CNE showcases the first of several Tiny Homes coming to the city
The Tiny House phenomenon has infiltrated “official” Chattanooga as the city unveils its first-ever miniature home. Situated in the Ridgeland neighborhood, the 532-square-foot abode opens the door for a community that has been knocking for quite some time.
As previously reported in a Pulse cover story, more and more potential home owners have started snubbing the idealized two-story house surrounded by a white picket fence, located in a suburban neighborhood, otherwise known as the “American Dream House.” The new dream focuses more on financial freedom, along with the ability to travel, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Recently, the Federal Reserve released a survey showing an alarming 64 percent of renters were concerned about ever having enough money to buy a home with a mortgage. A down payment (usually 20 percent) is required—and where that money will come from remains a question for the majority of today’s generation. Lingering student loans, the continuing effects of the recession, and the large amounts of money required for down payments leave millennials trembling in their Toms. For many, thinking small means living large.
And the fantasy doesn’t exist solely in the minds of the younger generation. With nationally televised shows such as Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Hunters, and Tiny House Builders, tiny fever has spread. Tiny Houses are popping up all over the country, and, thanks to the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), a nonprofit organization creating economically diverse neighborhoods with houses fit for different wallet sizes, the Scenic City can finally celebrate a civic Tiny House of its own.
“CNE is now exploring alternative ways to create housing that people earning $11 an hour can afford,” said president and CEO Martina Guilfoil. “Building smaller homes are one of the best ways to meet that need.”
Although a 532-square-foot house might resemble a mansion compared to some of the homes showcased on television, the Ridgeland residence comes complete with everything desired when transitioning from large to small. The house is energy efficient, its aesthetic blends with the neighborhood, and Guilfoil believes that monthly expenses will equal less than $650. Remember: That’s not paying rent. You’re paying that much so you can actually own a house.
With one seed a whole field shall sprout. Don’t think that the Ridgeland home will remain the sole city-approved Tiny House in Chattanooga. The crew down at CNE plans on planting little homes all across the Gig City. Their not-so-tiny houses grow to be about 800-1,300 square feet, and CNE plans on gardening nine of these two-bedroom affordable houses in Highland Park.
Want to see for yourself? CNE hosts a “Tiny Open House” on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 4-7 p.m. at 810 S. Willow Street.
Whether you’re an enthusiast or a skeptic, a twenty-something graduate or a retiree, tour the house and imagine yourself living within such a compact space. At first, you might be struck by the lack of space, but then you start asking yourself if you really need all “that stuff.”
That’s when you start thinking tiny.