By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
If off-the-grid living in one of the most beautiful places in Wyoming is appealing, then potential buyers could be in luck. There’s an affordable option.
The home is located at 17 Lodore Ave in Story, Wyoming and listed at $150,000, this fully-furnished and equipped home is about one-third the cost of other homes in the area.
The only issue might be the living space. It’s 120 square feet.
But it’s cute.
Tiny homes have become the rage in many areas of the country. There are TV shows, websites, and social media groups all following the tiny home market.
But little houses don’t appear to be a big thing in Wyoming. Yet.
Victoria Haun, however, thinks they will be.
A real estate agent by trade, the tiny home in Story is hers. She believes that based on her observations of the market and the popularity of such bite-sized dwellings in surrounding states like Montana, South Dakota, and Colorado, Wyoming is on the cusp of joining the trend.
And it’s not necessarily folks wanting to live in these full-time, although she says there are plenty of people who do. It’s the red-hot rental market that is drawing people to these investments.
“They are really popular for the Airbnb potential especially in this economy,” she said, noting the high costs of building materials and land prices in the area.
Haun said she and her husband, a construction foreman, built a home four years go for $87 per square foot. If they were to build the same house now, she said the cost would be more than $200 per square foot.
Haun believes the tiny home will be most appealing to younger people who are a little bit more spry as to get to the bed, since a ladder is required.
But there’s indoor plumbing. Sure, it’s a bit more rustic as it’s a composting toilet like would be found in an RV.
And unlike days of the distant past, when nature calls, the homeowner doesn’t actually have to visit nature to answer. The home comes complete with an indoor toilet — and disposal is powered by the sun.
“Everything goes down into a holding tank,” she explained. “Inside of that tank is a hot plate that evaporates everything. With full-time living, you would have to empty it every four to six weeks. Part-time living, it takes care of itself.”
Everything else about the home looks like a regular house — except much, much smaller.
There’s a stove, TV, washing machine, microwave, seating area (with expanded seating if you count the toilet), shower, and plenty of windows. It’s powered by the sun and by two 100-gallon propane tanks that come along with it.
But $150,000 for a 120 square foot house on about one-third of an acre? It’s worth it, Haun said.
In South Dakota, with the same amount of land, she said the would cost from $150,000 to $175,000.
The return for the investor could be pretty good, Haun said, noting that about 80% of the rental properties in Story are occupied.
“Average rental in the area goes for about $120 to $140 per night,” she said. “If you’re looking at that and you financed it at 20% down, then you would easily be getting over a 20% return on that investment.”
Why doesn’t she keep the property and cash in herself? She’s buying more land and needs the income to finance that.
There’s a lot of interest in the home already, she said. It’s only been on the market for three days and she’s received a lot of calls.
Long-term, as soon as she sells this property, she’s thinking of creating a tiny home business.
“My husband has the experience building homes and I sell real estate so it would be a nice mix of what both of us do,” she said.