Entering The Tiny House Real Estate Market

The Tiny r(E)volution History

In our initial manifesto for Tiny r(E)volution we talked about the motivating factors that caused us to even look at tiny houses. Surprisingly a primary motivator was that of the past and current (and by current I mean 2010) real estate market.

"The Bungalow" - just 176 sq.ft. - is the home the Odom's lived in while planning their tiny house.

“The Bungalow” – just 176 sq.ft. – is the home the Odom’s lived in while planning their tiny house.

In 2007 the nation entered a real estate crash fueled almost entirely by over-extended home buyers, inflated prices, and shaky mortgages. According to RealtyTrac by the close of 2010 some 3,825,637  foreclosure filings had been issued on American homes.  It was time for us to act and act quickly. We knew we couldn’t afford a traditional home and at that point we didn’t even know what a traditional home was to us. Was it three bedrooms and two bathrooms? Did it have a fenced in yard, a detached garage, and a tool shed? One thing was for sure. Nothing we looked at seemed to fit our desires. It was at that time that we initially came across Tumbleweed Tiny Homes and the idea to shed a standard mortgage, build cash-on-the-barrel, and create a home we could not just survive in but thrive in that focused on our needs rather than wants, took shape.

The Tiny r(E)volution tiny house under construction.

The Tiny r(E)volution tiny house under construction.

In January of 2013 we moved in to our 240 square foot, single level, beach cottage inspired, tiny house trailer. Using non-traditional building products, state-of-the-art hardware, and a good mix of reclaimed wood, we looked forward to the adventure we had just begun. By this time we had an infant to look after and our needs had already started to change. We had, of course, designed our tiny house to be transitional in so much as “secret” doorways and passages had been framed in for easy access should we decide to make the tiny house trailer the foundation of a larger home that changed with the needs of our family.

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But by Christmas of that year we had already started to notice that with a growing daughter and a very active lifestyle we wanted something different. for starters we wanted to travel more and the tiny house was a little too large (at 30′ long) to tote all over the country. Secondly we weren’t sure a single level, no interior wall, tiny house was going to be right for us beyond the next year. We needed to do something; something that promoted our ideals and ethos of simple living but that also gave us a bit more space for a growing family. Before anything though we had to deal with the bittersweet thought of selling our tiny house to recoup some of our investment and to give us seed money to move forward.

Odom Family

For Sale

We knew we didn’t want to approach the sale of our tiny house in a traditional way. Because we had brought on sponsors to help build our home and because we only spent just at $16,000 out-of-pocket during the build AND because we didn’t feel we could put a price on our labor since it was initially done for our own benefit rather than to turn a profit, we knew that a standard MLS style listing would not cut it. So how did we choose to sell the house?

1.  Decide on a price. With $16k cash invested we decided that a 100% recoup was sufficient. We priced our house at $16,100 which we felt was sufficient and gave us an extra $100 for a celebratory dinner once it sold!
2.  Network. Before we officially announced the sale we spoke with other tiny house community members, wrote a telling blog post, and talked to family members. We want to first offer up the home to people who had a hand in creating it. We then let them know when the sale would be made public and when they could announce it.
3.  Take photos. This part was so important and we took extra care in how we presented our home online and in ads. We wanted to capture what we thought made our house so special. We were careful to leave signs of life though so potential buyers could picture their own lifestyle in the tiny house.

Basic Interior 6

4.  Create a listing. What made our house special? Why? In this step we focused just on those questions and answers and then wrote a listing around them.
5.  Go public. We started the morning of “sale day” by posting first to our blog. The post had several links that showed visuals, floorplans, included materials, budgets, etc. We then posted to Craigslist to allow the simply curious to have a shot. We then contacted Tiny House Listings and created a post. It made the most sense to do and the eventual buyer came from that source. We then networked the listing on Facebook, Google+, and other social networks. We were fortunate in that it was shared hundreds of times and seen by thousands.

Within 33 hours we had been contacted by a number of buyers and had scheduled several visits ultimately showing us the new couple that would call our tiny house their own. It was not a hard decision and even now we feel the key to our quick sale was being reasonable, sticking with our principles, and remembering why we joined the tiny house community so we could help others do the same.

How To Wire Your Own Micro House

Kevin Coy has been featured in several Tiny House Blog posts in the past. He has been involved in tiny house or micro house construction for several years now and you can follow him at his blog at http://kevinsmicrohomestead.wordpress.com/

Kevin recently produced a DVD to teach you how to wire your own tiny or micro house. Although I have not yet seen it in person knowing his past record with training via video (see Save Thousands on Your Micro House Project) If you relate with his style you will like this DVD as well. Check it out here or click on the photo below. Happy learning!

HouseTrike

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Bikecamper specially developed for homeless people, refugees and urban nomads

My name is Bas Sprakel, I am 45 years of age and live and work in Amsterdam and I am an artist.

I went to arts university in Utrecht and Melbourne but my biggest passion was traveling. So after arts university I traveled through many countries and continents in many different ways. I traveled by plane, by car, by coach, by truck, on foot, by bike and by boat. I traveled fast and comfortable, I hitchhiked on motorways and even waterways, walked barefooted for 300 miles slept in fancy hotels and under bridges.

I just loved being on the road. To me personal it is absolutely clear that we are nomads by nature. Destination is just a pointer to me, a means… being on the road is the real goal and passion to me. It inspires me and relaxes me at the same time. It is the perfect activity for reflection, for appreciating life, for seeing the world from a different pace and angle, for also seeing the human condition more clearly and understanding it better.

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I don’t travel as much as I used to do. Relationship and work prevent that a little but in my artwork there is still a lot of hints of being on the road. Last September for instance I wrote a a Zen-poem with chalk on the streets of Amsterdam, 5 kilometers in length, right through the old city, even crossing a river writing on the boat. So I still traveled, but this time really slow and on my my knees. Saw my own city from a unique angle and met a lot of people from a totally new perspective.

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Another big interest is architecture, both from the outside being surrounded by bricks, tiles, glass and concrete in the many forms and shapes and from within living in inspiring places. I always had very interesting studio’s and dwellings. I worked in a beautiful old factory with trees growing inside from the walls. I lived in castles, small damp labor houses and I built a boat (top) from waste-wood I found at construction sites.

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Those two major interests combined and finding inspiring ways to live easy led me to the idea of the Housetrike. To me it was important that is was multi-functional and practical for all most everybody who is living without a roof above their head. It didn’t need to be luxurious but it had to be a device solving their basic needs, both psychical and mentally. So it is a bed that can be locked from the inside so you sleep well and feel fresh the next day. The box has a lot of space to store a lot of stuff but is still small so it is stil light and easy to use. Also extended it is still small and therefore you can sleep anywhere you want, also in the city without being noticed that fast. It provides in a very sober way all the basic needs.

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The Housetrike is a practical solution and not so much a artistic or romantic interpretation. I lived rough and I know what is needed most and that is safety at night and being low key and above all being flexible. That provides so much peace and freedom. It is a first aid device but it can be used for a long time and in all climates. Moreover it is designed to be used in the city and at the same time you can leave the city and stay some time in nature, bringing food for weeks.

There is a lot that I can say about the Housetrike but what I like about it most is the utter simplicity. That took me quite some time. I tried a lot of other solutions It is multi-functional and at the same time still one simple clean idea and form and it really works

The next step is finding the funds to further develop the trike in polyester and than showing its usefulness by example and make a big exhibition tour trough Europe.

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