Nook Tiny Homes capitalizes on growing housing trend

Co-owners Jay Zoern (left) and Jonathan White have built five tiny homes since 2016.

Co-owners Jay Zoern (left) and Jonathan White have built five tiny homes since 2016.

As tiny homes grow in popularity, two local business owners are looking to capitalize on the trend with Nook Tiny Homes, a Spicewood-based company founded in 2016.

Co-owners Jonathan White and Jay Zoern said they built five tiny houses, sized 100-400 square feet, during their first year in business and have several more in design.

“We are in the process of working on some standard models or standard plans that can be used as a springboard for our clients, but right now we’re designing each one based on our individual clients’ needs,” White said, adding that the time of completion for a tiny house ranges from 2 weeks to a couple of months.

A custom-built home, designed by Nook Tiny Homes, floats on water. A custom-built home, designed by Nook Tiny Homes, floats on water.[/caption]

Zoern said each build begins with a questionnaire and meeting with a client to get an idea of what he or she has in mind. Zoern said he and White then discuss the project and have a follow-up meeting with the client to make sure “we’re hitting the nail firmly on the head.”

Tiny homes generally range from $20,000-$80,000, depending on the level of complexity, the square footage of the home, the size of the trailer the home is built on and type of finish, White said.

The bulk of the business’ clients have been from out of the area, and Zoern said millennials and older, retired couples are two of the most common buyers. He said many view tiny homes as a way to have a home without incurring a lot of debt while also providing flexibility in having the option to move and take their house with them.

“They’re not constrained,” White said. “They own their house; their house doesn’t own them.”

White said some of their older clients do not want the upkeep that comes with owning a full-sized house and would like to spend much of their retirement traveling.

While critics dismiss tiny homes as a fad, White said he thinks they will continue to grow in popularity due in part to changing lifestyles.

“That traditional idea of, ‘You get out of college; you move somewhere; you go work for someone and you’re there for about 30 years; you get the gold watch; and you raise your family there,’ that way of life doesn’t seem to exist very much anymore,” he said.

People are more accustomed to moving around to places that reflect their lifestyle, White said.

“People are realizing that they really only spend time at home to sleep and maybe cook dinner and have breakfast, and then they’re out the door again,” White said. “Being burdened by your home for a lot of time that you’re never there, I think, is something that’s going to be here to stay.”


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