Unique Homes Gaining Momentum as Buyers Gravitate Toward Sustainability

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September 06, 2016

In a time where many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, Americans are downsizing their living space in an unorthodox way in an effort to save...

In a time where many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, Americans are downsizing their living space in an unorthodox way in an effort cut back expenses. Many buyers are flocking to the idea of unconventional housing like tiny homes, which have taken the real estate market by storm.

Typically, homes in the United States range from 2,000 to 2,500 sq. ft. in size. Tiny homes and other similar homes come in all shapes and sizes, but typically range from 100 to 400 sq. ft. There are many reasons society is moving toward this trend, from cutting costs to environmental concerns. Sometimes, it’s simply more convenient and the interest has grown quickly.

Tiny/unconventional home websites have been popping up everywhere since the beginning of 2016. United Country Real Estate agents across the country are finding themselves in unique situations – listing these types of sustainable and unique properties. Traci Gauthier of United Country – Lifestyle Properties of Maine in Bangor, Maine, currently has a tree house listed for sale.

Described as a “tiny house,” the tree house is just 544 sq. ft. and sits on 23 acres. It offers one bedroom, a full bathroom and full-sized kitchen. “The uniqueness of the tree house, besides it being a tiny house, is the fact that it’s ready to move in,” said Gauthier. “ People love the décor and the land. Those who have seen it are very impressed with the use of space and how many comforts of home they are finding in such a small space.”

Interest in the tree house is booming. People from all over the country are skimming through pictures online and calling Gauthier with questions. A big reason, she said, is the fact that people are looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle and “make due with less.” Tiny homes like this can be heated with less than a tank of propane per season.

It’s all about sustainability and cost; something Mendy Reece of United Country – American Realty in Doniphan, Mo., is now dealing with almost daily. She just landed a very unique listing – a grain bin that has been converted into a one bedroom, one bath property that sits on 20 acres of recreational land. The owners originally converted the silo into a living space so they could avoid hauling around their RV. “A lot of people around here are going green. Whether it’s organic gardening, converting to solar energy or living off the land in general,” said Reece. “Places like this make it a lot easier to do things like that. It could easily be converted to an off-the-grid property or would be perfect as a vacation or recreational property.” One potential downfall of these tiny and unique properties? Reece says local appraisers in smaller towns like hers won’t touch it because it is so unique. That means searching for another appraiser or requiring the buyer to pay in cash. However, both Reece and Gauthier said that buyers looking to downsize to save on cost and live a sustainable lifestyle won’t change anytime soon. “

I expect the tiny and unique homes movement will just continue to grow in popularity,” said Gauthier. “There’s so many things you can do with it. You can even make it an investment. My sellers for the tree house are actually running a disc golf course and tree house rental in another part of the state and they have been swamped with inquires.” The tiny house trend is still fresh, but it is continues to gain momentum.

With endless possibilities and incoming producing opportunities, United Country agents foresee a continued interest sustainable and unique properties. United Country Real Estate is the leading land seller in the United States, marketing ranches, farms, recreational and vacation properties nationally. It is the leading, fully integrated network of real estate professionals with nearly 500 offices and 4,000 agents, brokers and auctioneers nationwide specializing in lifestyle real estate.


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