How tiny homes fit all kinds of lifestyle needs in Central Florida

Tiny homes offer affordable housing option

Tiny homes may be the answer to the affordable housing crisis and can be custom-made to help anyone who has any kind of non-conventional need. 

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Tiny homes are a phenomenon that seems to fascinate who can't imagine abandoning most of their belongings and living in 300 square feet or less.

Barb Lindstrom lives inside 275 square feet of space. It may seem small, but she says it has everything she needs.

"This is the entire bathroom and I'll let you step in. It has everything you could possibly have," Lindstrom said as she gave News 6 a tour of her brand-new home.

She shares the space with her husband of more than 50 years.

"This is an entire pantry, which as you can see holds everything you can imagine," Lindstrom said. 

After the couple analyzed the main areas they used in their former home, such as the living room, kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom, they figured that's all they needed.

"We thought, 'How much do we need?' We only use that space, and at 78 years of age, it's much easier to clean. Today, we got our first electric bill, which was $11.51 because everything is LED lighting. Now, I'm hopeful that they're going to allow more places to put a tiny home on wheels, because we looked all over the state of Florida and there was not a lot of areas that accepted them," Lindstrom said.

But that's slowly changing, which according to a tiny home builder is good because the little homes could get big results, since they provide a new option for homeowners to consider to combat the affordable housing crisis in Central Florida.

"With houses averaging in our area I think in the $250,000-plus range, they can get potentially a home that they own and that they're not renting from anywhere from $100,000 and under," Mike Cheatham, of Movable Roots, said.

Cheatham said the tiny homes are now being allowed in some neighborhoods both in the city of Longwood and in Brevard County where the commission recently came to an agreement.

"Brevard County now has a new piece of property that has just opened up some lots, it's called Braveheart Properties in northern Brevard, and they actually are gonna be the first ones here in Brevard that will have an actual tiny home community -- both on wheels, like the one you're staying in, and on foundations," Cheatham said.

Since the business started two years ago, Movable Roots has been getting results for all types of clients. Recently they built a home for an older man with autism in Pennsylvania.

"They wanted him to live on the property with him, but for him to kind of start getting his own independence and so the home was completely designed around his needs. So what they did is they basically put that home on their property behind their house and got all the proper permitting," Cheatham said.

Whatever your needs are, Movable Roots builds a custom home specifically for you.

"Some people have pets. Some people have maneuverability issues that we have to plan a space around their exact needs. Some people have aging family members or potentially a family member that needs to be maybe home but still wants some of that independence. So we just design the space around them, and we haven't built the same house twice yet," Cheatham said.