Tiny House Living Spotlight: Portland, Oregon

by Ben SanfordApril 24, 2017

Living Small in Portland’s Tiny Homes

Over the past decade, tiny homes have risen in popularity across in the country. In liberal urban areas, where trends of minimalism and downsizing have taken hold, tiny homes are particularly popular – and Portland is certainly no exception.
tiny house living in Portland

Portland Is One of the Best Places to Build a Tiny Home

According to Ecobuilding Pulse, Portland is one of the top five places in the United States to build a tiny house. Why? The city’s supply of resources, the number of builders, and the types of ordinances are highly conductive to building tiny homes. Further, Portland’s permitting and zoning opportunities are accepting of the average tiny home’s 300 square foot dimensions.

According to real estate agent Liz Getty of Urban Nest Realty, tiny homes fit Portland’s demographic. Getty shares, “Tiny is the trend. Smaller is more energy efficient and green as well as more accommodating of our shifting demographics. Both Millennial and retiree buyers want smaller, well-planned and more conscious communities.” As more Millennials flock to Portland, it’s safe to say tiny will keep trending.
tiny house living in Portland

Builders and Architects Support Tiny Home Construction

Local architects and builders echo Ecobuilding Pulse’s research. Portland architect Kevin Jandreau, for example, shared that he and his partner have looked into building a tiny home. He claims, “Portland is a great place to build a tiny home; there are tiny house architects, builders, and communities ready to lend a hand.” It’s practical, it’s budget-savvy, and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
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Lifestyle Benefits of Tiny Homes

Beyond practicality, tiny home devotees argue that the choice to live small is about more than being smart when it comes to city housing regulations or saving money; it’s really all about a lifestyle change.

“In addition to fitting in with Portland’s DIY and maker culture, tiny home living offers a flexible and minimalist lifestyle that many people find attractive these days,” says Matt Williams of Straight Line Design & Remodel, a custom construction company based in Portland.

Ellen Sturm Niz shares that “the tiny house movement isn’t necessarily about sacrifice. With thoughtful, innovative designs, some homeowners have discovered a small house actually leads to a simpler yet fuller life, connecting them with family, friends, and nature while freeing them from mortgages.”
tiny house living in Portland

Staying Up to Code for Portland Tiny Home Building

While Portland allows for, and supports, the construction of tiny homes and accessory dwelling units, it’s important to be aware of the problems and obstacles that tiny home builders face.
Fortunately, the design/build community in Portland is ready to support prospective tiny home owners with ADU building resources. The owner of Portland’s Tiny House Hotel has created a comprehensive ADU building resource guide, and interested parties can also stay up to date on Portland building requirements.

Get a Taste of Tiny Home Living in Portland

Are you curious to see what it’s like to live in a tiny home, but you aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to commit to the serious downsize in square footage? Portland has a its very own tiny home hotel set in the northeast Alberta arts district.

According to its owners, Caravan, the tiny home hotel, is “a unique, one-of-a-kind hotel where travelers from around the world can experience what it’s like to stay in a custom-made tiny house on wheels… each tiny house features creative, funky, artistic design elements coupled with multi-functional, space-efficient furnishings.”

If you’re ready to test drive tiny living, don’t delay and book a reservation at Caravan Tiny House Hotel!
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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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