Big Dreams in Small Spaces: Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

The Tiny Home Movement encourages individuals to simplify and downsize the space they live in. The average size of an American home is 2,600 sq. ft. — roughly 10 times the size of the average tiny home.

Tiny homes offer more affordable living spaces

The National Association of Realtors estimates that the average cost of a single family home in America is $270,800, which costs the average family 33%+ of their income. Tiny homes, on the contrary, can cost as little as $23,000, if built by the owner, and as much as $100,000 if it’s done by a professional builder.

This isn’t to say the transition to a tiny home is simple or without barriers. You’ll have to have access to land, which is expensive and in short supply.

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Several barriers exist to tiny home ownership

You won’t be able to find a traditional home loan for a tiny home, according to USA Today.  This is due to most mortgage lenders have minimum loan amounts and offer loans for homes on permanent foundations only. You can take out an unsecured personal loan, but the anticipated interest rates will be quite high.

Current municipal laws aren’t quite on the side of the tiny house movement either. In Pinellas County, every dwelling where someone lives must contain at least 150 sq. ft. of floor space for the first occupant and at least 100 additional sq. ft. of floor area per additional occupant. Each bedroom occupied by one occupant must contain at least 70 sq. ft. of floor space, or at least 50 sq. ft. of floor space per occupant if there is more than one person sleeping in the bedroom.

tbth_III*Rendering via Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Tampa Bay Tiny Homes design and build dreams

There are, of course, a myriad of solutions and work arounds to these barriers that the Tiny Life website has conveniently outlined. While certain hurdles exist, it hasn’t stopped many Americans from making the move. The fervor for a less inhibited existence is supremely evident in the city of St. Pete.

The prominence of the Indie Market and Keep St. Pete Local’s continued spotlighting of Burg-born businesses have helped residents shop and think on a local level. St. Pete Eco Village’s Tiny Home Festival, which takes place April 1, also stirred interest in the concept.

tbth_I*Rendering via Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Financing options exist

Tiny homes can be financed directly through a builder, or you can take out an RV Loan. The loan is contingent upon the tiny house being certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association to meet manufacturing and safety requirements proving that it’s roadworthy.

The local organization Tampa Bay Tiny Homes is designing dream homes for local residents. Their team has been in the construction business for more than 20 years; they just made the move from Atlanta to Tampa this past year. The concepts for their first four builds seem plucked straight from fairy tales. The units make efficient use of shelving, small upstairs compartments, narrow sinks and a concealed bedroom area.

tbth_IV*Rendering via Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Units make efficient use of every square inch

They also feature outdoor storage with durable hangars for lawn care products and small patios. The group is open to helping more individuals realize their tiny dreams. Visit them on Facebook or their website for more details.

Interested buyers can browse their base models and adjust the options to create their ideal living space. However, if you’re inclined to build something completely original, the experts at Tampa Bay Tiny Homes are available to help you realize your vision. Build workshops take place on a rotating basis to help educate and inform customers looking to get their hands dirty.

Base model prices range from $25,000 to $75,000.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me