including the tiny house movement. 😉

Julian - January 15, 2018 Reply

It’s really nice to see the idea and the plans of this Tiny House Community. I wish there would be more projects like that in Germany. There are to many laws at the moment which doens’t allow communities like that =/

Lisa - February 13, 2018 Reply

I have to agree with Bryan. The whole idea is to live large with less. I really hate to see it become a “trend” in the sense of being “trendy”. I love the whole idea of living with less, having a smaller impact, being more self sustainable. I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1200 square foot home on about 1/2 acre of land and my house payment including taxes and home owners insurance is half of what they are asking for their average home. There’s no way I would go to living smaller for more than what I’m paying now. I can’t help but feel that this is just another way for the construction and developers industry to get their meat hooks in people they can take advantage of. Heaven only knows what kind of interest rate they will charge people. And once places like this start popping up just to make some developer a boat load of money it looses something I think. It cheapens it to no more than a catchy trend like Members Only jackets or parachute pants (yeah I’m telling my age! LOL) I love the idea of a close community of like minded people who want to help one another, share in the burdens we all face in this life which also includes the ridiculous cost of living we all deal with. It’s absolutely absurd to me that we have to work hard for a large portion of our lives just to pay for a place to live. If I had the chance to have a do over I would most certainly have gone tiny and traveled the world when I was in my twenties!

    Alexis Stephens - February 14, 2018 Reply

    Haha, love the thought of tiny members only jackets! For me, the heart and soul of the movement is individualism and acceptance– striving towards greater housing inclusion and appreciation for the fact that one size or one lifestyle type doesn’t suit all. The upside of a trend is lasting positive change in housing and environmental conservation. Though, we need to be wary of the watering down of the ideas behind the movement. It’s a tricky balance. I want more people to have access to wider variety of housing but don’t want all accepted (legally and socially) to morph into luxury condo type pricing.

Karen - February 28, 2018 Reply

The problem for many who have been interested in tiny, is we have our tiny but governments are stillnot letting us put our THOW on property. This does not solve that problem, it’s just another venue for people with a lot of cash to have a small apartment near Austin. It’s like a retirement community, you give them everything you have and they give some years on their property. I’d rather find like minded individuals who would purchase unrestricted land with me, not only would we have the home we built, but we would have a diverse group and a much smaller impact on the environment

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