submitted by Rob Lunan

A small house village may be coming to North Grenville soon. The concept is simple and attractive. It is a group of small, affordable, efficient houses. The village has a comfortable density of only 8 houses per acre, giving ample green space around each house and a great quality of life. (A traditional builder would love to cram 25 houses on an acre to maximize income.) Today a young person just out of school is facing a $400,000 average price for a single detached house in Ottawa. Some are paying much more. Prices in North Grenville are similar. These small houses will sell for less than half of that, making it affordable for anyone.

Not to be confused with “tiny houses”, which have recently become popular, these are much more livable smart new house designs of 1000 sq.ft. of living space, which include passive solar heating for winter and natural heat venting for summer cooling. Both minimize energy costs. Nine foot ceilings give a spacious interior. The three bedroom houses have a ground floor bedroom perfect for the less mobile, but it can also be used as a den, office or family room. All houses are customizable to the specifications of the buyer and have plenty of storage space. There are no pesky basements that flood and need constant dehumidifying. These small, well insulated houses are highly energy efficient and have optional solar power and rainwater collection. The land is big enough for large gardens, privacy and outdoor entertaining.

The small houses are perfect for couples, singles and small families who want to live a simpler life style, have some land to enjoy (but not too much to maintain), and own an affordable house without becoming slave to a mortgage. The first village will be located close to shopping, schools and services. We expect these freehold (no condo fees) houses and generous properties to sell for less than $179,000. If you don’t have enough credit, you may be able to rent to own. You can also use your RRSP to buy without triggering tax. Parents can easily help children with homeownership. Seniors can downsize from an expensive house and bank the difference to make their retirement more comfortable.

This village of small houses includes a central community hall that can be utilized by the residents for meetings, church services, or rented for large family gatherings, etc. Most notable, the project will be built as a non-profit, so the residents get the most real estate for the lowest possible price. It’s part of the philosophy that everyone deserves a decent uncrowded place to live at affordable prices. Nobody should be a slave to an unaffordable mortgage!

The small house village is in the planning and procurement stages. Anyone with serviceable land in the town of Kemptville or interested in the project is encouraged to contact them by email at    [email protected] or visit http://smallhouse.ca/ for more information.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, let’s make the poor think that having a small house is some kind of ‘green’ living achievement. No one should have to live in a space not much bigger than a prison cell.

    • Liz, I think you are thinking of the “tiny home” movement, which is definitely an alternative home lifestyle. Small homes try and strike the balance between a decluttered lifestyle, and practical living.

  2. Great idea! and it’s about time. Current housing prices are unreachable for some people and this is the answer to their prayers. Wonderful. As far as living in a small space “not much bigger than a prison cell” (from another comment) it is the exact opposite feeling for someone who would like to get a house and do some gardening but cannot afford it in the current housing market.

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