Even on a dual income, young couple Blair, 26, and Erick, 27, Escobar always needed roommates to help pay the rent. But after a string of unsuccessful living arrangements that included roommates who were messy, inconsiderate and who sold drugs behind their backs, they just couldn’t hack it any longer.
So like many other millennials, they moved into a room at Blair’s mother’s home to save money. What they hoped would be short-term, morphed into three years.
But now, it’s looking like the wait may have been worth it. Three weeks ago, the Escobars reserved a spot in one of the city’s first ‘micro-housing’ communities—a newly constructed neighborhood of 50 tiny houses, each 300-square-feet or less, designed for residents who are looking for homes that are inexpensive and easy to maintain.
Tiny homes are just big enough to fit the essentials: a bed, kitchen, closet space, and a bathroom. They have the feel of a studio apartment, with one twist: they’re mobile. Without a traditional foundation, tiny homes can literally be picked up and taken with you anywhere.
The Escobars aren’t the only young people buying these houses. There are already scores of micro-housing communities in the nation in cities like Washington, D.C. and Portland, Ore.
One-third of the clientele for the tiny house community in San Diego is under the age of 35, according to Janet Ashforth, owner of Habitats Tiny Homes, the company spearheading the effort.
“San Diego housing and rent prices are continuing to skyrocket and tiny homes are a more affordable type of housing,” Ashforth said. “There is a sense of freedom for having less stuff to maintain and I want to change the perception that personal happiness and success is directly related to how big your house is. I think millennials understand that.”