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The Story Behind Australia’s #1 Tiny House Website

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What Made You Setup Tiny Real Estate?

I have been interested in real estate since I was about sixteen years old but as the years have gone by I have become more and more interested in housing affordability and how we can all live a life of complete financial freedom. The answer to this  question came one day when I was living in Queenstown, New Zealand. I was surfing the net and came across this small but very beautiful house on wheels. I had never seen anything like it before. I continued to research these tiny houses for months and finally convinced my wife that building a tiny house of our own was a great idea.

Relaxing Morning In My Tiny House

Through designing, building and now living in my own tiny house I have discovered the answer that I was looking for all along, that there is another way! Although living in a tiny house may not be for everyone it can be the perfect solution for a lot of people who no longer want to feel suffocated by debt, are sick of working in a job they hate and are tired of spending their life trying to keep up with never ending bills.

I am finally free of the never ending choke hold that a 25-30 year mortgage places on you. I now live in my dream location in a beautiful tiny house and my house hold expenses are about 1/6th of what they use to be. This sort of life gives you freedom and more control. I don’t need to work as much, I have more time for my wife and family and can spend time doing more of the things that I love. I really wanted to share this alternative way of living with all Australians who are not happy with their current situation and that is what continues to fuel Tiny Real Estate!

 

Describe How It Works?

 

Tiny Real Estate is Australia’s #1 Tiny House Website. It is the place to go to buy, sell, rent and learn how to build your very own tiny house.

 

The search tool allows you to search for tiny houses for rent and sale and also available land options for rent. It is also free for anyone to register an account and create an add for tiny houses or land for sale or rent. There is also a blog which is full of helpful information for aspiring tiny house owners.

Tiny Real Estate aims to provide the support, resources, help and answers that aspiring tiny house owners need. We offer a complete tiny house design service where we work with our customers to create their dream custom tiny house plans. We also sell Australia’s best quality tiny house trailers, match them to our customers plans free of charge and we deliver our trailers Australia wide. We also have tiny house builders which list on our website to help support the customer in the process of the tiny house build. When the tiny house is ready to be relocated to its dream location our customers can then use the search tool on our website to locate land available for rent to park their tiny home. We work with our customers throughout the whole process answering questions and providing as much help and information as we can.

 

Why Are Tiny Homes Becoming More Popular?

Australia’s housing affordability has significantly declined since the 1980’s and it continues to worsen according to the parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au). From 1980-2015 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) price to income ratio index shows a 78% increase. This simple fact coupled with rising utility bills, our growing dis-taste for the rat race and our increasing awareness of our current environmental unsustainability are all factors contributing towards the growing interest in tiny houses.

A lot of people are starting to ask the question; why am I working 40 plus hours a week, locking myself into debt for 25 plus years to pay for a home that I barley have time to enjoy because I am too busy working to pay for it in a job that I really don’t like.

The alternative to this is life in a tiny house where your utility bills can be as little as $0 and if you decide to rent land to park it then you may only be up for a maximum of about $100 per week. Your extra cash flow can then enable all sorts of life changing decisions. Imagine being able to work less, take more holidays every year and save a large amount of your annual income. Imagine not having to spend more than about 1 hour per week cleaning. All these little things sound trivial but they all add up to a massive life changing opportunity!

Tiny Houses Are Also Becoming More Popular Due To Their Cost!

You can build the average tiny house yourself for between $20,000 – $50,000 and you can buy an average tiny house that is built for you for between $65,000 – $150,000 from one of the tiny house building companies in Australia. Australia’s average home as of December 2016 will set you back $657,000 according to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics. Just 20% of this amount, which would usually be used as your deposit for the average family home, can buy you the most luxurious tiny house possible and leave you with no mortgage to worry about!

 

Can You See Tiny Houses Becoming Even More Popular?

Yes. As long as housing affordability continues to worsen along with our growing environmental concerns and our need to address these concerns, I believe tiny houses will grow in popularity significantly over the coming years.

We also have a huge baby boomer generation in Australia who are downsizing from their large family homes and are looking for a way to spend less in retirement. Tiny Houses present this generation with a huge opportunity. Especially those who are approaching retirement and are worried that they may not be able to afford to retire.

 

Pros And Cons Of A Tiny House?

It was important to my wife and I that we lived in a tiny house ourselves so we could experience first hand what tiny house living is actually like. I wanted to be able to honestly and authentically relate to our customers. Just like every big change we experience in life it always comes with pros and cons. The same is true when you are building a traditional home, renovating or renting. Here are some of the pros and cons we have experienced so far in living in a tiny house.

 

Pros:

  • Reduced bills in general. No electricity or water bill if living off grid. Tiny gas bill. Approximately $25 per month.
  • No mortgage.
  • Cheap rental cost of land.
  • Less stress and pressure.
  • Ability to speed up the process of owning your own home.
  • To be able to live in a dream location much faster than you thought possible and for much less than you thought possible.
  • Ability to move when you want a change of scenery.
  • Ability to travel around in the comfort of your own home if you would like to.
  • There is no wasted space. Every room in the house is used.
  • Less things to worry about.
  • Less time spent cleaning, doing house hold chores and maintaining the home.
  • More time to do what you love and makes you happy.
  • Ability to work less if you want to as you have less to pay for.
  • Living in a tiny house teaches self reliance and resilience.
  • You are more aware and responsible for your environmental impact.
  • More efficient heating and cooling in a tiny home.
  • Helps you to become a more conscious person and live in harmony with nature.

 

Cons:

  • If you are living off grid in your tiny home you need to be resourceful and capable of resolving issues. (E.g If your gas runs out or the water pump fails etc)
  • Having to always be aware of water, power and gas usage. Taking care of your own waste disposal.
  • It is not always convenient being off grid in a tiny house as you need to work around the elements and the environment. (E.g Only washing when the sun is out so you don’t use too much stored power.)
  • You need to think twice before you buy anything as space is limited. (E.g when food shopping if you like to buy in bulk you need to think about where you are going to store it all.)
  • Less room if you have a big family, want guests to stay or want to have time alone away from your partner/housemates.
  • It is a very new concept and movement in Australia so many people do not understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.

 

Do You Live In A Tiny Home? Where Are You Based?

Yes. My wife and I began planning our tiny house build in 2015 and then built our tiny home in 2016. We now live in our dream location in Western Australia’s south west. We live amongst stunning forest overlooking a large fresh water dam. Life is good!

Tiny House & Vegetable Garden

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(14) Comments

  1. Ann Manning

    on   said 

    Inspiring. I live and work in Sydney. Would love to be in a tinly house but there are such strict council requirements.

    Do you have any suggestions

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Ann, that is certainly true in many parts of the country unfortunately. It is also the same in many parts of the United States but it has not stopped the massive movement over there. Thankfully there are now several parts of the United States that have legalised tiny houses as a permanent dwelling. I think that this will happen here in Australia to as long as enough people make the move and start asking questions of their local councils to consider these as a great alternative to traditional housing. The only way change will occur is by people like you and me taking action! Many people in Australia who live in tiny houses do so with an out of sight, out of mind approach. They take care of the land, get along with their neighbours and that way things very rarely go wrong. I hope that helps Ann.

      Reply
  2. John Hallett

    on   said 

    Hi Adam,
    How did you find your land to rent/ buy in Margaret River ?
    Is it a permanent location.
    Regards
    John

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi John, thanks for the question. To find our piece of paradise we used Airbnb which I am sure as you know is used to find places to stay when on holiday. We saw it as a great way to get in touch with property owners who already derive an income from their property and who may be interested in renting out some of their land for some cash. We chose properties around where we wanted to be, that we suspected had ample space for our tiny house and then contacted the owners with a brief description of what we were looking to do. No this is only home for a maximum of 2 years as we would like to eventually buy our own bit of land somewhere.

      Reply
  3. Lynne Mitchell

    on   said 

    I am living in Mildura in Victoria.
    The council here would not let people have tiny houses to live in. This is a very conservative regional city do we have rights to live off the grid?

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Lynne, thanks for the question! That is a very good question. A tiny house is classified the same as a caravan at the current point in time and as such you can usually live in one legally for some period of time. I say “some period of time” as a lot of councils have a limit of time that they allow you to live in one. For example, in the Golden Plains Shire, Victoria, you are allowed to live in a caravan for up to 60 days in a calendar year provided that certain conditions are met. Your best bet is to call your local council and/or get some advice from a local legal advisor who specialises in this sort of law. In regards to being off grid, this depends on your councils laws as well. There are many people in Australia who live off the grid perfectly legally but your best bet is to get advice from your councils planning department to make sure you can do this where you intend to live. Due to the nuisance and inconvenience of all of these hindering laws many people who choose to build and live tiny simply live out of sight without any problems whatsoever. As the old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. I am certainly not recommending this but it is a great option for many. Good luck with your research!

      Reply
  4. Robert Mair

    on   said 

    Hello Adam,
    Is that the cheap pine cladding you bought from the pallet manufacturer?
    If so it looks great. Could you please tell me your treatment for finishing it.

    You have a great site to live on.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Robert, thanks for the comment. It does look pretty good doesn’t it. We bought it new from a pallet manufacturer and then used a technique called Shou Sugi Ban. This is essentially where you burn the wood with a naked flame, followed by brushing, sanding and finally oiling it to seal it. There are some great videos out there on the process. It’s extremely time consuming but the end results speak for them self. Good luck with it!

      Reply
  5. Robert Mair

    on   said 

    Ya Adam,
    Thank you for your information. I know about the Shou Shugi Ban technique but the finish you have crafted is the best I have ever seen. That’s why I wondered just want you had done.
    Did you do the same treatment to the back of the boards?
    My experience with pine sap wood is that it is prone to warping.
    Have you had any trouble with this so far?

    I have the job of finishing the exterior of two 12mt tiny houses on a budget. I am in Adelaide.
    Rob.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Robert, That is very nice of you. It has come out nice. It’s nothing out of the ordinary really. We charred one side of the boards, brushed them using a stainless steel wire brush, sanded them using 120 grit paper and then oiled them using a transparent exterior plant based oil. We used Osmo oil but there are many others on the market to.

      We have had no issues. Yes some of the boards did warp slightly but they were easy to straighten when fixing using a nail gun and a bit of force. They have been on for about a year now and they are still perfect.

      Sounds interesting! I would love to see some photos when you are done. Cheers, Adam

      Reply
  6. Absolutely, the expensive cost is the main factor why tiny houses are getting more popular. Besides, it’s not a bad alternative. It’s just a matter of adapting to your new lifestyle and getting used to it. But of course, it’s not for everyone. It still depends on one’s situation.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Andi, I couldn’t agree with you more. It is a great alternative for a lot of people who either can’t afford a traditional mortgage or rent or maybe do not even want to own a traditional home and the accessories that come along with it. The flexibility to travel more, work less and spend more time doing what you love are very attractive benefits of tiny house living! With that being said it is certainly not for everyone.

      Reply

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