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Loveland tiny home festival attracts buyers seeking cheaper, smaller options

Loveland tiny home festival
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 19:19:09-04

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Tiny homes aren't for everyone. But for those on a budget or trying to downsize, the tiny homes on display at the People's Tiny House Festival in Loveland this weekend are just right.

"Housing in Colorado, certainly in the Denver metro area, has really exceeded most of what a lot of us can be able to afford," Joe Callantine, the president/CEO of Life Size: Tiny Communities, said Saturday.

Callantine designed and built his own tiny home to combat the housing crisis. It even has its own washer and dryer and enough room for a big-screen TV. If sold, it would go for nearly $120,000.

"People are realizing that they don't need as much stuff, and they're trying to live life to the fullest as opposed to just accumulating things," Callantine said.

Teal Bordon, a student visiting from New Hampshire, would rather build her own tiny home than pay for an apartment.

"When I think of post-grad and renting an apartment, I have a lot of friends who've graduated and it's like … you're shelling out a thousand dollars a month," she said. "I would rather put a ton of money into something that I can live in more long term, something I'm proud of."

Samuel DeFelice, a real estate contractor, understands why so many people are opting for these cheaper options.

"The market in Denver right now … everyone's overpaying asking price. Younger people don't have $50,000 laying around, so they don't get the house," he said.

Choosing where to park or build these tiny homes is, perhaps, the more difficult part. Redeveloping land can get expensive.

"Instead of developers buying land and building houses that are millions of dollars, they should build more of these ... make housing affordable for people in their 20s, first-time homebuyers," DeFelice said.

For Callantine and his tiny home, that's a plan already in motion.

"We're on contract right now in the El Paso County area where we will be creating Bonsai Village, our very first pilot community, specifically for tiny homes," he said.

Whether it's a van, a trailer or a tiny house, expect to see more of these as traditional homes become less affordable.