The downturn in the economy has many downsizing their needs. The average size of homes built in America dipped for the first time in decades and when asked about the expectations for the home of 2015, Stephen Melman, Director of Economic Services at the National Association of Home Builders says that builders are anticipating that homes will continue to shrink in size. The Tiny House Blog follows the extreme side of this building trend featuring homes with 200-400 sq.ft. floor plans for the ultimate minimalist.
McClellanville local, Glenn Racine recently built himself a 432 sq.ft. cottage with a 90 sq.ft. sleeping loft. Much of the material used was salvaged from places like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores and the entire home is efficiently heated and cooled with a mini-split air conditioner. Glenn then assisted an artist friend with health issues in building a similarly-sized home funded primarily through donations.
My own personal experience involves a small home and downsizing my family from 1400 sq.ft. to less than 800 sq.ft. when we moved back to McClellanville 6 years ago. Little touches like high ceilings (9 feet through -out with a vaulted ceiling in the living room) makes the whole house seem larger. While a large screened porch serves as an overflow when the weather is nice (even holding our dining room table from time to time). Finally, you have to take advantage of as much storage as possible. Lots of cabinets, a walk-in closet and pantry, and shelving above the washer and dryer all help to keep things in their place and the living areas decluttered as well as ample storage below the home.
The Town of McClellanville’s building code classifies a 1 bedroom home under 800 square feet as an “accessory building” which means that an additional home can still be built on the same lot. I saw this clause as a perfect way to build something affordable, while also producing another marketable option for the property in the future or allowing us to build something larger and rent the house if we wished as well. 5 years later and with a family that has doubled in size with two children, we look back and wouldn’t change a thing about this floor plan. In fact, we certainly weren’t expecting the economy to go the direction that it did shortly after arriving, but the fact that we kept our house small meant that we actually kept our house instead of losing it to the bank.
Small homes aren’t just easier on the bank when it comes time to build. They also pass on their savings with lower property taxes, insurance, and utility bills assuming. A small home really makes you realize how very few important “things” in life there are and can make you less materialistic. You’ll find that there is a place for every thing and those things which don’t find places are weeded from your life. Possibly the best thing about a small house is the ability to clean it from top to bottom in minutes, not hours, and that is something we can all appreciate. The low purchase price combined with today’s incredibly low mortgage rates can also have many people looking seriously at 10 and 15 year mortgages with monthly payments that still may beat out what they were paying in rent or with their last 30-year mortgage.
Below you will find 5 homes for sale in the McClellanville area which are all small in size, but big in value. Each presents a unique opportunity to the right buyer or buyers.
736 DUPRE ROAD – $125,000
Courtesy of W.P. Baldwin & Associates – At 780 sq.ft. this rustic fixer-upper just a couple of miles from the boat landing is a fine fisherman’s retreat.
161 LIBERTY ST – $159,900
Courtesy of Village Real Estate Services – At 1150 sq.ft. this former forest ranger cabin has been renovated and is the only one on this list offering 3 bedrooms.
10450 OLD GEORGETOWN RD – $165,000
Courtesy of Leland Company – At 1024 sq.ft. this property offers seclusion on a tract of land completed surrounded by the Francis Marion National forest a few miles inland.
627 MORRISON ST – $179,000
Courtesy of MCVL Realty – This home’s 1225 sq.ft. offers a living and dining room, sun porch, and an over-sized utility room that could serve as a guest bedroom. You can’t beat the Historic District setting that is walking distance to everything that McClellanville offers and the beautiful hardwood floors and fenced yard with live oaks make it the quintessential Village cottage.
380 MOUZONS BLUFF RD – $179,900
Courtesy of MCVL Realty (Agent/Owner) – This homes 768 sq.ft. does not count the ample storage underneath the house and the large screened porch. This property was kept under 800 sq.ft. to classify as an accessory building and still allow another home to be built on the same lot (4-bedroom septic already installed). It is modern (built in 2007) and part of a waterfront community which will offer a community dock on the Intracoastal Waterway when the final phase is completed.
Contact Daniel Bates, MCVL Realty, 843-513-2461 to discuss these homes further or to schedule a showing.