Is a "tiny home" for you?
For Nick Koridis it was. The 28-year-old wanted to own a home in the pricey suburbs of Long Island yet "didn't want to be like everyone else, struggling to make ends meet and pay off a mortgage."
So he paid cash for a tiny home shell from a builder for $28,000, plus about $6,000 in repairs and upgrades for a 200-square-foot residence he keeps in a friend's backyard, complete with power and water hookups. He pays $250 a month to lease the land and utilities and now has the flexibility to explore new career opportunities.
TV shows like "Tiny House, Big Living," "Tiny House Nation" and "Tiny House Hunters" have glamorized the small-home lifestyle and helped gain appeal among those looking to live with less.
Yet the reality for many is that in cities where a tiny home may work best — high density, amenity-rich areas — it may not be economical because high land costs limit resale potential.
"In the Washington, D.C., market it is hard to justify the land costs and the construction costs on tiny houses. A tiny house has such a limited market," said Sue Goodhart, real estate agent, The Goodhart Group at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria, Virginia.
"If the goal is to save money, I would have to say tiny home investors would need to go to areas where land prices are low, which means not located near major commuter routes."