As Americans continue to grapple with high home prices, Home Depot is trying to cash in on the problem by offering a tiny house kit that costs just under $44,000.
The offering comes at a time when the National Association of Realtors found that 75 percent of homes are currently too expensive for middle-class home buyers to afford. The problem is being pinned on high mortgage rates as well as the prices of the homes themselves. Rents have also been climbing.
The current state of real estate prices has given rise to the tiny home trend, with many Americans choosing very small and much more affordable dwellings and abandoning dreams of having a traditional family home surrounded by a while picket fence. It should come as no surprise that the RV Industry Association has reported a spike in demand for mobile homes during the first quarter of the year.
Many aspiring homeowners are starting to look for rural land on which they can build a small home and avoid crippling debt, and Home Depot is hoping they’ll find its “Getaway Pad” to be the perfect solution.
The one-bedroom, one-bathroom home measures a cozy 540 square feet and features a roof deck. It’s made by the Plus 1 Home Kits company, who are marketing it as a tiny home, guest house, home office, cabin or even a backyard rental.
The lower level of the modest home has a living area that has enough space to accommodate a small kitchen along one wall. It also has room for one bedroom with its own closet and a full-sized bathroom. It also features an entertainment area on the rooftop that can be accessed with an external staircase, sold separately. The open area on the rooftop measures 453 square feet, and there is an area where an optional barbecue, bathroom and sink can also be installed.
The steel home kit is delivered for free to most locations in the U.S. and has pre-assembled steel panels. The company says it can be erected in under a week with help from others. The company also provides engineering and building code certificates and assembly instructions.
Tiny home kit involves a lot of extra expenses
If you’re thinking the $44,000 price tag sounds too good to be true, even for a house that small, it’s important to keep in mind that it only includes the steel stud frames for the home. It must be constructed on your own concrete slab foundation. This also means buyers must supply their own finishing and furnishings, including windows, flooring, cabinetry, drywall, stairs, appliances and electrical and plumbing hookups.
In the Questions & Answers section on Home Depot’s website, the manufacturer repeatedly refuses to provide prospective buyers with a price to finish the steel frame to the standards in the photographs. Instead, they ask people to get in contact with them for further discussions. However, one licensed general contractor who posted a reply there estimated that it could cost between $50,000 and $75,000 to build.
With 61 percent of Americans in a recent survey saying the cost of purchasing a home is simply too high right now and 1 in 5 saying they don’t believe they will ever be able to afford one, it won’t be surprising to see more “solutions” like this being offered to take advantage of those who feel home ownership is out of their reach. However, people must perform some due diligence before embarking on this type of project as it could well end up costing just as much as a modest existing home in some areas, especially for those who don’t already own a lot.
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