CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rising real estate costs has one developer thinking tiny.
"It's been about 1 1/2 years working on this house," said Kelvin Young, of Keyo Development.
Young's labor of love is now a model home for Charlotte's first tiny house community.
"Granite on the counters, I mean we haven't done anything shabby," he says walking through the kitchen. "Sixteen-foot ceilings. I'm a tall guy so I didn't want it to feel claustrophobic to myself or anyone else."
Young has been in real estate for more than a decade and has weathered the ups and downs of the market.
"It's expensive to live now," he said. "The average house is now is $300,000. The average one-bedroom rent is $1100... That's a lot of money."
Young's little idea to create a tiny home sub-division started with a house on Cathey Road in northwest Charlotte. He says he took his time perfecting the design and even though it is tight on space, he wanted to make sure not to cut any corners on style.
"Affordable doesn't always have to mean cheap," Young said. "Didn't watch any tiny house shows once I started. I didn't want any influence from anyone else."
The 20-acre site will have 59 lots ranging from 493 to 1000 square feet. Buyers can also arrange to have an access dwelling built in their yard to house a studio or an in-law suite.
Young's first open house over the weekend attracted over 1000 potential buyers. He says he has already sold 21 lots.
The tiny gray model house sits on a quiet residential street, across from Paw Street Elementary school. It is the only home under 500 square feet in the area. That has piqued the interest of people driving by.
"We have people stopping by all the time," Young said.
Lesette Trevio peered through the window to try to get Young's attention. She didn't have an appointment but wanted to check the house out.
"It's really nice," she said as she walked in.
Trevio is engaged, but she said planning a wedding and buying a home seemed almost impossible.
"For sure, this would be perfect," she said.
The tiny homes start at $89,000, which would give the owner a mortgage under $500 a month. They can be customized and take four to six weeks to build. Young says his development is like not like other tiny community in the country because his homes aren't meant to move.
"When you have a home on wheels, it has to be zoned RV or mobile home," he said. "That's the thing you don't see on the shows, you can't just put those anywhere. What property in Charlotte is zoned RV or mobile home? Not a lot. It's a lot easier for me to build on a foundation, so you can get a mortgage, you don't have to pay cash."
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