Tiny Home Thoughts

Several points about building small homes:

  1. COST : The best place to start is with the purpose of this small house. If you’re building it for speculative sale, then it’s important know that the cost vs profit for a small to tiny house is very heavy on the cost, yet usually unprofitable. If it’s to be part of a complex of rentals, like a community of tiny homes, then short-term front-end cost is not so important. In either case the cost of infrastructure, the total cost of which should be carried with initial costs – driveway, walkways, sewage disposal, parking, and other utilities, must be proportionally distributed across whatever number of units are involved in the total project.
  2. FINANCEABILITY : Will potential buyers be able to secure a mortgage? Most lenders are reluctant to delve into investments in very small projects because the yield to the bank is too low. Often, the bank will require the seller to carry a portion of the debt in order to defray most of the bank’s risk. This, of course, translates to ‘seller’s risk’ even though the actual goal is for the seller to have no risk at all, only profit. With ‘tiny’ homes this risk is ever present for the seller (you).
  3. ACCESSIBILITY : – Your reference to being ADA/ABA compliant  – is not offered by this plan – mostly because it’s intended to be a simple small get-away type of house with no thought given to movement by anyone who is physically challenged. Total accessibility must include access to Kitchen appliances and cabinets, by wheel and power chairs, as well as bathrooms and bedrooms. There can be no interior stairs or floor-level changes. The house must be virtually ‘flat’ on the ground – no crawlspace or raised floor – without steps to hinder a wheelchair or walker-assist device.

I hope these points help to focus on the purpose of the project. Cost, risk, and accessibility are major considerations, either of which can derail a small to tiny home project. Let’s make sure of the purpose before jumping the gun.