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Tiny House Advocates Seek Kickstarter Support

Phil Hall
Feb 13, 2015

In what might be something of a housing construction first, a crowdfunding campaign is seeking to raise money via the Internet to build a tiny house community in Tennessee.

The campaign is coordinated by Wind River Custom Homes, a builder of micro-sized residential properties, and Tiny House–Chatt, a real estate development entity, to raise $18,000 via Kickstarter to build a showcase tiny house. The initial plans for this project would be to encourage the municipal zoning board to approve the creation of a new community consisting of five to 10 micro-sized homes, while introducing local residents to the concept of a smaller-than-usual residential property. The showcase house would later be converted to a rent-to-own house located in the proposed tiny house community.

Tiny Houses can range in size from 400- to 800-square feet, and some are as small as 100-square feet. Many tiny house builders claim that buyers can obtain their properties without a mortgage, but the average price ranges between $23,000 and $36,000 per unit–and these sums would require significant savings because few lenders are originating home loans for such low prices.

Exact data on this sector is difficult to determine, since no one is tracking construction and selling trends, though empirical evidence suggests it has picked up in the years following the 2008 housing crash. And the movement has its own reality television program, “Tiny House Nation” on the FYI Network.

But, it would seem, that crowdfunding has not caught up with this housing trend, at least in this case. The Chattanooga project set a goal of $18,000, with a deadline of the evening of Feb. 14, and the current level is considerably far removed from its relatively modest goal. However, the entities in this project have a Plan B ready if their campaign fails and the local zoning board remains unimpressed.

“If all avenues for this community are denied, we are planning to pursue a community just outside of Chattanooga city limits,” they stated on their Kickstarter page. “We will still offer this home as a rent-to-own option for someone who doesn't have the conventional lump sum of cash to turn their tiny dreams into reality.”

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