For years lottery homes have been a common way for certain charitable organizations to raise a large amount of funds.
My wife and I enjoy checking out these lottery homes, seeing the different designs, construction techniques, materials and debating what we like/dislike about a particular home. We often buy tickets on them.
In the past couple of years, as our children are grown, we’ve still checked out these homes, but have realized that they really aren’t suited for us at all. The homes are usually huge, occasionally ostentatious and just not suitable for two people. Our conversations about these homes now typically center around selling the home obviously unsuited to our needs, and what we would actually build.
We’ve talked more and more about getting out of the city into a tiny home; something more manageable, less costly and more suitable to our goals now. Living in a condo is not particularly appealing either.
Having a look at the lottery homes for Edmonton in 2014, we have a choice of five organizations offering them: Full House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Caritas Foundation, Cash and Cars, and STARS. Don’t get me wrong, all of these organizations have produced great homes that we would love to own, but they’re just not right for us.
My wife commented to an employee setting up displays at one of the Full House lottery homes that instead of building three giant homes, they should instead build a subdivision of tiny homes. Full House’s current offering of three Edmonton lottery homes offers a prize value of $5,064,073 ($1.5 million, $1.98 million, $1.5 million).
I wonder how popular the draw would be if they gave away 33 tiny homes on small lots with each averaging around $150,000? I think the land cost would be the majority of the value! A small home under 500 square feet does not take much time to build and it doesn’t cost that much!
The City of Edmonton seems to be quite interested in increasing the density of building and environmental friendliness, so why not something like this? I am willing to bet that this concept would actually sell pretty well. The houses and lots are small, manageable, less costly, environmentally friendly and there would be 11 times as many winners. Really, with micro-sized lots you should be able to build even more homes than that.
Perhaps one day we’ll see the city promoting this sort of development. Considering the sorts of property development I see in Edmonton now though, I’m not sure developers will be leading the charge either. Perhaps if we win one of these homes we’ll sell it and be the lead investors in a tiny home community!
Housing costs in Canada have become ridiculous (which I won’t delve into), with the average home price in Canada around $389,000. I know, the big cities really skew the average, but even if you put it at just over $300,000, home ownership really is out of reach of many Canadians, especially younger ones, who don’t really seem to be that interested in them anyway.
Housing affordability is a serious issue in Canada today, and tiny home developments might be one way to make housing more affordable (and, heaven forbid, even incorporate many off-grid elements). Will it ever happen? Hard to say. It’s not as if there’s a clamour for this sort of development, although if you look at websites like Tiny House Swoon, Tumbleweed or the Tiny House Blog, you’ll see there’s a growing movement towards simplicity, downsizing, flexibility and lower cost housing.
I’d be curious to know if you’d be interested in living in a tiny home in Edmonton.