Author Topic: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea  (Read 3365 times)

radram

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The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« on: March 28, 2017, 08:23:13 AM »
Not really sure if this is the right place for this, but this looks like it has some promise.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/a-startup-invented-this-dollar10000-house-that-can-be-built-in-one-day/ar-BByE0EA

I could envision a real estate developer buying one of these machines to create small communities of tiny houses. At less than $10,000 of materials per unit, and 1 day to "build", how much would you be wiling to pay for the equipment?

I would be interested in learning more. Anyone else?

Vindicated

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 08:42:34 AM »
I can picture a community of a bunch of these houses (probably a bit larger, but the same concept) being quite lovely to live in.  To be attractive to the type of people that would live in such a community, it would be wonderful if the homes were built in a community that was landscaped well, and had only bike paths within.  Add a few larger buildings for "clubhouse" type activities, or community events.  Keep the parking lots on the perimeter!

radram

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 08:47:02 AM »
I can picture a community of a bunch of these houses (probably a bit larger, but the same concept) being quite lovely to live in.  To be attractive to the type of people that would live in such a community, it would be wonderful if the homes were built in a community that was landscaped well, and had only bike paths within.  Add a few larger buildings for "clubhouse" type activities, or community events.  Keep the parking lots on the perimeter!

I was thinking the same thing. You could print a hall for about the cost of renting 1 for a wedding.

Vindicated

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 09:00:07 AM »
Well, I'm in!  As soon as a developer builds one in Indianapolis :).

Not sure the wife would be on board.  She's resistant to deviating from "the norm".  I don't blame her.  She'd view it as a risk.  I'd view it as an opportunity.

Ooooh, I just thought of another building idea.  An office during the day for remote workers / co-working space, and after work hours it becomes a game / entertainment hub for the community.

If you built 50 homes ($15k each because they're a bit bigger) and 4 larger shared community buildings (Say, $25k each) you could probably get away with spending under $1m including land.  If you rent out the 50 units for $500/mo, you'd make $300k/yr for a payoff of 3.3 years.

Part of the community selection would have to rely on how to ensure that your "tenants" respect the space and take care of it as if it was their own.  You'd be offering a fantastic value for the price, would surely still get some trouble tenants.

Maybe it'd work as a Retirement Community, or an Early Retirement Community!

Drew0311

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 06:07:58 PM »
I love this idea! I think there are plenty of opportunities for innovative ideas like this to really take hold and flourish...especially in the Midwest. There are millions of derelict, vacant, and empty lots that you could buy for next to nothing and erect a tiny house hotel, tiny house restaurant, etc. Some people are even adding these tiny houses, or accessory dwellings, to the rooftop of existing structures...how cool would that be?! There's a hotel in South Africa that has like 7 airstream trailers on the roof that they rent out. I would definitely pay to stay somewhere like that. I guess people just want a better and more genuine experience these days when they travel, so ride the wave man and try it out.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 06:13:51 PM »
I've been trying and trying to do this, but all the regions I've researched so far don't allow it. No tiny houses, no RVs, must build giant house within a year, only owner of farmland can own tiny or RV and it must be secondary to the big house and only be for seasonal workers, yadda yadda. They have everything covered...except affordable, environmental housing! Still working on it though :)

Classical_Liberal

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 06:42:58 PM »
Loved the article!

I've been trying and trying to do this, but all the regions I've researched so far don't allow it. No tiny houses, no RVs, must build giant house within a year, only owner of farmland can own tiny or RV and it must be secondary to the big house and only be for seasonal workers, yadda yadda. They have everything covered...except affordable, environmental housing! Still working on it though :)

Keep it up!

I've downsized myself, over & over again and each time it's fantastic.  I'm in a 300sq ft studio now and it's about perfect size.  I would jump into a community with a bunch of small individual places like that!  To get around code and zoning issues, I would imagine a more rural area would be more open.  The local boards would loveanything to increase tax base. Cities can be picky and would rather have businesses and Mcmansions for their tax value.

In all earnestness, if in the US and you start up a development like this let me know, I could be your first buyer.

Drew0311

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 07:06:22 PM »
Yeah that kind of stuff drives me crazy. You can have a derelict building that is caving in or an empty lot riddled with used needles and broken glass, but don't you dare do anything innovative/creative that might actually work. There are way too many small towns that just don't get it....lack of parking has devastated many downtown areas as consumers find in much more convenient to drive their fat butts over to Walmart on the edge of town. Bars have also suffered in areas underserved by taxi service. The cure has arrived tho thanks to ride sharing companies. We're already seeing the effects in big cities where cars just aren't necessary anymore and we'll soon start to see it everywhere and the city center will thrive once again as population density increases. But in the meantime we have to deal with ignorant officials that don't want change.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 10:21:08 PM »
I'm in Canada, and have looked at a bunch of rural areas so far...No go! They don't want our funny ideas; their tax base is delighted with multi-million dollar mansions, acres per person.

Yeah, Drew0311, I recently said in another thread that a friend with this goal bought land, put the first tiny house on it, neighbour called it in, game over...But the very active drug house right next to them? No problemo! Ugh.

My kid and I are in 450 sq feet right now, awesomeness! But landlord ultimately declared it "silly" for people to choose simple long term and booted us out in favour of AirBnB income.

Still convinced I'll manage to create a tiny house community, though :)

Missy B

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 08:03:28 PM »
I've never looked at building codes, but I wonder if you could weasel your way around codes for size by building a 'tiny townhouse'  - or, a bunch of tiny houses stuck together so that they look like one not-so-big house. It might mean installing temporary doors between units so it passes inspection and looks like a single family dwelling...assuming multifamily isn't allowed. Or, as well as having a private entrance, the units could all share a common interior hallway and common 'living room' and/or kitchen, (Not sure how tiny you guys are talking - most of the tiny houses I've seen haven't much of a kitchen space).

The common walls would reduce heating costs in the winter and if you're building it yourself, you can insulate *really* well between units -- eliminating the noise issues that are a common complaint with multifamily.

frugal_c

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 08:58:09 PM »
There are larger cities that are zoning cottages in people's backyards.  The city wants people to build tiny houses in these cases.  The trick is you won't own the property but perhaps you could build for home-owners and pocket a nice little profit.

Drew0311

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2017, 07:10:08 PM »
This just might be the ticket here. I think this could be revolutionary!

https://kasita.com/

Classical_Liberal

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2017, 08:50:09 PM »
@ drew0311 very cool and obviously the marketing is targeting millennials. However, 140K, not including foundation, lot (or a place to put it), and the electrical/plumbing, for 350 sq ft?  Hefty price tag, I'd never pay it.   

How about this instead, 12K for more square footage & DIY, no foundation required for that bad boy!

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 09:18:24 AM »
^ That's perfect! I'll use that in my will, to support my legacy planning of almost exactly that.

It's very similar to cohousing (not co-op) but with well-planned homes of sufficient size vs oversize, thus reduced development costs, and similar to one homelessness project but with much fancier landscaping. Now I just have to get a municipality to grow a brain.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 10:39:37 AM »
Have you seen pocket neighborhoods?  I ran across Ross Chapin's site a while back and really like the concept.  Here's an example of what they built in Langley, Washington:

Again, very cool.  However, this neighborhood doesn't look any different to me than the types of post WWII housing neighborhoods we see all over the country.  They even have similar square footage and yard size to those older houses.  That type of neighborhood is simply reinventing the wheel... Before westerners went overboard with our housing needs.  I would imagine it is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly to purchase and improve a circa 1950's home than a new one in the link.  Plus it said they were zoned as condos with common areas, which is great, but means more monthly expenses (ie I cant choose to do yard/garden maintenance myself), why not just have a community garden?  All of these options are just "hip" ways of creating what already exists, in a much more expensive manner.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2017, 10:53:20 AM »
Excellent points, Classical_Liberal!

The only house I've ever owned was ~850 sq feet on the main floor, in a neighbourhood of very similar, all 1940s builds. Was AWESOME. Until property taxes went through the roof, etc.

After seeing the above link, I googled around for pocket neighbourhoods in Canada and was dismayed when the only project price I saw was $550k per unit...and restricted to folks 50 and up, which is the same issue I was already running into anyway. If I felt like spending $550k on one thing, it would be a giant piece of land, not a dot.

Proud Foot

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2017, 08:57:21 AM »
I will preface this by saying I know little about property zoning:

I like the idea and think it could be a good one.  With regards to zoning, how would this be different from a trailer park? You're placing multiple homes on one piece of property with community areas.  Your idea, at least to me, takes the concept of a trailer park and drastically improves it.  Attractive homes, location, ameneties, and tenants will do a lot to separate it from the stigma that accompanies a trailer park.

nawhite

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2017, 04:48:07 PM »
The original article is really misleading. It was $10,000 in _materials_! Not cost to build. Add in labor costs and and it will likely be at least double that cost (and probably significantly more for that round house). And the "one day" claim is also bunk. It took 1 day to "print" the outer wall. I'm sure the interior work took just as long as it would in another house the same size.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2017, 05:05:13 PM »
Proud Food, having looked obsessively into zoning laws in my area, I can offer a couple of things. Zoning-wise, there are several possibilities.

True tiny homes are classified as RVs, so legally can go in an RV park (but many won't allow them).

In my region, a TH cannot go on land unless (a) the land is also owned by the TH owner and (b) the land has a conventional house on it first. Additional rules (who can stay in it, and for how long) may also apply.

Some TH collectives are zoned strata, so basically treated like detached condo units.

I think it was in the one Knaak linked to that had specially-invented zoning, because most municipal bylaws otherwise eliminate all options.

nawhite, yeah, it's one thing to have an option for low-cost in materials...but as you say most many of us there's labour cost or time, and then most places require land underneath or pad rental, which is where cost becomes prohibitive again.

Proud Foot

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2017, 09:08:52 AM »
jooniflorisploo,

Thanks for the information!

nawhite, did you read the blog post by the company that did this? I found it rather interesting.  They gave more information on the construction and costs but it seems like the $10,000 was only the materials for the build and interior/exterior finish.  I didn't see anything about the cost of interior furnishings, although I imagine those costs would be similar to any other house of a similar size. 

BlueHouse

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Re: The Tiny House as an Investment Idea
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2017, 09:44:18 AM »
About 10 years ago, my BF at the time (an architect) won a prize for a design for a $100 house. The purpose was for disaster survivors in SouthEast Asia.  The contest was spurred by the SE Asia Tsunami.   The materials were $100.  All labor was expected to be completed on site by non-professionals.  The location was important because they used Bamboo for almost every surface that otherwise would have been lumber.