Remodeled Space For Aging In Place | The Daily Oklahoman

*You might have to press pause on the video just below if you want to read everything before you watch it, it seems to be playing automatically.

A quick note before the video/article:

Early in 2017 I found myself in the middle of a transaction that had a very strong thread for all parties involved, aging family members. My sellers were helping their mother sell their childhood home, which needless to say had to be emotionally impactful. Not long after the house went on the market I was approached by a lady saying that her daughter lived a few doors down from the house, and they thought it would be nice to live closer to one another. I later discovered that this very witty and charming person was in the earlier stages of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Long story short they purchased the home after a few bumps in the road, and she and her daughter renovated the home – and it is immaculate…

I’m currently writing this with tears in my eyes next to my grandfather who is on his deathbed. In the last few years I lived for a while with my grandparents as they were getting settled into their final residence. We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time, and in the middle of taking care of him for his final stage of life I saw this article pop up in The Daily Oklahoman, telling the wonderful story of some of my newfound friends, Deb and Amy on one side and Larry and Sue on the other. I’m so grateful for everyone involved. Being a part of their story makes me appreciate my own even more, and I’m pretty much bursting at the seems already with love and appreciation for my own family.

-Grady

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place

By Dyrinda Tyson For The Oklahoman dyrinda@gmail.com  


NORMAN — Amy Brewer wanted her mother closer, especially when memory issues began to surface. But it took several years and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for things to come to a head.

“In April, she got lost for five hours,” she said. “That’s when I decided that she needed to move.”

Her mother, Deborah Brewer, raised a finger.

“Now I have a different story,” she interjected. She offered her explanation, mostly off the record, possibly tongue-in-cheek. “So I knew where I was,” she concluded with a nod.

Still, her daughter saw it as a call to action. Interstate 35 and major chunk of Norman lay between them. And as unpredictable as Alzheimer’s disease can be, the one thing for sure is it doesn’t retreat.

“I decided I’d put this off long enough,” Amy Brewer said. “For five years, I knew we needed to do something. And I’d been floating the idea and floating the idea.”

Her mother, though, was reluctant, at least until Amy played her trump card: “I finally said, ‘There’s going to come a time when I’m going to have to take your car away, and you’re still going to want to see your grandkids. So you need to be right by us. And, she said, ‘I understand.’ ”

The perfect bungalow came on the market that weekend, just two doors down from Amy’s house in central Norman. Things bogged down, however, as she grappled with the logistics of selling one house while buying another.

The bungalow was still on the market when they finally laid a plan in place. They gave the go-ahead to their Realtor, Grady Carter, of Metro Brokers in Norman. But they worried about trust issues on the seller’s side.

“He must have done some magic on his end, though,” Amy Brewer recalled. “I was in San Francisco about to board a flight to New Zealand.”

That meant many hours in the air cut off from communications, so she laid it out in a phone call to Carter. “I said ‘I’m going to land in 13 hours, Grady. Whatever they need us to pay, we’ll pay. Whatever earnest money, we’ll do cash.’ ”

That did the trick. By the time Amy Brewer came home from her extended trip, the deal was done. Friends had pitched in during her absence to ensure Deborah Brewer made it to closing, then helped her move out of her old home and into her daughter’s house to await remodeling on her new digs.

Oh, yes, the remodeling.

“I was really focused on securing this house, which took a long time,” Amy Brewer said. “And after we purchased the house, I realized I had plans to do a complete remodel and no plans to do a complete remodel. I guess someone who knew what they were doing would’ve had that lined up before they closed. A week or two went by, and I realized I had no idea what I was doing.”

Smooth transition

So she did what almost everyone does in this day and age, namely take her plight to social media. And social media gave back, leading her to Kendra Orcutt and her Home Mods By Therapists team. Orcutt channels her experience as an occupational therapist into designing spaces to accommodate people’s physical challenges.

Orcutt and her team opened up the space inside by getting rid of hallways, allowing the bedrooms and bathrooms to open directly up into the main part of the house.

They widened hallways, repurposed space lost to a heater closet to enlarge the laundry room and installed a sliding barn door on the master bathroom, adding not only a trendy touch but one that saves space and is easier for a person on a walker or cane to open.

Even the color scheme in the kitchen was designed with a purpose. The gray-and-black floor tiles are low-contrast, which is easier to navigate with impaired vision or balance.

“By making this house accessible to memory loss, she doesn’t ever have to move,” Orcutt said. “She won’t have to relearn another space. She knows her daughter is down the street. All of those things are important. So what I did was I made things easier to live in.”

Easier to live in, but not institutional. It’s often just a matter of style. What appears to be a towel rack by the bathtub, for example, is actually a grab bar. Its brushed silver surface matches the faucet and, frankly, it could function just fine as a towel rack.

And that’s the point, Orcutt said. “Everything we did in the house, someone else could live in.”

That was a major consideration as Amy Brewer worked to persuade her mother to trade her four-bedroom home for the bungalow.

“She had a great big house, and I didn’t want her to feel like she was having to give up anything,” she said.

Deborah Brewer finally moved into her revamped home in late November. She gave up two bedrooms and a lot of square feet in the move, but may have gained so much more in return.

Amy Brewer smiled as her tween daughter, Harper Sterr, wrapped her arms around her grandmother. “These two are best friends,” she said.

Deborah Brewer held out a hand to compare their heights. “And she’s almost as tall as me.”

Source: Remodeled space for aging in place | NewsOK.com

“These 6 Charts Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the Real Estate Market”

This article was written in 2016 and it is a little bit simplistic, but overall I think that it is a good quick read to talk about the general state of the economy in relation to Real Estate. I know that in Norman in particular this year we’ve definitely had many conversations about the rental market. If you have anything you’d like to add feel free to comment below or on Facebook.

-Grady

These 6 Charts Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the Real Estate Market

There’s likely no sector as important to the U.S. economy as housing.

In the first quarter of 2016, residential investment accounted for roughly half of the 1.1% increase in real GDP. Historically, this is on the high side, but when you count spending on housing services as well as spending on various kinds of housing construction, the home construction industry can account for as much as one fifth of overall output in the U.S. economy.

That’s why housing has traditionally powered the American economy out of recessions, and that’s why housing’s role as the trigger of the Great Recession was so damning to the subsequent recovery. While housing prices have improved—with home values in some markets higher than before the crisis—there’s evidence that the housing bust has inflicted long-term damage on the home building industry and therefore the American economy. Here are 6 charts from Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s Chief International Economist, that show the state of the housing market and how it’s powering, and holding back, the rest of the economy.

People Really Want to Buy Homes

There’s evidence that the millennial generation has been slow to warm to the idea of homeownership, as they are generally delaying decisions like marriage and child rearing. But as this chart shows, overall, Americans are still in the market for new homes.

But Homebuilders Have Been Slow to Respond to Demand

The rate at which homebuilders are constructing new single family homes remains quite depressed, despite steadily increasing demand. Those in the business have argued that supply-side factors, like increased regulation and a short supply of skilled labor as reasons they have been slow to meet demand.

The Homes Being Built are Mostly for the High End of the Market

There are many metrics that one can use to show that homebuilders have decided that it makes sense for them to target wealthier buyers, but the above chart is striking. During an otherwise sluggish economic recovery, the increase in the size of new homes for sale has actually accelerated.

Because Middle-Class Homebuyers Can’t Get Financing

Home builders aren’t the only business that has been turning it’s back on the American middle, for the simple reason that middle class incomes have been on the decline for years now. Furthermore, the mortgage finance industry is still leery of lending to all but the most creditworthy borrowers.

Rental Markets are Tighter Than They’ve Been in Generations

The lack of credit available for new homebuyers has forced more and more homeowners into the rental market, driving up rents and put further pressure on already strained middle-class budgets.

Hope Springs Eternal

Despite what appears to be a negative feedback loop of stagnating middle-class incomes, tight credit, and a homebuilding industry that can’t profitably cater to most of the country, demographics have analysts hopeful that things will turn around in the future. The modal age in America is 26, and this echo-boom generation has yet to settle down and seriously consider homeownership. Analysts hope that this new demographic wave will jolt the housing sector back into pre-bubble normalcy. And we’re moving in the right direction.

Time heals all wounds, even in the real estate market.

Source: These 6 Charts Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the Real Estate Market

New OKC Listing (4 bed, 3.5 bath) – 1433 SW 71st

A well kept and discretely grand house just minutes from downtown Oklahoma City. Sitting on an oversized lot this split bedroom plan is ready for someone to come and make it their own. This home has 3 possible living rooms, and one could be kept as an office space. The storage unit in the backyard is large, and could be used as a workshop, or it could easily store equipment and motorized toys. This wonderful home is priced to sell, and ready for someone to love it!

Walk Through Tour – 1433 SW 71st St

New Listing Alert!!! If you are looking for a very well kept home in Oklahoma City come check this puppy out! 4 bedrooms, 3 and a half bathrooms, on a great big lot just minutes from downtown. Click on the links below if you'd like more information, or just call your Realtor to set up an appointment.

For more pictures click here —–> https://goo.gl/H3ihYp
To see the full listing click here —-> https://goo.gl/FCMTyE

Grady Carter
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723
(405) 474-2905

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, September 7, 2017

 

Source: 1433 SW 71st — Premier House Tours

Campus Open House, Sunday 8/13 from 2:00 to 4:00 – 636 E. Boyd

What are you doing this weekend?! If you are going to be around Norman in the afternoon you should stop by and see me at 636 E. Boyd Street between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. This house is beautiful, and ready for someone to come and love on it. Who do you know who might want to live by campus in Norman? Well feel free to share this with them 🙂

 

Walk Through Tour – 636 E Boyd

New Listing Alert!!!

636 E Boyd Street, Norman, OK

Check out more pictures here —–> https://goo.gl/osR47t
And see the full listing here ——-> https://goo.gl/wdMnAw

Who is looking for an amazing campus home in Norman, Oklahoma?! Just an arrow's flight from The Mont Restaurant and The University of Oklahoma this amazing historical home has tons of character! It boasts: a split plan with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 living/flex spaces, and a recently updated kitchen. The kitchen looks out over a fantastic covered patio just waiting to entertain before a game, or to sit on while a rain storm rolls through town. And don't miss the wonderful newly added Pella windows. And if you love older homes you will love these original hardwood floors. There is plenty about the house to tell you about, but I highly recommend that you just come and see it for yourself. Call your Realtor to set up an appointment today!

Grady Carter
Metro Brokers of OK
(405) 474-2905
https://goo.gl/mDdLE3

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Listing Alert – 1604 Stonewood, 2.2 acres, 3 bed 2½ bath

I love this house! This house was made for that buyer looking for a little extra space – inside and out. It sits on 2.2 acres, and the split floor plan is conducive to entertaining or housing guests for a little while (or longer…). Having a total overhaul the finishings in the home are very nice. The sellers just needed a shop and saw a house that had what they were looking for, otherwise they would’ve never considered moving! If you know someone looking to make a move for a little bit more space in Norman this one might be worth sharing. Go on now, be a friend!

Walkthrough Video Tour – 1604 Stonewood Circle

https://goo.gl/lxJ6kP
New Listing Alert!!! – 1604 Stonewood Circle

This beautiful home has been completely renovated, and it is ready to be showed off! It has 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half bathrooms, 2 livingrooms, another bonus room, a 3 car garage, a great pool area out back, and a rubber roof! Come on in and check it out, and if you'd like to see it in person call your Realtor® and schedule an appointment.

For more details click here: https://goo.gl/lxJ6kP

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of OK
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
www.HomeBoyOK.com

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Friday, March 24, 2017

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
HomeBoyOK@gmail.com

New Norman Listing: 3 Bed, 2 Bath Split Plan – $123,000!!!

Well here is a cute one!

https://goo.gl/wZwdje
New Listing Alert: We've got a cute one! This 3 bed / 2 bath little puppy hit the market this…

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, March 16, 2017

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour, 837 Carol Ann Place

Well, here is a new listing in Moore, Oklahoma that I really love!

837 Carol Ann Place – Walk Through Tour

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

*837 Carol Ann Place, Moore, OK 73160*
This awesome home has: 4 Beds, 2 Baths, a 3 Car Garage, an Office and a whole lot more! I'm happy to tell you more about this house, but you can just come on in for yourself by watching our walk through tour. Do you know anyone who might be looking for a house like this? Be their buddy and send them this video, or tag them in the comments. This home is looking for another great group to take care of it next! 🙂

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of OK
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
www.HomeBoyOK.com

Norman Board of Realtors, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS®

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, March 2, 2017

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

“American Experience: Oklahoma City” National Premier Tonight at 7:00

I posted this on Facebook today, and it had very little / nothing to do with Real Estate. Oh well, it was worth posting about, and if you have the ability I highly recommend you watch this documentary airing on television tonight about the Oklahoma City Bombing at 7:00 cst.

The documentary is called American Experience: Oklahoma City. If you need to set your DVR now would be a good time.

ATTENTION: Tonight at 7:00 is the public television premiere of this new documentary about the Oklahoma City Bombing,…

Posted by Grady Carter on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump Reverses Obama’s Mortgage Fee Cuts on First Day

At the risk of making people angry by posting about anything mildly political I feel compelled to inform anyone brave enough to trust me by clicking on my site that there is news to take note of as of late in regards to the new administration and real estate. Any prospective home buyers planning to get an FHA loan should be aware of some moving parts in relation to their Mortgage Insurance (PMI or MI). FHA loans require mortgage for the life (or 100%) of the loan, while conventional loans typically require this insurance until the homeowner has at least 20% equity (ownership) in their property. This insurance protects banks against people foreclosing/defaulting on their loans.

With that being said the politics of what just happened can be left up to someone else, but the rates were said to be going down by the Obama administration at the very last leg of their tenure, and on day one President Trump signed an executive order to nullify that proclamation. So, rates will be higher than some expected for FHA borrowers, but this could change in the not so distant future considering how quickly some things seem to be moving. Put a pin in this if you plan to get an FHA loan anytime soon.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

Trump Reverses Obama’s Mortgage Fee Cuts on First Day

by

  • Obama sought to reduce fees by a quarter percentage point
  • Loan program is popular among first-time home buyers

What Will President Trump Tackle First?

Soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, his administration undid one of Barack Obama’s last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers.

The new administration on Friday said it’s canceling a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual fee for most borrowers. The cut would have reduced the annual premium for someone borrowing $200,000 by $500 in the first year.

The reversal comes after Trump’s team criticized the Obama administration for adopting new policies as it prepared to leave office. In the waning days of the administration, the White House announced new Russia sanctions, a ban on drilling in parts of the Arctic and many other regulations.

No Consultation

Last week, Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Julian Castro, said the FHA would cut its fees. The administration didn’t consult Trump’s team before the announcement.

Republicans have argued in the past that reductions put taxpayers at risk by lowering the funds the FHA has to deal with mortgage defaults.

Shares of private mortgage insurance companies, including MGIC Investment Corp. and Radian Group Inc., erased earlier losses, trading up about one percent as of mid-afternoon. They closed little changed from the day before. Private insurers, which back loans guaranteed by mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, compete with the FHA for market share and have been critics of fee cuts in the past.

A letter Friday from HUD to lenders and others in the real-estate industry said, “more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York took to the chamber’s floor to denounce the reversal.

“It took only an hour after his positive words on the inaugural platform for his actions to ring hollow,” Schumer said. “One hour after talking about helping working people and ending the cabal in Washington that hurts people, he signs a regulation that makes it more expensive for new homeowners to buy mortgages.”

Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies for the libertarian Cato Institute, said it was appropriate for the administration to examine last-minute decisions by its predecessor, “especially when those decisions appear to be purely motivated by politics.”

Ben Carson, Trump’s nominee to lead HUD, FHA’s parent agency, said at his confirmation hearing last week that he was disappointed the cut was announced in Obama’s final days in office.

FHA Role

The FHA sells insurance to protect against defaults and doesn’t issue mortgages. It is a popular program among first-time home buyers because it allows borrowers to make a down payment of as low as 3.5 percent with a credit score of 580, on a scale of 300 to 850.

The Obama administration announced last week it would cut the insurance premium by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.60 percent, effective on Jan. 27.

Some housing industry groups lauded the change, saying it could increase home buying by offsetting recent rises in mortgage rates. Supporters of the reduction were disappointed that the Trump administration reversed course.

‘Average People’

“This action is completely out of alignment with President Trump’s words about having the government work for the people,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, through a spokesman. “Exactly how does raising the cost of buying a home help average people?”

Sarah Edelman, director of housing policy for the left-leaning Center for American Progress, in an e-mail wrote, “On Day 1, the president has turned his back on middle-class families — this decision effectively takes $500 out of the pocketbooks of families that were planning to buy a home in 2017. This is not the way to build a strong economy.”

The FHA came under severe stress after the financial crisis. In 2013, it needed $1.7 billion from the U.S. Treasury, its first bailout in 79 years, due to a wave of defaults. To replenish the FHA’s coffers, the Obama administration several times increased the fees the agency charges. The law requires the FHA’s capital reserve ratio to stay above 2 percent, and the agency hit that level in 2015 for the first time since the bailout.“It is important to ensure that the FHA fund remains strong to support homeownership in the future while minimizing taxpayer risk,” Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president of Radian Group, said in a statement.

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HGTV Loves A Tiny House; You Do Too, But In The Communities That Need Them Most They’re Outlawed – Salon.com

Ever since I was a little boy I would talk to my mom about how I like to think that I can live pretty much anywhere – especially funny little spaces like sheds. I’m mostly bark and little bit, but I do love the idea of a smaller/simpler living arrangement. I’ve been pretty excited about the idea of tiny houses for a long time, but the more that I think about them in the areas in which I work the more that I come to the same conclusion as this article – they aren’t allowed where they make the most sense and are most needed. So, I hope you enjoy this little read, and feel free to share or comment because  I always love hearing from my homies!

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723
_

Source: HGTV loves a Tiny house; you do too, but in the communities that need them most they’re outlawed – Salon.com

“Society is moving faster than the law in housing; tiny is affordable, and darn cute, but you probably can’t have it”

HGTV loves a Tiny house; you do too, but in the communities that need them most they’re outlawed

HGTV loves a Tiny house; you do too, but in the communities that need them most they're outlawed

While America might be known for its philosophy of expansion, a growing number of citizens are diligently trying to reverse-engineer Manifest Destiny. Much of the focus on people who opt to live in tiny houses is written by gawkers who focus on their chic designs, radical downsizing, and feasibility. However, living tiny is literally about as close to a grassroots movement as one can get, and proponents are actively engaged in advocacy with local governments to realize their vision of decentralizing materialism. With a groundbreaking proposal to amend the International Residence Code — which is the model code for the majority of residential construction in the United States — submitted by movement leaders last fall, 2017 might be the year that sets up this niche market to go mainstream.

“Tiny House communities or pocket neighborhoods provide the opportunity for closer human connections, sharing and intentional communities, and a release from the ‘work to live’ trap so many of us are ensnared in,” says Cy Englert, who administers the popular online group Tiny House Community.

Escaping the work-to-live trap appeals to many, but it’s hard to enumerate an accurate sense of the movement’s boots-on-the-ground momentum. Who’s all in and who’s just engaged in escapist fantasies?

There are some key identifiers. The most visible are the binge-worthy television ratings. A representative for Scripps Network Interactive, the company that owns HGTV and DIY, told Salon that in 2016 tiny house programming attracted an average of more than 10 million total viewers during primetime each month. There’s a steep drop-off, however, offscreen. Many folks don’t want to reveal that they live in tiny houses because it could cause them trouble and jeopardize their security. HGTV super fans willing to make the tiny commitment might be heavily deterred by the fact that putting down roots is much tougher than the network’s popular hour-long narratives reveal.

“If you build or buy a Tiny House, you face the stark reality that it is illegal to live in them full-time. So, the movement to provide affordable housing and simpler lifestyles is undoubtedly hindered until it becomes legal,” says Englert, whose Tiny House Community Facebook group boasts about 30,000 members. “Building codes and zoning ordinances need to change to accommodate smaller and tiny houses.”

Just because we’ve heard a lot about tiny houses since the 2008 economic crash where many people lost their homes, tiny habitation is still in the early-adopter phase. Unless you move into a pal’s back yard or live in an RV park, local zoning and code restrictions are a big bummer for the mobile generation’s trendiest alternative to suburban McMansions and Manhattan high-rises.

“It’s important to understand that zoning and code are two very different yet equally complex universes,” says Jay Austin, whose self-constructed 140-sq ft. home The Matchbox is part of one of America’s first tiny communities in Washington, D.C., called Boneyard Studios. “Zoning generally dictates what you can build where, while building code dictates how you can build it. Or, more often, how you cannot.”

Zoning can prove to be problematic for tiny house dwellers, but building to code requirements are worse, Austin says. For instance, with respect to zoning, a mobile, residential tiny house can’t legally be placed on a vacant commercially zoned lot. This leads many folks to put them on wheels, where they’re governed by less constricting building code; however, parking becomes a major concern and most options are temporary. With respect to code compliance, “a whole lot of code just doesn’t make sense in a fairly unpredictable tiny house.” Regulations such as minimum square footage of bedrooms and kitchens can exceed the entire square footage of a tiny house. Plumbing and electrical code might require that homes be connected to city electric and water even if the house is capable of sustaining itself. Trivial things like the height at which outlets are placed or the number of them in a room can become “impossible to accommodate when space is at such a premium and furniture must be configured just so.”

“It’s not that these issues are insurmountable,” Austin says. “Indeed, building a tiny house on wheels turns building code into more of a suggestion, but they’re often so cumbersome and complicated that your average non-builder, non-architect, non-electrician will simply give up or second-guess themselves into inertia.”

Many tiny homes are constructed by do-it-yourself types, even though professional homebuilders in the tiny house business do exist. It’s significantly more expensive for a professional build, although residents might be more confident that they’re in compliance. The Tiny House Building Company in Fredericksburg, Virginia, notes on its website that they offer financing through a partnership with People’s Community Bank. Unique deals like this allow some to live tiny.

“I think the issue here is not necessarily a lack of demand, but a lack of demand commensurate to the supply of large-scale home builders,” says Austin. “Tiny houses are a rapidly growing market, but still a very, very small one. At this point, the volume might not provide sufficient economies of scale to well-established, non-bespoke home builders to be worth the initial outlays. That may or may not change as the movement grows.”

This sentiment was confirmed when Salon reached out to the National Association of Home Builders, where a representative for the organization said that not many of their members specialize in this niche field.

“Those who have the perseverance to figure this all out are generally pretty determined and pretty do-it-yourself, and this may be why so many folks looking to go tiny choose to build themselves, pulling some demand out of the established home-builder market,” Austin says.

A volunteer group known as the American Tiny House Association emerged in 2015 as a voice for change. They’re the definitive starting point for bringing the revolution to your town, and offer a useful “How to Initiate Tiny House-Friendly Zoning Changes” guide on their website.

At the local level, there’s evidence that this type of advocacy can be effective. Laura LaVoie is a popular tiny house blogger who is part of the volunteer-run Asheville Small Home Advocacy Committee in North Carolina.

“Because building a tiny house was the catalyst for major change in our lives, our real goal for starting the Asheville Small Home Advocacy Committee was to offer the city of Asheville another alternative to their housing crisis,” LaVoie says. “With a tourism boom, our city relies on service industry workers, but that same tourism boom makes it nearly impossible for those critical workers to live inside the city limits. There is a housing shortage, rents are high, and it’s extremely difficult for someone making minimum wage or tips to buy their own home. Tiny homes offer the option of home ownership to these individuals.”

The group started when locals who were in various aspects of the tiny house community started talking to each other. They met with the city planning office and discussed viable options. In the summer of 2015, LaVoie says, Asheville made it easier for residents to build accessory dwelling units on their own property, which opens the door for backyard tiny home owners or renters.

“It was a great first step and felt like a real victory,” LaVoie says. “People often ask us how to start their own advocacy group. Honestly, the answer is pretty simple. Get together and start advocating for tiny homes. We had no community organization experience, we just felt strongly about the subject and began to organize meetings to discuss the options.”

Approaching local government with a positive attitude is key to success, says Englert of Tiny House Community.

“There is no value in being on the offensive when speaking to government officials since they are our elected officials who are responsible for satisfying the needs of their citizens,” he says. “Make it obvious that it is in their best interest to help to provide affordable but safe housing. There are pockets of success all over the country, so it can be done.”

For the cable news crowd that isn’t quite hardcore enough to do this kind of heavy lifting, HGTV Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Production John Feld has a plan for waiting it out.

“Declutter and reprogram your life,” Feld says. “Viewers are enamored with our lineup of tiny house programs not only because we show creative tips on living in smaller spaces, but they fantasize about getting rid of most of their junk. I think there is a tremendous amount of stress caused by filling up our 3,000-square-foot homes with stuff, and HGTV’s tiny house programs showcase how real people are happily embracing the tiny lifestyle.”

If home is where the heart is I want to help people find the keys to their hearts!

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