Residents in Glenwood’s Growing Hideout Tiny Home Community Live Generously By Choosing Small
“Hideout”….from what? At the recently-founded Hideout Tiny Home Community off Midland Avenue in south Glenwood, it could mean hiding out from: clutter, huge mortgages, and hours maintaining a regular stick-built home. It was the allure of leaving all this behind him that led Beau Haines to downsize from a large home to a tiny one back in 2004, when living small was still a relatively unexplored concept in mainstream culture. Fast forward to 2016, and Haines teamed up with the Hideout’s new owner, Zach Frisch, as his on-site property manager; together, they are working toward making the vision of a tiny home community in Glenwood Springs a reality.
After acquiring the property, Frisch and Haines’s top priority was to reverse the dicey reputation the Hideout had gotten under previous management, and make sure it became known as a safe place to live. This was accomplished in large part by running thorough background checks on all the occupants. Glenwood City Councilman Jonathan Godes, a nearby neighbor, notes, “I was excited to have the new owner step up and raise the bar for the Hideout…background checks and other screening tools are especially important when Sopris Elementary School and Mountain Valley Developmental Services are right across the street.” The residents who remained at the Hideout, and the new ones who have since arrived, can rest assured that their neighborhood is safe and sound.
Once basic safety concerns had been addressed, the focus turned to introducing tiny homes. As of now, there are six tiny homes, out of the 42 available sites, with four more to be delivered this month. While many of the residents are still choosing to live in RVs, they are being encouraged to consider transitioning to a tiny home—either by bringing in their own, or by purchasing one of the models that will be for sale in the spring. Haines, who demonstrates charisma, compassion, and competency in his management style, is adamant that this is a work-in-progress, and that, “We have a wonderful community. We’re not kicking anyone out, but as people move out, we’re moving tiny homes in.” Eventually, the long-term plan is for the community to consist mostly of tiny homes.
One of the tiny home owners is Shea Maier*, a local nurse. She and her dog, Lucky, moved from a 1,200-square-foot, single-family rental to a beautiful, custom-made, 190-square-foot (with a little more room up in the comfy loft) Tiny Home on Wheels (THOW) that she found for $35,000 on Craigslist. Maier pointed out that “I got rid of about 90 percent of what I owned—mostly furniture, since everything here is built-in. It makes you mindful about what you own, and why you need it.” Being inside the cozy, quiet, multi-functional space, with a view of the Red Cliffs out one window and a grove of trees out the other, helps you understand why she made the switch.
Neighbors Bailey and Ashlyn Rogers have also chosen the tiny lifestyle. The couple met as students at Rifle High School, and, after marrying, first lived in a condo in Rifle. Wanting to cut back on time spent on their commutes to work, they explored moving to Glenwood. After weighing the pros and cons of renting again, however, they decided to buy a tiny home instead. The one they found, while larger than Maier’s at 286-square-feet (plus a double-bed sized sleeping loft), is still towable. “If we ever decide to move, we can take our house with us,” says Bailey. The contemporary-style THOW has more than enough room for a full kitchen, stacked washer/dryer, and their two pets: dog Denver and cat Dirks.
Young professionals like these three are not alone in being unwilling to invest in buying a traditional home. With homeownership rates down compared to previous generations, many people wonder why this is the case. Some point to high student loan debt as a barrier, while others note that during the Great Recession, many coming-of-age children witnessed the very real struggles of their parents trying not to default on mortgages. As a result, many of these children have grown up vowing to never put their families through such trials. The THOW movement is just one of the creative solutions that’s right there: in plain sight. For more information about the overall project, or to apply for a site—whether as a young professional, retiree, or even a family—contact Haines at Beau@CompassMtn.com for more information.
(sidebar–see production notes)
Small Spaces: Comparing RVs and Tiny Homes
- Recreational Vehicle (RV)
- Used mostly in summer/aerodynamic/lightweight
- Depreciates quickly
- Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) certification
- Materials designed for camping/temporary dwelling
- Tiny Home on Wheels (THOW)
- Used year-round/built like a house/heavy
- High resale value
- RVIA or National Organization of Alternative Housing (NOAH) certification
- Materials are high-quality, built for year-round dwelling
- Titled/registered/insured as RV
- Mortgage interest could be tax-deductible
- Inspected/Certified by reputable organizations
- Designed for multi-functional use