Tiny/little houses

Has anyone here tried marketing these types of homes in any of their parks yet?  I find them interesting but quite expensive for the space.

These type of homes (I’m assuming you mean the “micro” home movement of upscale but small dwellings) would only work in select markets. I have not personally used them, but I’ve seen photos of parks in CA that have.

Yes Frank I was speaking of the “micro” homes.  I find them interesting but again with a price tag 2-3 times above much larger housing/camping options, I find it hard to believe there is a market for such an item.  Only in America!!

The industry is full of specialized sectors that seem hard to comprehend – yet they have a market and work in select niches. For example, check out these mobile - type homes at www.rocioromero.com. I’ve been a big fan of her work for years, and I’d actually buy one in the right application (like a lot on the top of a mountain) and the pricing seems very reasonable compared to other options. But it would never work in a normal park, obviously – unless that park is in Malibu or Newport Beach, or on a mountain in Santa Fe.

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I would like to see a study of how long people actually live in these tiny homes. they are very expensive compared to a manufactured home. A 300-400 sq ft tiny home can cost $20-50000. but they are cute and would look nice in a park.

I am actually quite curious about the micro home movement myself. I am in the hospitality industry and I see a convergence of trends happening between affordable housing/lodging, Millennial Generation mobility preferences, modern design and space planning, and AirBNB convenience of marketing daily rentals. I know this website does not encourage MHP development, and one of the main reasons is due to the cost of carry to full occupancy. Well what if the MHP was designed for daily and weekly rentals instead of long term? If I can buy a 600SF microhome for $40-60K and generate the same income as an extended stay hotel that costs $100-150K per key to buy or build, doesn’t that sound like a business opportunity? I’d love to figure out a way to see if this idea has any legs. I’m curious if anyone on this forum has any opinions, experience, or interest in this idea?

From reading the old posts, my understanding of the arguments against new park development are:

  1. very costly to carry to full occupancy
  2. nearly all cities across the country no longer issue permit for new MHP

Is 2 absolutely true?

I can’t say for sure nationwide, but just about every one of the 170 markets we’re in does not allow any new park development…

Here’s my take… Like Frank said this is going to be very market specific. Will work in higher end and trendier markets not so much in the “housing of last resort” markets. But a lot of the Tiny Home movement focuses on minimalist living and affordable housing. Millenials as a group are into spending more on experiences than material goods. There’s a market there it seems. Good point on how long these people will live there, 300 sqft might be ok for a couple years but it may get tiring quick. I’m a rare millennial that started a family and career young but it appears my peers are finally growing up and following a more traditional path. But there is a new generation below us as well.

So I think what’s happening with “Tiny Homes” is it’s a cool and socially acceptable (eco friendly blah, blah) way to live in and achieve the long standing/time tested goals of the lowly mobile home. At a dinner party a young couple can mention they live in a tiny home and it’s a neat conversations starter. They probably won’t mention living in a mobile home but honestly at the end of the day the mobile home is the superior lifestyle and more affordable to boot. So in my opinion if manufacturers and park owners can marry the concepts, especially in and around larger metro areas, I think there’s a strong angle to market the industry towards a newer and slightly more affluent market.

For instance, if there were a few affordable products that were a little unique, not the cookie cutter take on the vinyl sided subdivision (with perhaps a few neat little extra features to appeal to a hipper crowd) and they were introduced into the right parks, you might begin to eliminate the park stigma and make it a more socially acceptable choice. People who can claim they live in a park because it’s neat and eco-friendly, and they aren’t materialistic etc.

My park is centrally located in a sort of hip small town just outside of a college metro and we have a lot of “artsy-farsty” types. Housing is very expensive and little eco homes etc. are sprouting up. I’ve thought about sprinkling in a couple of tiny homes and tiny home like options to see if I could add a new dynamic. End of the day though I’m not sure it’s worth it if there is a steady demand for very basic affordable housing which is the case in my blue collar park.

Two problems I see is most building codes will not allow them, minimum sq. footage etc, and they are simply the flavour of the month for unrealistic dreamers that only think they want to do the “in” thing by ignoring convention. As the old circus adage goes theirs a sucker born every minute.
They take a simple idea and try to make it look like a real home ending up wanting to incorporating too many materialistic trappings, expanding the size and way over paying. The idea peeked around 2013 and will be a thing of the past in 5 years except for the few air head artsy fartsies out to convince the world they are different.

Just a thought, 60% of our population is Indian where we live and I do not know of one Indian family that would even consider living in a little artsy fartsies TENT. Fads come and go and zoning could be an issue, somebody has been watching to much of HGTV.

I believe the majority of individuals interest in this movement are young. Primarily due to lack of finances although most will discover they can not convert a garden shed for a few hundred to live in. The vast majority will join the real world economy, time will pass and their dreams will die a slow death as all of us have experienced in moving toward middle age.
Fortunately for them they will look back and be thankful they were not able to act on their immature flights of fancy.

My take on tiny homes is that it might be a way to do one of those out-dated, great location, small-lot parks. I’ve come across two over the last year that may have been strong candidates for this phenomenon. In my opinion, there is very little crossover in this movement and the MHP industry. An interesting test might be to allow a “tiny home” guy to advertise in your community and just see what happens. My guess is that most owners will watch their tiny home guy make zero sales in their community.

The comments here show that most of you don’t have a clue to what the Tiny Home movement is all about. The range of people who are interested in and actively pursuing this lifestyle is way beyond the stereotypes expressed here. The single biggest problem is where to park them. I am following the development of this niche with an eye towards entering it as some point. In the meantime, I would LOVE to have these in my community. They are welcome in RV parks and many have TH residents have moved into them. If you have so few empty lots that you can afford to ignore THs, great. I think we ignore this market at our own peril.

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I think most have a clue as to the movement. Building codes will be the primary death of the movement. Most codes will not allow them in RV parks or MHCs.
Those that buy them will also see there money disappear as resale will be based on a depreciating asset as opposed to real homes that appreciate. In addition for less or the same money MHs are a fare better purchase. The wheel has already been invented these TH people just want to be different. Different is just the next fad away.

@DaleM , as per your question:
“Tiny / Little houses. Has anyone here tried marketing these types of homes in any of their parks yet?..”

Personally, we do not have any Little Houses in our MHPs.

However, there is a MHP in our same city that has at least one Little House.

The Owners of this Little House had actually purchased a city lot (zoned single family) in the same city to put their Little House on it.

Their Little House specs:

  • 192 Square Feet
  • $45,000
  • Financing: Could not get financing - Had to get personal loan from parents

However, the city would not allow the Little House to be placed on the city lot, because the Little House did not meet code for a single family house (ie…steps to a sleeping loft did not meet building code and it was built on a trailer…even if they removed the wheels).

Thus, this Little House now resides in a MHP.

I am a bit surprised that this City (pretty tough on their zoning) will allow a Little House (which is not built to the standards of a manufactured home) to be placed in a zoned MHP.

However, the City does allow it and the Owners seem to be enjoying living in their Little House in the MHP.

We wish you the very best!

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My community codes do not permit any homes that are not built to Z240 mobile home specifications. Even if it did I would not allow that structure in my community. I have sheds that are more aesthetically attractive than that building.
Tiny homes must not only meet local building codes but also conform to community standards as set by the buildings department, minimum square footage, max occupancy by size, facilities etc.
They in most cases can not be placed in RV parks either due to local codes. RV parks often do not allow trailers that have not been manufactured by a licenced RV manufacturer. Many people believe they should be allowed to do as they please but as long as they chose to live where voters have a say they must conform to the standards as established by the majority of society. Politicians could be blamed but the fact is the vast majority of voters appreciate the regulations as they protect the value of their investments in their communities. There are however many isolated wilderness areas where TH enthusiasts could chose to set up commune type living away from established society. Alaska comes to mind.

I’m totally with you on this and am investigating on how to incorporate some of these into my park in WI. Let me know if you come up with any leads and I’ll do the same.

The home in the picture does not look bad at all. The outside is nothing special but inside looks kind of cool. We should really discuss this more .Right now it is relatively new and if code approved might be a way for the park to stand out. I am sure there might be repos or used ones for sale at good prices. Whoever goes for it first let us other forum people know.

I don’t get it, these are basically custom built or DIY built RV’s