To live in a tiny home, dwellers must keep only items they value deeply and must be prepared to toss out the clutter, according to one tiny home blog.
The home-buying trend, sometimes referred to as “the tiny house movement,” is the focus for a Rock Hill man, who said he wants to offer the option for York County residents.
Dale Dove of ReNu Housing said his nonprofit seeks to offer the tiny homes for sale to people who make $20 an hour or less, Dove said.
“It’s housing they can afford to purchase and maintain every month within 30 percent of their income,” he said.
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Tiny houses require a minimalist lifestyle because of limited space. The homes are typically between 100 and 400 square feet and can cost as little as $12,000 to buy, Dove said.
Some tiny houses are no bigger than a large walk-in closet, but are fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area. Tiny home designers use all available space, including loft space for the bed. Benches double as storage trunks, and tables fold up against the walls.
Some tiny homes are mobile, while others are converted railroad shipping containers.
Dove’s plan to jump on the tiny-home bandwagon grew from his experience working with the homeless at Renew Our Community, which he founded, he said. Many homeless people have jobs, but not enough money for rent deposits, he said, and many minimum wage job earners cannot afford rent.
But the houses are not just for people who are cash-strapped, Dove said.
“Millennials are saying ‘I don’t need 1,200 square feet or 2500 square feet, I’ll be good with 250 square feet,” Dove said. “They are helping to lead the country to understand it’s more than having a house — it’s having a life.”
Dove said other tiny homebuyers are retirees, single parents and people who travel.
Many tiny homeowners are drawn to the minimalist, environmentally-friendly way of living, according to The Tiny Life, which offers tiny house plans, books on how to build tiny houses, and how to navigate municipal building codes and zoning laws.
Zoning is a big setback Dove is facing with the city of Rock Hill and in York County, he said. Rock Hill prohibits new homes smaller than 800 square feet, according to the city’s zoning ordinance.
Dove has partnered with Pivot Specialty Products and locally owned CABTEQ to design model homes and “experiment” with the designs, he said. He already has two models available — both under 200 square feet.
Both have front porches and “efficient” storage, Dove said. They also have heat and air-conditioning.
“I want a person that has a large house to be envious of the folks with the small house,” he said.
Tracy Kimball: 803-329-4072