A 28-unit tiny home community near Austin, Texas has now opened with a monthly rent of $1,375.
Its founder said all 822-square-foot homes were claimed within two weeks.
Tiny houses are increasingly being used as an alternative to traditional housing.
A city located about 20 minutes north of Austin, Texas, opened a new tiny home community in June. But unlike some Expensive ones that have appeared recentlythe maximum rent for these 28 units is $1,375 per month.
As big tech companies like Apple and Tesla flocked to the city, so did their high-income employees. This improvement has made Austin one of the least affordable cities in the United States as the median home price more than doubled from 2011 to 2021.
In an effort to combat this booming housing cost, a local husband and wife decided to build what they say is Round Rock, the first affordable tiny home community in Texas. Within two weeks of its completion, all 28 units were claimed.
The use of tiny homes to house people who may not be able to afford traditional housing has become an increasingly popular concept.
In cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, nonprofits have been built Prefabricated small home villages Such as the one shown above for use as transitional shelters rather than traditional congregate shelters.
Claypool is a police lieutenant with the Rocky Rock Police Department while his wife and co-founder Stephanie works as a local teacher. They both have experience flipping houses.
With this mutual connection to the Texas city, building Mustard Seed was the couple’s way to “give back,” Claypool said, noting that Round Rock doesn’t have “a lot of affordable housing.”
To finance this project, Claypool approached six major financial institutions.
After being rejected repeatedly, Texas-based Amplify Credit Union offered him the loan and logistical assistance needed to build this community.
While Claypool and Amplify Credit Union call these homes “tiny homes,” the two-story, 28-dwelling residences aren’t actually that small.
Each 822-square-foot accommodation has two bedrooms and one bathroom. This square footage is more than double the size of most Tiny homes in the Escape Homes community Close to Tampa, Florida but still much smaller than Average home size in the United States2,191 square feet.
Besides their size, the way these accommodations are built is one of the biggest differences between Mustard Seed communities and other similar communities.
Some small houses – like the one in Neighborhood escape from homes As shown above – they are built on wheeled frames and are legally considered recreational vehicles, which simplifies setup, moving and transportation. permitting process.
But housing at Mustard Seed is built like traditional housing: on concrete slabs.
“The people who run Round Rock weren’t fond of putting a trailer park here,” Claypool said. “I’m getting a hint that the city wants something nice and permanent because there’s a lot of talk about more of that coming here.
For this reason, these residences have the amenities of traditional apartments such as water heaters, full-size appliances, air conditioning and central heat.
Inside there are living rooms, ceiling fans, and granite-topped kitchens with dishwashers.
The laundry facility is located in a separate building.
The median rent in Round Rock is $2,100, according to data from Zillow.
Here, these two-bedroom homes cost $1,375 per month. Claypool wants this to be “the least expensive in Round Rock.”
Despite any stereotypes people may have about affordable housing or tiny homes, this neighborhood feels like an average slice of suburbia.
“Welcome” mats line the front doors, people sit on their decorated porches drinking coffee, and neighbors play together. Nearby there is a small garden and a fire pit as well.
Before these two acres were developed, the land was home to old barns, a chicken coop, “running donkeys, and who knows what other creatures in the grass.”
He then hired a contractor to help build these homes.
However, he will not reveal how much it costs to build each unit “because I don’t think the average person would be able to build it for that amount (less than that).”
He also rents part of the property to Thrive Girls Ranch and Home, a boarding school for Christian girls located between these apartments. Some of its graduates now live there as well.
Despite their small sizes, some tiny homes aren’t cheap.
Looking back at Escape Homes, these units started at $95,000 while they were The most expensive was $250,000 And 540 square feet.
On this project, “he was getting five to six phone calls a week” from interested tenants, recalls Rene Flores, Amplify’s commercial loan officer.
Some units were claimed before the community opened. The rest was taken as quickly as Claypool could return his calls and emails, he recalls.
Now, local teachers, nurses, 911 dispatchers and restaurant service workers call Mustard Seed their home.
Most residents share their home with someone else, whether it’s a partner, a single parent with a child, or a college roommate.
While these residents are now settling in, this may not be the end of little Claypool’s journey home.
“My heart is in it. I would like to do more,” he said. “I don’t know when and where yet.”
When he’s ready, Flores says Amplify will be too: “We hope Joseph will consider us for his next project. We want to be part of early conversations with other Josephs who want to do similar projects.”