Web Exclusive: Tiny house craze

Web Exclusive

PORTLAND (CNN) - Call it the anti-McMansion. You may have heard about tiny houses popping up all over the country as the alternative to larger homes.

Now it seems the movement is hitting Portland, Oregon in a big way. There's a massive tiny house movement and it transcends so many demographics that people are coming from all over the country to really get a chance to see what a tiny house actually feels like. And, that's why hundreds of people came to Northeast Portland, around 10th and Skidmore- for this tour of tiny homes.

These small houses are between 200 and 800 square feet. They can be built on wheels or on a foundation- in which case they're called ADUS or accessory dwelling units- that can go in an existing backyard.

One of the big benefits is that it's really flexible, so it's something that someone who's starting out being a homeowner can build to help supplement their mortgage, they could move into it and lease out their primary residence. They could have a mother-in-law or an elderly parent live in them, you can use it to rent out for supplemental income.

The cost of building an ADU can vary- from as little as $14,000 to $50,000 and above.

But in the push toward sustainability, the City of Portland is waiving system development charges for the tiny houses until the summer of 2016. That could save more than $11,000. And, it fits in with the city's desire to grow within the city, rather than expand outward.

"Well, i'm interested in small houses and an alternative lifestyle, and i think it's a perfect solution to urban living." 

The city tells us there were about 30 of these built in portland several years ago. Now, it's upwards of 300 a year- and growing.


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