Tiny house couple finds small solution to rental crisis

Bonnie Pearson and Bayron Campos live in a tiny house on the Gold Coast
GOLD Coast couple Bonnie Pearson and Bayron Campos were running out of options for somewhere to live when a tiny house came up for rent.
The young creatives pay $300 a week to rent the compact home on wheels, which measures 7.2m long by 2.4m wide by 4.3m high and is parked on private acreage in Tallebudgera.
Ms Pearson said their experience over the last three months had converted them to the small-scale solution gaining momentum across Australia in response to rising living costs and a critical lack of affordable housing.
The tiny house is parked on private acreage
“We’d started looking for somewhere to rent but the situation is insane,” the 25-year-old makeup artist said.
“We’d be paying double what we are now for a unit in Surfers Paradise, and we really love being down this end of the Coast.
“I think we have a very good deal, and I don’t think you can find anything as good as that on the Gold Coast in the rental crisis that we’re in at the moment.”
PropTrack figures show Gold Coast suburbs recorded some of the state’s steepest rent rises of up to 40 per cent since last year, with median weekly rent in Tallebudgera up 12 per cent to $873 in September.
New data from comparison website Finder.com.au painted an equally grim outlook for homebuyers, with a minimum household income of more than $300,000 needed to buy a typical house in the sought-after Hinterland suburb.
The tiny house is for sale for about $130,000
Mr Campos, a 28-year-old musician, said tiny house living had been a lesson in sustainability. Living small was a way to cut costs and save for a house deposit in the future, he said.
The tiny house is basically self-sufficient, with a composting toilet, rainwater storage and grey water systems.
Downstairs is the kitchen with full-sized oven, bathroom and lounge area.
Upstairs, there’s two bedrooms connected by a crawl way enclosed by safety netting.
While the limited dimensions of the tiny house sometimes made alone time a challenge, Ms Pearson said they were well-compensated by the location on a sprawling block backing onto a creek.
“For a couple, this is all the space you need and it suits the two of us perfectly,” she said.
“The whole idea of the tiny house challenges you to live with less, so it’s really changed our minds on living in a minimalist way, and therefore we save money in a lot of ways.”
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A skylight above the main bedroom
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The couple is now reluctantly preparing to move on, as the tiny house is up for sale for about $130,000.
“We’re looking for a rental again so if anyone has a tiny house, let us know,” Ms Pearson said.
The owners, Croydon and Fatima Wheeler, lived tiny for two years with their two children under two before moving to Mexico earlier this year.
They planned to lease the tiny house until their return, but the landowner is now selling the property on which it is parked.
Australian Tiny House Association president Janine Strachan said reliable data on how many people were living in mobile tiny houses was difficult to obtain, as they were generally not recognised by regulatory framework.
Local councils vary on their regulations around tiny house living
Tiny houses were often classified in the same category as caravans, with the same legal restrictions on their permanent occupation.
“The inquiries received at the tiny house builder level, as well as the thousands of people attending tiny house expos held along the east coast, suggests there is a strong desire for them,” Ms Strachan said.
“Tiny houses can provide a solution to the housing crisis we are experiencing right across Australia, but first they need to be approved to be lived in permanently by local governments.
“People are confused as to whether it’s a caravan, or is it a structure which is secured to the ground like an actual dwelling — it’s not either of those, it’s in a bit of a crevasse and we need a new definition and an alternative local law developed for a tiny house specificially,” she said.

The post Tiny house couple finds small solution to rental crisis appeared first on realestate.com.au.

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