We all know the toll the bursting of the housing bubble took on the American economy and thousands upon thousands of hard working, well meaning people. It was devastating to the financial markets, not to mention the lives of families, and its effects are still being seen today as the economy still struggles to recover.
Could the concept of "Mi-Pads" be a rescue from the recession? "Mi-Pads" [not in love with this name, admittedly] are small, around 1,000 square foot homes, that employ features found on cruise ships such as fold away bunk beds and lockers instead of closets, and sometimes for under $90,000. Here's an excerpt from this story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"They're contemporary in look," Hignite said. "They are little bit more in size than a garage. But they're extraordinarily compact, using cruise ship technology and cruise ship design architecture to create cabins instead of bedrooms. Some of the bedrooms are 6 feet by 9 feet and they sleep two."
While a far cry from the roomy McMansions that sprang up during the housing bubble of the last decade, Hignite's houses pack lots of amenities in a small space. One model includes a 10-foot-by-12-foot attic play loft for children. Master bedrooms are shaped to handle queen-size beds. High ceilings help to blunt the smallness of the homes, which, facing the road, are only 26.5 feet wide. Patios are out the back door.
"They are meant for people who have a no-car garage right now," he quipped. "There's a large marketplace in rentals that could segue into this for the same cost as rent."
Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, said Hignite may be on to something.
"It sounds like he might fill a niche," Ruzicka said.
I'll be the first to say I love this concept. I've never been a huge fan of suburban sprawl, but certainly understand the desire to be a homeowner, though prices can be daunting. A home this size and at that price would be entirely desirable for someone who has never owned before, but doesn't have a quarter of a million dollars to spend.
Whether it is executed properly is another scenario altogether. Will they be built smartly and soundly? Will they be safe in event of natural disasters (or as safe as is reasonably possible)? What is the resale value for these homes? Will they depreciate in value? And of course, location, location, location.
Renters, home owners, lend us your voice. Leave a comment with your opinion on these "Mi-Pads" below. Love it? Hate it? Like the idea, but think it will fail? Wanna buy one today? Tell us what you think.
[Photo courtesy woodlywonderworks under Creative Commons License]