Belmar Cottages - Tiny House Blog

Belmar Cottages

Guest post by Laurie Kazimir

My husband, Christian and I love building beach homes and have been building and selling them for the past 5 years on the Olympic Peninsula, way out here on the edge of the country in the state of Washington. We are probably one the most pristine, remote locations in the entire 48 states. Just 20 minutes away is a one million acre national park filled with hundreds of pure rivers and forests of old growth trees that can rival the Redwoods. We are fortunate enough to be able to hike to both glaciers on the top of snow capped mountains, and to deserted beaches sprinkled with sand-dollars. The air we breathe has been rated some of the best in the country.

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When we moved here 8 years ago, from New Jersey where our parents were involved in beach real estate, we realized that clean air and water, and natural space are the things that matter to us most.

A few years ago, we came up with this idea: to get an extra large multifamily lot, and build four tiny homes a block from the sandy beach. Our goal was to provide a beautiful beach home with everything a true home entails for under $100,000. These small homes were a new idea for the area, and it wasn’t easy to get the go ahead.

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We had to learn and grow and work with the city to figure out ways to get past the minimum square footage requirement. At first we got a definite “no” because the city was misinterpreting the zoning codes, and thought that each cottage had to meet the minimum. We were able to politely educate them and slowly go over the rules and legal language. By putting all four homes on the lot and totaling the square footage we were able to surpass the square footage requirement.

After selling our first home, to a very nice person, they explained to us that they had been trying to build a tiny home for many, many years, and that they kept running into the same minimum square footage problem no matter where they tried to build. This person actually moved across the state, over 100 miles away from the place that they were trying to build, just so they could have a tiny home. They didn’t purchase the cottage because they wanted to be a block from the beach like most of our clients, but because they wanted a small home that was nice, new, and efficient with low maintenance and in a price range that they could afford. Needless to say, they are extremely happy, and now that they’re here, they are glad to have made the relocation, because this is a great place to live.

These experiences really showed us that building a tiny home can be impossible in most towns, but by designing a tiny home development, we could overcome all the red tape, and create a true small home community. This same concept can be implemented in other towns and cities that would not normally allow a small square footage home.. We are very excited, and we think that this concept can be repeated.

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Now that the cottages are built they are absolutely beautiful. We have incorporated 9ft walls and vaulted ceilings to create a more expansive feeling. With lots of large windows, you never have to turn on lights during the day. The 400 square foot homes have a full kitchen and bath, and a custom made Murphy bed allowed us to combine the living and sleeping areas. They’re fun and affordable, and for a vacation home, that may only be used a few weeks a year, we can’t think of a better option.

Currently we have two of the four cottages sold, and we are getting lots of interest in the other two, which are available for $99,000 each. Visit the Belmar Cottage listing page to learn more.

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(Tiny House Blog)

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ej - September 30, 2009 Reply

Good to see someone actually building small houses!

If your are going for a view location why not stagger the houses so the one in the back can see the ocean?

With the amount of rain the Olympic peninsula gets why not wider eaves?

Have you incorporated any kind of renewable energy or resources into these?

Mary Ann - September 30, 2009 Reply

These are absolutely lovely!

Switcher - September 30, 2009 Reply

Isn’t it crazy how the laws make it so much easier to get permits for a huge sq. ft. house, than a small house? xP

This small house is perfect for the beach!

You would think developers would push to build smaller homes, & just make most of the $$ from land sales. A house like this could be done in less than a couple of weeks, ready to move into.

    Kyle Fegley - April 24, 2010 Reply

    Yea well there is a reason for why it’s easier to get a permit for a larger sqft house, it’s called TAX revenue, and they won’t make any money on a 400 square foot home. Sad state of affairs.

Linda Starr - September 30, 2009 Reply

We will be traveling very soon looking for a new home, and at one point contemplated moving to Washington, I just love the scenery up there, especially liked the Sequim area. We will soon be doing like Luci and Desi in The Long, Long Trailer – I just posted about it on my blog
http://bluestarrgallery.blogspot.com/
but this time we have a motorhome and are leaving very soon. my husband Gary says we are moving from 1600 square feet into 256 feet. These cottages have me dreaming of my new place. thanks for a great blog, tiny is less expensive to heat and cool too, these days that’s important.

Louise - September 30, 2009 Reply

Beautiful! Exactly the kind of place my husband and I would want to live in after we stop traveling full-time in our RV.

Little House - October 1, 2009 Reply

These are great and beautiful inside. I love the idea of little houses and I wasn’t even aware that there were problems with zoning and a minimum square footage requirement.

What is the possibility of these popping up in Southern California?

thanks for the post-
Little House

PJ - October 1, 2009 Reply

I’m assuming the 100K includes the price of the beach property. How much do you estimate the house alone costs? They’re beautifully done, lovely work.

    Kent Griswold - October 1, 2009 Reply

    I’ll see if Laurie will give me an estimate as I don’t have the answer for you…Kent

-billS - October 1, 2009 Reply

so where does the murphy bed reside? do they have a floor plan drawing. i really like what i can see so far.

    Kent Griswold - October 1, 2009 Reply

    The murphy beds are in the process of being delivered and Laurie is going to send pictures as soon as she has them. I have also requested a floor plan but have not gotten it yet.

      -billS - October 1, 2009 Reply

      thanks kent

      -billS - October 1, 2009 Reply

      do you know if the murphy bed will be on the wall behind the couch with the high window just outside the bathroom? that’s the only place i can see it fitting unless there is room beyond the bathroom towards the back right.

Laurie - October 9, 2009 Reply

Sorry- I didn’t know there were comments to respond to! Murphy beds are going in today, so I will send pictures when they are finished. They do fit in the alcove between the two closets and underneath the high window. Thanks!

Kyle Fegley - April 24, 2010 Reply

I better start looking for property to put 4 of these houses on!

Sharon - May 19, 2010 Reply

I would love to see a floor plan and more pictures. I live in a wonderful little Texas town and have wanted to build a tiny house with a murphy bed for my retirement home. Hope to build it and pay for it before I retire in 10 yrs.

Daniel - August 15, 2010 Reply

I’m just gonig through a lot of old posts and found this post. I don’t remember seeing it before. These are very cute houses. Nicely laid out. I really like the open plan.

~Dan

di - August 28, 2010 Reply

To save space, money and resources:

– Try shorter walls – spaciousness is always present with a vaulted ceiling.
– Try less kitchen cupboards – use one set of dishes and pans.
– Rather than a vanity, try shelving over the toilet.

cindy - January 20, 2011 Reply

Love the houses, but why dont you show a picture of the bedrooms? I agree with the positioning…front houses have a better view. Also on the link http://www.laurieandchristian.com/440_Marine_View_Dr.htm

the bedrooms arent shown either

eric - June 2, 2011 Reply

Where could I get the plans for a cottage like this?

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