Extreme downsizing: Tiny home trend coming to Southwest Florida

In a world where everything seems to be super sized, a new, tiny trend is emerging.

People across the country are tossing out their possessions and materialistic items and moving in to homes that look no bigger than your backyard shed.

Now, those homes are squeezing in to Southwest Florida.

Dean Calhoun purchased an old RV park in Matlacha and has rolled in two tiny homes  now available for nightly rentals.

“They’re tiny. They’re cozy. They’re cute,” Calhoun said of the homes on wheels on the water. “We thought this would be a great idea to add hospitality to Matlacha.”

Calhoun runs Matlacha Cove Inn and says you can call them to reserve your night’s stay in the tiny homes. You can also reserve through Airbnb. They sleep up to six people.

If you’re looking to purchase a tiny home, another local company is working to make that a reality.

Grassroots Tiny Homes is developing a plan now to buy land in unincorporated Lee or Charlotte county to build dozens of tiny homes. Unlike the rentals in Matlacha, these homes will be built on foundations and be hurricane proof.

Justin Murphy, a co-founder of the company, says they will be more expensive than the tiny homes on wheels. Homes will range from 450 to 800 square feet and be above the average price per square foot for a home.

Murphy says they’ll range from the “high five figures to mid six figures depending on floor plan and finishes.”

To Murphy, it’s not about the price, but about what it means to live in a tiny home. He says people in tiny homes focus on quality of life instead of possessions.

“You see everybody from, you know, the barefoot hippy crowd to the, you know, diesel truck driving, you know, not necessarily someone that would be considered an environmentalist,” he said. “Young people just starting out, older folks looking to retire. It seems like there’s quite a few different people that desire to live in tiny homes.”

“These are going to be full houses,” Murphy said. “It’s going to be exactly what you need and nothing more.”

We checked in with Habitat for Humanity on affordable housing in the area to see if there is a need for tiny homes. They said Cape Coral and Fort Myers are two of the most rent burdened areas in the nation and that they believe tiny homes will only address a small segment of the need.

Grassroots Tiny Homes hope to begin building sooner rather than later.

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