Going Small, Tiny or Micro!
Monday, May 07, 2018
Written By: Victoria Reviel

Tiny is the new buzzword in any discussion about affordable housing. We all are happy that home values in Central Texas are on the rise, but along with that comes other issues; increased property taxes, lack of affordable re-sale homes and the cost of new home construction has also risen substantially in the last several months, making it more difficult for those first-time home buyers.

Within this changing landscape, a few alternative solutions are becoming available and that brings us to the option of Tiny Homes. These are usually homes under 900 square feet, some are portable and others are permanent structures. But they all have the common denominator of being SMALL. Those looking at tiny homes aren’t always just looking because of the price factor. One draw to tiny homes is the simplicity; buyers want to make their lives easier and provide time to be with family. Many buyers love that they are free from a large mortgage payment, as tiny homes are certainly priced in the affordable category. 

Many tiny homes are mobile and can be driven around to other areas. There are those who have them parked during the week in their hometown area and go off to somewhere else for the weekend! Now that this has become a popular choice for so many people, various campgrounds exist across the country with spaces specifically for portable tiny homes.

Many Central Texas city planners are dealing with the question about tiny homes and zoning. How many homes can be put on a lot and what size lots can be sold for tiny homes, what about water, sewer and other usual home issues connected to these small homes? Consequently, all these unanswered questions have kept many cities from adopting any type of policy with regards to including tiny homes in their city planning. In Williamson County, Cedar Park does not have an ordinance for tiny homes but does require a minimum residential square footage of 1,100.  The City of Leander did pass a city ordinance regarding tiny homes. According to Tom Yantis, Assistant City Manager, tiny homes can be built in Leander. They are required to be a minimum of 140 sq. ft., no more than 700 sq. ft. and on a foundation. Each house needs its own driveway and street address. Zoning is available for both individual lots and multiple units on a lot. This is related to the utility capacity of the individual lot. They also need to be permanent structures and not on wheels, like those seen in the picture. There are several other guidelines within their ordinance, so always good to check before moving forward with a project. At this time, several developers have inquired about tiny homes but to this date, no permitting has been done to indicate that any are being or considered being built in Leander.

So in conclusion, there are several things you need to consider before building or purchasing a Tiny home;

  • Where will you put your Tiny Home? Acreage, Lot or Existing Tiny Home Community?
  • Should the home have a foundation or on wheels?
  • Will a Tiny Home fit your lifestyle and family requirements? Consider the number of rooms, bathrooms, living areas.
  • What Utilities will you require?  Electricity, Internet service, Solar Panels, City water or well water, City Sewage system and septic system, and let’s not forget the composting toilet?
  • And lastly consider what your financial and life goals is, live in the home for a few months, years, decades?

As long as you are informed about pros and cons of Tiny House living then you can embrace and enjoy your Tiny Home.



About the Author:
Victoria Reviel is the CEO and founder of 98th Meridian Real Estate Sales & Marketing Group™ a full-service residential brokerage. Victoria brings an impressive track record of success to her brokerage; her clients, agents and industry competitors have come to value her high-standards and disciplined approach to the business, thus she has won the trust and respect of clients, colleagues, and peers and has become a guiding principle at 98th Meridian. Originally from Dallas, Texas; Victoria has over 30 years of extensive executive management experience with high profile national and international corporations such as The Hard Rock Café Restaurants and Resorts, The Fairmont Hotel and Club Med Resorts. Changing careers in January 1997 to real estate, Victoria was a top producing agent in Dallas with Coldwell Banker Realtors®; and most notably from 2006 to 2010 Victoria was the Texas State Broker for Zip Realty Inc.; the 5th Largest Brokerage in the United States per the National Association of Realtors®. Victoria Reviel was responsible for over 400 Realtors® in Austin, Dallas, and Houston and closed over 7500 transactions during her 5-year tenure. In 2010, Victoria re-opened 98th Meridian and has enjoyed continued success serving the Central Texas Real Estate Market. Victoria was chosen in 2007 to attend the first class for the Texas Association of REALTORS® Leadership Program (TRLP) in Region 8. In 2014, Victoria served as President of the Women’s Council of Realtors® Austin Chapter and Texas Association of Realtors® Director in 2012.Victoria served as President of WCREALTORS® in 2011 and is serving again in 2018. Victoria serves to express her gratitude to the Association and its Membership. She stated, “Volunteering is a big commitment, quite a bit of work and not always fun, but for her, it has always been a very meaningful and gratifying experience.”

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