Airbnb Co-Founder Launches Tiny Homes Business — How Much They Cost and Where To Buy

Young happy couple in love lying in bed in morning in their new home in tiny house,sustainable living concept. stock photo
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Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia has launched Samara, a company offering backyard tiny houses that can be installed in people’s gardens.

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Dubbed “Backyard,” the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) — a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home, according to the American Planning Association — will be available in California for the moment.

The tiny houses, with “airy cathedral ceilings,” come in two sizes: a 430 square feet studio, which starts at $289,000 (dubbed the “Studio” package), and a 550 square feet one-bedroom house, which starts at $329,000 (dubbed the “One Bedroom”), according to Samara’s website. Both include a “signature kitchen, spacious bathroom, walk-in shower, combination washer and dryer, and built-in storage.”

Samara boasts that the houses have multiple uses, including providing an additional income stream by renting them, housing visiting family or enabling people to find some peace of mind.

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“Whether you’re a caterer, live streamer, child care worker, or the next Steve Jobs, Backyard can serve as your entrepreneurial launchpad,” the company stated on its website. In addition, Samara noted the houses are fully electric and consume “less than half of the energy of an equivalently sized home.”

“With the included solar array, it runs ‘net zero’ by default and can even help you save on your monthly utility bill for your main home — all from clean solar energy generated right in your yard,” it added.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samara is initially launching in California, as it’s “one of the states trying to boost its housing supply by easing restrictions on accessory dwelling units,” adding that the state now allows homeowners to build ADUs in their backyard even if the homeowners association prohibits it.

Learn: 7 Reasons It’s Worth Buying a House at the End of the Year
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development also noted that housing advocates and policymakers have grown increasingly interested in ADUs as an important strategy for increasing housing supply.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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