Small house community in Tampa place appeals to minimalist lifestyle

TAMPA — Before the pandemic started, Tim Mastic dreamed of touring the region in a leisure vehicle.

Due to the fact 2016, the University of South Florida graduate has labored remotely for iCIMS, a New Jersey-dependent company that creates selecting and other human means program, and he planned to take his position on the street.

But when campgrounds started shutting down, it pressured a modify in course and a new very small residences group in Thonotosassa caught his focus.

“I’ve usually form of adopted the minimalism path of not attempting to consume and get all the things and have a ton of things,” stated Mastic, 31.

So he downsized, getting rid of his house and his 2nd automobile so he could lower his credit card debt. Now Mastic is a person of a few citizens at the 10-house ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village.

A selfie of Tim Mastic on his porch in the little houses neighborhood. [ Courtesy of Tim Mastic ]

Situated in a fairly rural aspect of the Tampa Bay space, the development at 11008 U.S. 301 is about 10 minutes by automobile from the University of South Florida.

Most of the furnished households, ranging from 250 square ft to 400 square feet or extra, have wood exteriors and a manicured inexperienced space. Some have cabin-like wooden interiors, even though other folks are a lot more modern-day with white interiors. Profits costs on the accessible seven properties assortment from $69,970 to $164,450 with several amenities provided. Property owners also spend a month to month large amount rental ranging from $400 to $600 a month.

The developers hope to capitalize on a trend of householders trying to find more compact, extra effective houses, individuals like Mastic who want to lessen their environmental affect or lower their belongings and the repairs of their house.

“People want to reside effectively and this is it,” said Dan Dobrowolski, CEO of ESCAPE Homes.

ESCAPE Households is primarily based in Wisconsin, but Dobrowolski is a University of South Florida graduate and people roots influenced the final decision to deliver a group to the Tampa Bay location. Over the upcoming 12 months, the organization designs to extend the village by at least 23 models.

A small residence at the Escape Tampa Bay Village on Friday September 11, 2020 in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Dobrowolski explained all the residences are towable units labeled as RVs. They have been developed to use quite very little electricity, and two of the models are photo voltaic-assisted. With spray foam insulation, the homes are intended to be energy economical and also utilize recycled materials.

Mastic mentioned his most current electric invoice was $40 — and he keeps the property at 72 levels. The price tag for each sq. foot was to some degree greater than a regular residence, but he stated he however has a small expense of living.

The residences vary in configuration. Some are one tale with a kitchenette and bathroom, and just one to two bedrooms. Other individuals are two stories, with a kitchenette and area on the floor amount, and a loft on the 2nd degree. Some of the lofts appear with a mattress on one particular facet and an open up area on the other that can be utilized as another spare place.

There are widespread spaces found in the center of the community where by inhabitants can get the job done indoors or hold out. Just one home is outfitted with a sofa and chair, when the other room is developed as a dwelling business office. Chairs on a patio in between them allow citizens to socialize outside. There are options to install a pool.

The Escape Tampa Bay Village has numerous homes accessible for sale, in a range of a single-tale and two-story configurations. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

The village is setting up a waitlist for persons intrigued in rentals. Agreements run in between three and 12 months, with lease ranging from $900-$1,250 a month, in accordance to the company’s website.

Judie Clark, 82, moved into a property at the commencing of July, after about a yr of investigating very small houses.

“The maintenance is straightforward and anything is kind of at your fingertips,” she claimed.

Clark enjoys the eco-friendly landscaping of the village and stated the group is rather quiet, despite its locale on the highway. She earlier lived in a two-tale, 1,700-square-foot residence and mentioned the go was a huge improve.

She encourages persons to consider their very own scenario ahead of moving into a little residence, as she reported the compact way of living could possibly not suit absolutely everyone.

“I think it can take a individual particular person to be ready to accept little house living,” she said.

The inside of a tiny home for sale at the Escape Tampa Bay Village on Friday September 11, 2020 in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Tiny household communities are comparable to mobile house parks, but without the need of the stigma and derogatory names connected, stated Elizabeth Strom, a University of South Florida professor who specializes in housing challenges. Quite a few of the distinctions come down to advertising and specific amenities, she said. So considerably, she has still to see little households make a substantial dent in the housing market place. Even now, tiny residences aren’t new to the place and past yr, St. Petersburg hosted a small houses competition.

“I believe it’s however one thing of a market sort of housing,” she stated.

There are some environmental gains to constructing a more compact house, Strom mentioned, but she’s skeptical of just how significantly of an influence small houses can have. However, she explained it’s important to figure out the value of having a wide range of housing options on the market. Tiny residences can give customers one additional decision.

“It satisfies a need and so there is almost nothing erroneous with that,” she claimed.