I’m living in a 350-square-foot tiny home in Portland, Oregon, with Cheri and our dog and cat. It’s 19 feet by 11 feet with a small loft. It has a complete kitchen – stove, oven, fridge, microwave – and a full bath with a shower and flush toilet.
I’ve been intrigued by the tiny home movement and am excited to share my experience with you as Escalante Village, Durango’s riverfront tiny home community, is becoming an option for you to:
save money by lowering your housing costs.live with a smaller impact.simplify your life.live more connected to family and community. What is a tiny home?A tiny home is generally considered to be less than 500 square feet, though in some extreme cases, they can be as small as 80 square feet. Escalante Village will have room for 24 homes with a maximum size of 400 square feet.
In Durango, the maximum size for an accessory dwelling unit is 550 square feet. A rundown of the requirements and limitations are online at http://bit.ly/DurangoADU.
Also, there is a small-house movement underway. Small-house advocates resist specifying how big or small a home should be. Instead, they advocate for finding the space that is right for each person, or family, to live simply and consume less.
How much do they cost?Like the cost of any other type of home, they vary widely. Some do-it-yourself tiny homes can be built for less than $10,000, and customized small homes can exceed $500,000.
Most seem to be in the range of $45,000 to $100,000 – just a fraction of the more than $400,000 median price of a typical home in Durango. You must also factor in the cost of land, either the purchase of a piece of property or rent. At Escalante Village, rent is expected to cost $500 per month.
Durango’s own tiny-home builder, Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes, features prices starting at $25,000 for a completed unit and as little as $8,000 for a shell to get you started.
One of the challenges can be financing a home purchase and insurance, if it’s a non-traditional home. Here are some local sources from Escalante Village: http://bit.ly/FinancingInsuringTinyHomes.
Resources and ideasIn writing this column, I generated a list of resources:
Escalante Village – https://www.escalantevillage.com Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes – https://rockymountaintinyhouses.com Forbes Magazine, “12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much” – http://bit.ly/Forbes12TinyHomesLearn how to build your own tiny house, free online course – https://tinyhousebuild.com/free-7-day-ecourse Tiny House Build – https://tinyhousebuild.com The Small House Society – https://smallhousesociety.netCity of Durango on ADUs – http://bit.ly/DurangoADUWhile small homes aren’t for everyone, consider a tiny home as a way to increase your overall life satisfaction and lower your cost of living.
Former Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance. www.personalfinancecoaching.com.