Sustainability at work
TINY HOUSE Villages
We only have one earth and we need to look after it.
At Go Tiny our key component is sustainability. The great thing about tiny houses is the fact they are a vehicle, not a building. With no foundations, simply tow your home away and it is like you were never there. Tiny houses make for a great low impact lifestyle no matter who you are, from permaculture enthusiasts, first home buyers, retirees to those who are looking to declutter and live a simpler life.
The five pillars of the housing crisis
Why Tiny House Villages? When we looked into why housing and the cost of living was becoming so unaffordable for people we discovered what we now call the five pillars of the housing crisis. Each of these pillars contribute to rising house prices and increase both the difficulty for people getting onto the housing ladder in the first place, plus the ongoing repayments required to own the property. It is this combination that traps people as life long slaves to the debt that forces them to remain in a job they hate, doing work they don't want to do. Whilst many companies, organisations and even the government have tried to tackle the housing crisis by focussing on just one pillar, we believe tiny house villages can topple all five pillars.
The cost of land has increased significantly.
By purchasing land as a group the cost per person is dramatically reduced.
Construction costs are through the roof.
The cost to build a tiny house is a lot cheaper due to the smaller footprint.
Council bureaucracy has become a nightmare.
We don’t subdivide or need building consent which saves a lot on council costs.
By changing how we own real estate we take the power back from the banks, meaning less debt and less repayments.
It is more economical to cater to the needs of multiple parties at once rather than individuals.
TINY House VILLAGE
Our Village Model
The New Zealand campground industry is going through tough times. With the global lockdown and the decline in international tourism the traditional campground model has fallen flat on its face. Unfortunately this has come at a time when many family owned campground owners were planning on retiring putting an even greater strain on the business.
We work with these campgrounds in order to transform their business, by creating blended living communities of amazing social entrepreneurs, conscious investors and purpose driven people, allowing Kiwis to own a little piece of their favourite holiday destinations, to enjoy escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and enjoy a better work life balance, whilst working to impact the world.
Residents purchase into a holding company that owns all the campgrounds assets and receive a license to exclusive occupation of their particular site. The resident then tows their own tiny house or cabin on wheels onto site and plugs their tiny home into electricity and water via a caravan plug.
Our business manager then puts the camps assets to work to produce an income with disbursements being split equally amongst the shareholders.
Here are some of the most common questions we receive.
Throughout this website we use the term tiny house as short for a tiny house on wheels, which refers to a boutique caravan that has been built in the style of a small house. It will have many of the same features as a house, but is on a trailer and therefore classed as a vehicle.
As per the judges ruling in the Alan Dall case, a tiny house is a vehicle in terms of building code, and therefore as long as the tiny house remains moveable or not lived in permanently then it will not be required to meet the building code. This means ensuring that the trailer is warranted and registered, has wheels, brakes, lights etc. It should not be plumbed in, or at least be quick and easy to disconnect.
However if a tiny home has a kitchen in it and is lived in permanently then it is considered a dwelling by the planning department of the council. This means that it must meet the council requirements for number of dwellings allowed under zoning laws, flood plains, height to boundary ratios etc OR apply for resource consent to operate as a discretionary or unpermitted activity.
Whilst there is no real consensus to this, most people agree that a tiny house should comply with New Zealand Transport Association (NZTA) light trailer specifications, a tiny house can be a maximum of 12.5m long, 2.55m wide and 4.3m high. However many people choose to take advantage of the oversize rules that allow us to go up to 3.1m wide provided when being towed on the road the tiny house has a wide load sign and lights and signage in the correct locations. You can read more about NZTA requirements here:
Our villages operate as campgrounds and/or relocatable house parks. Each village will have different rules depending on the local councils by-laws and the campgrounds zoning. This means that in some villages you are only allowed to spend a maximum of 50 uninterrupted nights in one of our tiny house villages – this is what we call semi permanent.
Where applicable a village will tell you if they have sites available for permanent, semi permanent or short term accommodation options.
All residents own a share of the holding company and receive a 34 year license to occupy their site. The company is managed by professional directors who manage all our other villages too. They are responsible for ensuring that compliance is upheld and the running of the commercial aspect of the village. This can be likened to a Body Corporate. The residents form a resident society to decide how they want to live together in the village including things such as how to landscape, what to plant and organising any community activities. We do this because the directors do not care whether an apple tree or a pear tree is planted, just as the residents don’t care whether the company accounts are run through MYOB or Xero. They each control their own area of interest and leave the other party to their area.
There are two types of assets – financial and lifestyle. A tiny house is a lifestyle asset, in that it will increase the quality of your lifestyle, but it will not provide you with any financial return. Considering a tiny house is a vehicle, then it will depreciate in value as time goes by, as opposed to real estate which typically appreciates. It is important before you purchase that you understand the value of your tiny home is unlikely to increase.
One trend that is becoming popular is to rent out a tiny house as short term accommodation on Airbnb or other such sites. In this case it does become a financial asset, but it still depreciates in value. If you do wish to rent out your tiny home to produce an income then please ensure you are familiar with all the local rules and bylaws in your area.
We have found people of all ages and backgrounds are downsizing and joining the tiny home movement. From millenials choosing a different way of life, to couples starting their life together, people looking for temporary housing whilst they save to build their home, right down to semi-retirees looking for a more simpler life.
The biggest attractions to tiny living are the smaller living costs, easy to clean, simpler to look after, less maintenance and can we take a second to simply point out how freaking epic tiny houses are!