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Starting a Tiny House Community



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Market trends and opportunities for startup tiny house communities in the Blue Ridge area of Virginia

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Starting a Tiny House Community

  1. 1. Tiny House Village Startups An opportunity for the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley area Mark Frazier presentation to Charlottesville, VA EcoVillage Meetup (April 23, 2017) Openworld Villages
  2. 2. What we’ll explore… 1. Why the movement is happening 2. Where it is heading 3. How can we act upon the opportunity?
  3. 3. Tiny House initiatives around the country What are Tiny houses? • Capable of four season living • Typically, 200 to 400 square feet • Can be built permanently on site, or kept on wheels
  4. 4. Tiny House Initiatives in our Region Village of Wildflowers (NC) Coral Sands Point Recreational Village (NC)
  5. 5. Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Park
  6. 6. Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Park
  7. 7. Shenandoah and Piedmont Area Activity White Lotus Eco Retreat (Standardsville) The Quarries EcoVillage (Schuyler)
  8. 8. Harrisonburg area (to date)
  9. 9. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings
  10. 10. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings (cont.) – Turning shipping containers into dwellings
  11. 11. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings (cont.) – Prefab modules with earth cover
  12. 12. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings (cont.) – 3D Printed Buildings
  13. 13. A Growing Market Source: Openworld Villages 2016
  14. 14. Typical Purchasers
  15. 15. “Crowdmoves” for Vacation and Getaway Homes
  16. 16. Villages with AirBnb Rentals
  17. 17. Villages for People with Special Needs Community First! Village (Austin TX) Opportunity Village (Eugene, OR) Source: SquareOne Villages
  18. 18. Transitional Village 18 Source: SquareOne Villages
  19. 19. Affordable Village (with homes for long-term residents) 19 Source: SquareOne Villages
  20. 20. Comparing Tiny House Purchase Costs Source: Source:
  21. 21. Financing a Tiny House Source:
  22. 22. Financing Tiny Houses Exploring ways for Tiny Houses to pay for themselves • AirBnb rentals of interesting tiny houses: $100-$150/night • Cost of financing a small “Park Model” tiny house on wheels: $400-700 per month • A tiny house can cover financing costs if rented part-time via AirBnb for about 6- 8 days/month • Depreciation advantage over traditional homes – tiny houses on wheels, if used for business, can be fully depreciated as commercial vehicles over eight years
  23. 23. Regulatory Reforms The need to lift regulatory barriers • Many localities restrict or outlaw AirBnb • Zoning laws usually allow only part time “camping” (not full-time living) in tiny houses on wheels • Some localities prevent tiny houses from using rainwater, doing microfarming, and establishing “off grid” energy alternatives
  24. 24. Regulatory Reforms Moves to lift regulatory barriers
  25. 25. Approvals for Tiny Houses: Breakthroughs
  26. 26. Approvals for Tiny Houses: Breakthroughs Fresno’s breakthrough New International Residential Code approves: • sleeping lofts • Compact stairways For tiny houses on foundations
  27. 27. Reform Shortlist – an Ideal Framework
  28. 28. Steps in Forming a Tiny House Community Next steps for community developers… Source: Openworld Villages 2016
  29. 29. Roadmap 29 Ten steps for village startup ventures… Source: SquareOne Villages
  30. 30. Next Steps 30 Keys to success (adapted from Square One Villages) 1. build political and public support for the project during all phases 2. develop a mission and vision for the village 3. identify and evaluate potential sites for the project 4. lead the planning & design of the village and form a persuasive proposal 5. develop and maintain an active fundraising campaign 6. acquire and maintain legal status and liability insurance to cover the project, or partner with an existing venture 7. work with resident core group to build the social fabric of the community 8. ensure that all financial, legal, administrative, safety, and sanitation matters are being accountably managed once the village is built
  31. 31. Further Information Openworld Villages New resources for startup communities 202.257.2574