An Affordable Housing Movement That’s Taking Off In Australia.
[corner-ad id=1]It’s a housing movement that is rapidly growing. Started in the USA its moved to Australia and is being taken up by many singles and couples looking to get into the property market or out of bank debt.
Overseas, in fact this new form of housing is booming and it’s now growing rapidly in Australia. The movement has started and that movement is called the tiny house movement. In Australia the movement took off from early 2015 although building small weekenders and housing has been around for many years in Australia, architects and designers have come up with economising designs that really have started to reach broader appeal.
If you’re looking for small house then you’re spoiled for choice. There has been a growing demand for small and affordable housing in Australia especially as many city property prices have become unaffordable.
Imagine yourself for a moment, debt free, your very own house – a tiny house. Tiny housing might be an option and at the moment for some it’s not just a dream it’s a reality in a way of living to being in a larger home and having decades of mortgage repayments. Many are springing up in country areas where legislation on this size of housing is a lot more relaxed than closer in urban areas and land entry price is significantly cheaper.
In the United States it is reportedly around $23,000 USD for a home but living in a tiny home requires few few possessions and less space required. For many this is a great tradeoff, back to simplicity. The size of some homes are just 2 m x 3.6 m in size but some people prefer a small size and not having the usual television, collection of furniture and material possessions that invariably gather dust. Some people are also attracted to the environmentally friendly designs of tiny housing and have built tiny houses of 100% recyclable steel frame and Australian sourced building materials.
Some companies (especially in the US) advertise prefabricated homes that you have to put together yourself. One company based in America is called 84 lumber and they have a range of tiny houses for those at one a break and the housing market without breaking the bank. At the time of writing the company had four models available. They may ship prefabricated homes to Australia from the time when this article was written.
There are some architects globally making waves with tiny house designs. One company producing amazing tiny home designs is Danish Company LUMO Architects. The design sizes are around 40m2. Much smaller than the traditional home but the size of a general studio unit. Tiny homes come in all sorts of shapes such as square and circular and can be deconstructed by two or three people in a matter of a couple of hours.
If you want to check some photographs of tiny homes, visit the website inhabit.com.
Australian contacts for Tiny Houses.
Locally in Australia there is Freds Tiny House website. Victorian based website on Tiny Houses, a local tiny house website is Fred’s tiny houses and he conducts workshops and sketch up drawings as well as tours. The person behind this website lives at Castlemaine Victoria.
Fred’s tiny houses has everything in terms of plans design services help with workshops, living off the grid, information sessions and tours etc.
The site is run by Fred Schultz who is based in Victoria and is in the video below. You can see this video on youtube of a tiny house on wheels featuring Fred Schultz’s home. Fred’s total material cost was around $45,000 but this was the cost of mostly new materials and a large part of the cost of the materials were off the grid inclusions of solar panels which cost around $12,000. He did buy some secondhand materials online.
Youtube video featuring Fred Schultz’s property.
For more beautifully produced films about off the grid living, tiny houes etc – the person that filmed the video about Fred’s setup then check out Happen Films, a website which is run by a documentary maker Jordan.
Tiny Homes Being Sold In Australia.
Properties are being sold on domain.com.au and realestate.com.au from a search included:
1. Lot 16 Rocky Creek Road,Wollombi in New South Wales.
The property has been for sale on a number of websites including domain and realestate.com.au with an asking price of $248,000. The tinyhome is situated on 42 ha of land. You can see more pictures of the house it the above link.
2. 32 Davos Street, Main Ridge Victoria. Now sold.
The property was sold in August 2016 situated on 65 acres of land it is a one bedroom home with spectacular setting of rolling hills and views to Bass Strait and Port Phillip.
Are these homes Council Approvable? Legal? and what about financing?
This is where you will have to search for local council regulations and this is one of the variables that is hard to gauge as each council has minimum size specifications for the construction of homes on land.
In terms of home loans for tiny houses, banks have lending criteria and sometimes they will not lend for mortgage purposes on any house size under 50m2 in living area for mortgage security purposes. They even have an issue with buildings that can be transported off site very quickly as for them, what started out as a residential “house” loan then becomes a land only property and that’s not what they setout to have on their books.
Sometimes there might be ways around the minimum size of a dwelling on a property for Council compliance including that it is residing on land where it’s a secondary home to an approved primary house. In the USA some people have had the tiny home registered as an RV.
This is a main area that you will have to investigate in the area of your choosing and these complicated issues require serious research. Let me highlight SERIOUS RESEARCH If you don’t do sufficient research you might find you have problems with Council.
What are the downsides of a tiny home lifestyle?
You can say goodbye to having large dinner parties although with good floor plans you can squeeze in people that have over for dinner. When it comes to overnight guests there may be some issues as well. When you’re talking about sharing with someone you have less privacy and space but I guess the positive side is instant connection. If you are wanting a growing family there is less room to move so that is a consideration before you enter into such a housing set up.
You may also have to downsize your belongings and sell some of the things that you’ve been holding onto for years. Getting rid of grandma’s chest of drawers or lounge suite might have to be on the cards to living in such a small area home
The movement for smaller homes is emerging all around Australia having started in the USA and run steadily in the wake of the global financial crisis. The ABC reported a Brisbane couple living in an 18 m² home that there are many untold stories out there of couples and singles living happily in the tiny house marketplace of couples and singles living happily. Some see the tiny house market as a solution to the housing crisis.
Building tiny houses yourself sourcing cheap building materials and surplus supplies?
Having recently looked at new renovation options for sale and bathrooms I can tell you that the costs of building these days is quite expensive. If you are looking for cheaper entry point we have an article about the construction materials and surplus renovation suppliers might be worth attending such as you can pick up timber, floor tiles, bathroom fit outs, complete discount kitchens, flooring, carpeting etc. at Melbourne based auction companies such as Fowles or Grays Online or major cities around Australia.
You could even pickup materials from ebay.com.au or good deals for cheap building materials, timber, finding tradespeople looking for work etc are on gumtree.com.au.