The Tiny Home Real Estate Movement

August 15, 2016




About two years ago “tiny houses” began an upward trend in new sales of homes in what has become the Tiny House Movement. Even the most traditional builders are jumping on the bandwagon and building their own selection of tiny homes.


America’s love affair with tiny homes is contrary to a nation whose homes average 2,200 to 2,600 square feet. What is the obsession with these tiny homes and what are they?


A tiny home typically ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. By definition a tiny home is a residential structure under 500 square feet. A “small” home is thought of as 1,000 square feet or less.  Tiny homes have been around almost twenty years, coming onto the scene with a book titled “The Not So Big House” in 1997.


In the early 2000’s, tiny houses on wheels were being built by a start up company adding a whole new group of interested buyers. Five years later, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana-Mississippi coast, tiny houses called “Katrina Houses” with 308 square feet were pitched to FEMA to replace the common FEMA trailers. The concept of Katrina Houses had more interest from developers of resorts than FEMA and the “Tiny House Movement” was on the fast track.


When the housing bubble burst in 2008, the tiny house movement attracted even more attention with its affordability and ecological benefits. People who lost their homes to foreclosure or unemployment saw the tiny homes as a good option. Several television shows promoting Tiny Houses made them more popular than ever.


Tiny Houses are also being used as accessory dwelling units for guests, in-laws, adult children, aging parents, caregivers, an office and vacation homes. Retiring baby boomers are looking for affordable homes with minimal maintenance. Another benefit is if you change jobs or living locations. No need to sell and buy - just take your home with you.


Compared to a trailer or RV, tiny houses are built to last as long as traditional homes. They’re built using traditional building techniques, just on a smaller level.  The tiny homes average between $20,000 and $50,000. Online, one can buy a do-it-yourself Colonial-style 14-foot x 10-foot tiny home for as little as $3,900.


At today’s mortgage interest rates, a $20,000 tiny home with no down payment will have a monthly payment of $101.34. Even a $50,000 top-of-the-line model will only cost $253.34 each month. Today, two-thirds of tiny house owners do not have a mortgage.


This August, the second Tiny House Jamboree will be held again in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three days. The jamboree includes designs, merchandise, speakers and workshops, vendors, builders. Last year over 40,000 attended from all over the world. 


If you plan on buying a tiny home, you won’t need a realtor either.  It’s recommended you retain a real estate attorney (for a flat fee) to review your paperwork and mortgage documents. Gantenbein Law Firm's Denver real estate attorneys can expertly assist with all your best, and most affordable, residential real estate legal options.


Gantenbein Law Firm's top Denver business attorneys can also assist with any of your commercial real estate issues.


Gantenbein Law Firm also practices HOA Defense Law, Foreclosure Defense, Tax Law, and Wills, Trusts and Estate Law. For more information regarding these areas of law, or the attorneys at Gantenbein Law Firm, please visit our website at, or call 303-618-2122.


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