Tiny homes, big dreams?

Smaller houses could have impact in Hays County

The tiny homes movement that has swept the nation is becoming more prevalent in Texas, and new communities in Austin are beginning to influence the future of home builders in Hays County.

In January 2018, the Hays Free Press reported plans for a developer to bring a tiny home community to Kyle. Nine months later, the dream is still alive and 400 micro estates will soon call Kyle home.

Tiny homes typically range around 400 to 600 square feet and from $5,000 to $100,000, based on amenities and interior furnishing.

According to  U.S Census data, in May 2017, the average price of a home in the United States was $345,800. Additionally, square footage size has nearly doubled since 1973 despite the average number of people per household falling to 2.66.

With baby boomers looking to downsize for retirement and millennials finding ways to stay out of debt, tiny homes might be a solution to rising housing costs.

“Our company will bring over 400 micro estates to the Kyle ETJ soon through the current site, or other sites we are in planning with,” Stinson said. “Keeping affordable housing alive is our responsibility. This is really the only hope we’ve been able to calculate for the countless teachers and firemen who just want a place to call home, but can’t afford it.”  

Dripping Springs resident Deanna Batsoutenko recently purchased her first tiny home, which will be completed in October. Batsoutenko rents out her home on Airbnb and purchased her tiny home so she can still have a place to stay while her home is being occupied.

Batsoutenko said her tiny home cost around $5,000, which fit in her budget. The home will not come furnished and she is looking to complete the project herself over the coming months.

“Half of the fun is being able to complete the home myself,” Batsoutenko said. “This was definitely the most affordable option. Owning a home and property is becoming more expensive and tiny homes are a great option for people on a budget.”

Although Batsoutenko acknowledged that tiny homes are a trend, she said she believes they have a place in our society.

Stinson said the housing market is demanding tiny homes for those who are looking for an alternative, affordable way of living.

“We will succeed in showing cities that our business model is clean, efficient, taxable and necessary for a vibrant society,” Stinson said. “So our firm will be moving forward with a 400 plus unit micro-estate community in the west of Kyle region soon.”

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