If there’s one thing the tiny home reality shows have preached is that you don’t need a big house to live large.
And there’s one community in Palm Springs that is banking on that.
Ravinia Communities in conjunction with Goetz Ventures plans to build 100 “micro homes” within the already established Palm Canyon Mobile Club on South Palm Canyon Drive where the motto is “go small, live large.”
These homes start at 600-square-feet for a one-bedroom home and feature such amenities as 9 foot ceilings, clerestory windows and fenced in yards. They can also come fully furnished and with hot tubs. Introductory prices start at $115,000 with a monthly rental fee of $650.
There are no lofts or ladders to climb though, which is often the case with the homes featured on such shows as FYI’s “Tiny House Nation” and HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living” and “Tiny House Builders.”
“The micro homes we believe are more livable than many of the tiny homes typically featured on TV,” said Paul Kaplan of the Paul Kaplan Group, a real estate firm in Palm Springs which represents the micro homes and helped with the design and concept.
“Kitchens offer full sized appliances, plus there are full sized bathrooms with vanity areas separate from the shower area to comfortably accommodate two people. There’s quite a bit of storage too. The homes were designed for comfortable living,” he said.
The new homes are being built by Silvercrest out of Corona and are designed much craftier than the traditional mobile home, for maximum space and with a modern, mid-century aesthetic in mind, perfect for the Palm Springs area.
There are currently three of these micro homes available with open houses held on the weekend for interested buyers. The next open house is Saturday.
“The homes have appealed to a variety of the typical Palm Springs buyers: first time home buyers from L.A. that can’t afford anything there are interested in buying a micro home and using it on the weekends; people looking for a vacation home to use part time and possibly renting it during the months they’re not using it; retirees looking to downsize into a smaller home with less maintenance and cost, to have more time to travel and enjoy life doing things they enjoy,” said Kaplan.
Some people also decide to go small for environmental reasons – they want to limit their footprint.
For Christopher Boughner and Cathy Routledge from the Yukon, who live part-time in Indio inside a 400 square foot home, their decision to go small was for simplicity. The couple wanted to lead a less cluttered life in retirement.
“You have to make peace with your stuff because you can’t just keep it all,” said Routledge. “That’s the first thing that you have to come to term with. And shopping can’t be your main source of entertainment.”
Their mobile home community limits all homes to 400 square feet and 400 square feet is not all created equal, noticed Routledge.
When they researched tiny homes before purchasing one, they noticed many mobile home manufacturers were just taking the traditional mobile home design and shrinking it down. That did not appeal to them.
You have to make every inch count,” she said. “You have to have that good design up front.”
They finally settled on Idea Box out of Oregon because of its quality, design and maximum use of space.
“It’s so fantastic everybody should do it. We couldn’t be more pleased with the end product. It’s kind of been a great adventure for us,” she said.
“The North American culture is more is better and that just not true.”
Contact USModular, Inc. for information about tiny homes in Southern California.