Check Out the Tiny-Home Village a Millennial Built, Where 29 Units Priced as Low as $190,000 Sold Out in Less Than 2 Months

Must read

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Booker Washington dreamed of building a community where everyday people could afford to buy a home

Enter South Park Cottages, a village of 29 tiny homes just outside Atlanta that opened in 2023 with prices from $190,000 to $230,000.

Compare that to the typical home sold in Atlanta, which Redfin found cost $431,250 as of February 2024.

The demand was clear: All 29 homes — one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 400 to 650 square feet — sold out over a year before they were even built and less than two months after hitting the market.

Washington, the 41-year-old owner and founder of micro-home-builder Techie Homes, wanted to offer locals an alternative to renting or buying a traditional single-family home.

“Accessible homeownership is an issue in Atlanta,” he said. “Our goal is to provide homes at a price point where mortgages are equal to or less than the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment.”

Located in College Park, Georgia, South Park Cottages has been so successful that Washington is building a second community, Union Park Cottages, nearby. Sales for its 26 homes launch later this month.

South Park Cottages is also the first Black-owned micro-home community in the Atlanta area. Take a look around.

In 2022, after being rejected by investors and banks, Washington crowdsourced $2 million for the development’s construction.

The first sketch of the South Park Cottages' layout.

The first sketch of the South Park Cottages’ layout. Courtesy of Techie Homes via BI

Washington spread the word about his vision by word of mouth, garnering support from locals and Bianca Motley Broom, the mayor of College Park since 2020.

“Because no one believed in my dream, we went to the people in order to build that community,” Washington said.”I think there’s pent-up anger in urban areas about capital equality. Even if it’s a marginal investment return, people want to be a part of something good.”

Backers, who contributed amounts as low as $1,000, were promised a return on their investment once the homes were sold, Washington said.

The average rate of return was 12%, he added.

Techie Homes acquired the land for South Park Cottages for $150,000 in October 2021 and construction was completed 18 months later.

Homes in construction at  South Park Cottages.

Homes in construction at South Park Cottages. Courtesy of Techie Homes via BI

Homes in the community range from 400 to 650 square feet and are two stories tall.

Some homes have one bedroom and others have two. All homes have one bathroom, along with a complete kitchen, living room, and laundry.

The 29 homes in South Park Cottages went up for presale in January 2022, and sold out within 50 days of hitting the market. Homes were sold on a first-come, first-served basis rather than via bidding wars.

The community’s homes have three different home layouts.

A digital rendering of a home at South park Cottages.

A digital rendering of a home at South Park Cottages. Courtesy of Techie Homes via BI

One of the homes’ three layouts features a 10-foot ceiling, an open loft, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The units also feature “high-grade soundproofing insulation” within the walls to keep utility bills low, Washington said.

Washington wanted each home to feel both luxurious and comfortable.

Homes at South Park Cottages.

Homes at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

Each home is furnished with smart technology, including self-learning and programmable thermostats, Bluetooth surround-sound speakers, and smart refrigerators, Washington said.

Their high ceilings and large windows provide ample natural light and a spacious feel.

“We can provide what are called ‘luxuries’ in other new-construction builds,” he added.

The community covers two and a half acres.

An overview of South Park Cottages.

An aerial shot of South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

South Park Cottages has some communal amenities, including a quarter-mile trail for bikers and pedestrians and a 2,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden.

Residents enjoy gathering around the fire pit.

The fire pit at South Park Cottages.

The fire pit at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

“We don’t have a gym or a clubhouse because of the density of homes,” Washington said. “But we do have a lot of communal and connection touch points within the community.”

A homeowners association, or HOA, governs the community.

A walking path at South Park Cottages.

A walking path at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

The homeowners association is made up of residents from various ages and walks of life.

“Our demographics range from ages 25 to 65, with incomes ranging from $50,000 to millionaires,” Washington said. “We have entrepreneurs, teachers, and medical professionals. We also have people that work in blue-collar jobs.”

It gives the community a homier feel than using a property management company, he added.

South Park Cottages residents have the opportunity to build equity.

Another angle of the homes at South Park Cottages.

Another angle of the homes at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

Many tiny-home villages in the US are geared toward renters, but South Park Cottages homes were available for purchase.

Homeowners were allowed to choose their preferred lender, Washington said, and the typical monthly mortgage payment is about $1,500.

The average rent in Atlanta is $2,100 a month, according to Zillow.

Washington said he feels homeowners at South Park Cottages get good value for their money.

A living room in a home at South Park Cottages.

A living room in a home at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

Home prices in Atlanta have been steadily increasing. According to Redfin, the median home price in Atlanta of $431,250 is 12% higher than the same time in 2023.

The high cost of housing in Atlanta is partly due to an influx of new residents attracted by the city’s booming job market and relatively low home prices compared to cities like California and New York.

Transplants often make housing more expensive, pricing out some locals.

Washington said the community has made a profit for investors.

A night time view of the homes at South Park Cottages.

A nighttime view of the homes at South Park Cottages.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

Washington declined to share how much it cost to build each home but hinted that it was low enough to make a profit.

“We achieved somewhere between 30% and 40% of margin within our for-sale price and build-cost price,” he said, adding that the lower price of construction is “good for the business and homeowners” because it allows Techie Homes to keep sale prices affordable.

According to Washington, the community is valued at $6.1 million.

The popularity of South Park Cottages inspired Washington to develop a new community in nearby Union City.

Booker Washington, the founder and owner of Techie Homes.

Washington, the founder and owner of Techie Homes.

Courtesy of Techie Homes

Union City, another suburb of Atlanta, is just 15 minutes away from South Park.

It will have 26 homes from 625 to 675 square feet, with prices from $230,000 to $250,000. All the units will have two bedrooms and one bathroom, but some will be one-story ranch-style houses and others will be two-story residences.

Construction for the community, named Union Park Cottages, will begin on March 26.

Homes at Union Park Cottages are scheduled for presale on March 28 and currently have a 3,000-person waitlist, Washington said.

Residents of Union Park Cottages will also have the chance to build equity through a commercial space in the community.

Washington at a construction site.

Washington at a construction site. Courtesy of Techie Homes via BI

A planned mixed-use commercial space at Union Park Cottages will feature a coffee shop, a lounge, and a coworking space.

Residents of the community who are a part of the homeowners association will hold a 10% equity stake in the retail center, according to Washington.

“Every month when the proprietor pays into their lease, 10% of the proceeds will go to the homeowners association,” Washington said. “The association will disperse the proceeds from the retail center to the current homeowners on record.”

More articles

Latest article