'Tiny House Movement' taking off in Austin - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

'Tiny House Movement' taking off in Austin

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A warehouse in East Austin was a packed house Wednesday night -- full of people wanting to know more about what it means to live "tiny." Hence, the "Tiny House Movement."

Kimberly Wickham, her husband Brent and their daughter Miriam live in a 1300 square foot house now.

"I feel like it's too big for us. I feel like everything is telling us that we need more in life. We need the bigger house, the newer car, the latest phone," she said.

She says by choosing to live tiny, they force themselves to focus on what matters in life...like family.

They've already started getting rid of a lot of their stuff.

"We've been in the process of that. We're to the point that almost all our bedrooms in our house echo," she said.

Bo Bezdek builds these things with his company "Austin Tiny Homes."

Bezdek says the particular tiny house he showed us is 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. They build them on slabs or trailers.

"The mobility of them I think is real popular. I think people like the fact that they can essentially hook it up behind their truck and drive off into the sunset," Bezdek said.

The tiny house he showed us is 70 square feet of living space. 106 if you include the loft where you go to sleep. The lady who lives there doesn't have any utility bills. She uses solar panels for lights and a rain water collection system for water.

"I think for a lot of people it represents financial freedom. People are just getting burned out on mortgages and getting burned out on high rent rates," he said.

Bezdek says the tiny houses he builds usually run between $12 and $25,000 depending on size, complexity and amenities.

He says when he first started officially building them with his company three years ago, people would call and seem interested. But recently, serious calls have been coming in.

"These are serious buyers. They're coming, they're ready, they're prepared. They've done in some cases more research than I have," he said.

It's not really clear yet how the City of Austin will react to tiny houses. There is a minimum square footage in the building code.

Recently, council members Chris Riley, Mike Martinez and the Mayor supported a measure to reduce the regulations surrounding parking and driveway requirements for so-called "accessory-dwelling-units." It passed so that will make it a little easier for the tiny home enthusiasts.

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