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Opportunities for Tiny House and EcoVillage Communities

Opportunities for Tiny House and EcoVillage Communities

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An overview of market trends, building options, and funding scenarios for developers of tiny house communities and EcoVillages. (May 30, 2015 Workshop at White Lotus Eco Retreat, Stanardsville, VA, USA)

An overview of market trends, building options, and funding scenarios for developers of tiny house communities and EcoVillages. (May 30, 2015 Workshop at White Lotus Eco Retreat, Stanardsville, VA, USA)

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Opportunities for Tiny House and EcoVillage Communities

  1. 1. Openworld Villages www.openworldvillages.org Workshop on Micro-Communities of the Future Mark Frazier May 30, 2015
  2. 2. Tiny House Initiatives What are Tiny houses? —  Designed for four season living —  Typically, 200 to 400 square feet —  Can be built permanently on site, or kept on wheels
  3. 3. EcoVillages in the US What are EcoVillages? —  “Intentional Communities” formed for sustainable living —  Typically, 30 – 300 full time residents —  Emphase alternative energy, conservation, community gardens, sharing of tools/ equipment
  4. 4. What we’ll explore… 1.  Why the movement is happening 2.  Where it is heading 3.  How can we act upon the opportunity?
  5. 5. 1. Why is it happening? Four key drivers – — Economic trends — Changing values — Technological shift — New business models
  6. 6. 1. Why is it happening? Economic Trends —  Real estate market meltdown —  Increasing job uncertainty for students —  Mid-career turbulence —  Retirees needing to downsize
  7. 7. 1. Why is it happening? Tiny House/EcoVillage response - —  Save 50-80 percent on dwelling purchase price —  Cut debt to manageable levels —  Lower costs of utilities —  Reduce maintenance —  Access caregivers
  8. 8. 1. Why is it happening? Changing Values —  People want more community connection —  Trust is fading in government/ corporate “solutions” —  Consciousness of environmental impacts is growing
  9. 9. 1. Why is this happening? Technological shifts —  Plunging costs of alternative energy —  Rise of microfarming —  Cottage industry (desktop factories) —  Freelance market growth (work anywhere) —  Anytime/anywhere access to virtual learning and health resources
  10. 10. 1. Why is this happening? New business models —  Contingent pledges (crowdfunding and “crowdmoves”) —  AirBnb (revenues offset ownership costs) —  Fractional ownership and Lease-to-Buy options (including investment partnerships for low-to-moderate income residents) —  Owner associations (for self-provision of infrastructure and amenities)
  11. 11. 2. Where is it heading? Key trends —  Tiny house and EcoVillage offerings are growing —  Regulatory change is starting to happen —  Demand for tiny houses and self-sufficient living should soar with the next market downturn —  New land may be available
  12. 12. 2. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings
  13. 13. 2. Where is it heading? www.openworldvillages.org Sample layout for a “park model” tiny house
  14. 14. 2. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings
  15. 15. 2. Where is it heading? New kinds of dwellings (cont.) – turning shipping containers into dwellings www.openworldvillages.org
  16. 16. 2. Where is it heading? Moves 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 www.openworldvillages.org
  17. 17. 2. Where is it heading? Moves to lift regulatory barriers
  18. 18. 2. Where is it heading? Other trends: A likely big growth of tiny houses/ EcoVillages when the next downturn comes Opportunities for a “land grab” by Tiny House communities and EcoVillages as idle/ foreclosed properties increase
  19. 19. 2. Where is it heading? Make or Buy? —  Build Your Own ($2K - $40K) —  Or buy one ($10K - $100K)
  20. 20. 2. Where is it heading? Scenario for EcoVillages and tiny house comunities to spark turnarounds in economically troubled areas —  Put together a package reforms favorable to EcoVillage and Tiny House Communities —  Embark on crowdsourcing/crowdfunding campaigns to develop plans for sustainable communities —  Gather contingent pledges for “crowdmoves” —  Hold competitions in which communities offer policy reforms and land grants of idle sites
  21. 21. 2. Where is it heading? How the new tiny house communities can reduce fiscal strains upon local, state and national governments —  Use contractual owners associations to maintain local infrastructure, services and amenities —  Introduce time banks/hour exchanges to provide valued services —  Offer low-income residents “SwapRent” partnerships in tiny house ventures – and shares in Community Land Trusts —  For large land grant areas, hold auctions/tenders on the Hong Kong and Singapore model – and share proceeds with all residents in the wider community
  22. 22. 3. How we can act upon the opportunity Next steps for individuals/families —  Visit tiny houses and/or EcoVillages – explore what types, sizes and amenities you want —  Check whether you prefer a tiny house on your property – or at a new location —  Compare costs under make-buy-customize scenarios —  Decide whether you want to live on a part-time or full-time basis —  Map revenue generating opportunities (with AirBnb)
  23. 23. 3. How we can act upon the opportunity Next steps for investors – map ways for Tiny Houses to pay for themselves —  AirBnb rentals of tiny houses: $100-$150/night —  Typical cost of financing a small “Park Model” tiny house on wheels: $400-700 per month —  A tiny house can pay for itself if rented part-time via AirBnb for about six days/month —  Depreciation advantages (tiny houses on wheels can be fully depreciated as rental vehicles over eight years)
  24. 24. Steps in Forming a Tiny House Community Next steps for community developers…
  25. 25. Further Information Openworld Villages www.openworldvillages.org 202.257.2574 info@openworldvillages.org

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