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Now There’s a Chance to ‘Test Drive’ Tiny Houses

By Allison Halliday | November 11, 2015

According to an article in, an increasing number of people are interested in the idea of so-called tiny homes, which are small, eco-friendly houses on wheels. Now one innovative company is giving people interested in perhaps purchasing one of these homes in the future, the chance to spend the night in a custom-designed rental property.

The company is called Getaway and customers can spend the night in its custom-designed 160 ft.² house on wheels which is located in a secluded woodland area just a two-hour drive outside of Boston. Getaway is the first project of the Millennial Housing Lab, a group that was founded by business, law and design students from Harvard. According to Getaway, actually renting one of these properties for the night is by far the best way to test drive living in a tiny house and is rather like booking a hotel room, except it in the woods.

Three tiny houses next to each other.  Small eco-footprint.

Three tiny houses next to each other.

The exact definition of a tiny house does vary but is generally considered to be a property that has less than 400 ft.². The average cost to build a tiny house is just $23,000 which means around 68% of people who live in such a property have no mortgage. In addition, purchasing this type of property means you can be kinder to the environment but it also means you need to live a simpler lifestyle. Financial security combined with self-sufficiency are a big draw for many people interested in this type of home. The founder and chief executive of Getaway is Jon Staff, a graduate student in business who originally became interested in the idea of living in a tiny house after spending some time in an Airstream trailer and living on a boat. He is keen to point out that living in a small space forces you out into the world.

Getaway isn’t the only company offering this type of experience as Caravan, which is a Portland-based hotel has six tiny houses ranging from 84 ft.² to 170 ft.². There are also a number of tiny houses that are rented out by their owners through vacation rental websites.

One problem faced by potential tiny house owners is where to situate this kind of home and would-be owners may face additional red-tape when finding a suitable site. At the moment tiny houses only account for around 1% of sales but fans of this type of living feel their appeal will grow.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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