A group of best friends decided that they wanted to grow old together. Because life so often gets in the way of “pie in the sky” dreams like that, they decided to take matters into their own hands and make their dreams happen off the grid. Now this group of best friends has built their own sustainable town populated with tiny homes that each only cost about $40,000 and keep cool in the summer and help recycle rainwater.
The small tiny home settlement has been built outside of Austin, Texas. The settlement was designed by architect Matt Garcia in the hopes of giving his friends and him a chance to live out their golden years in peace and happiness, free from the heavy hand of the Texas government.
“Basically we wanted a place where we could spend a ton of time together—eating and drinking and hanging out—but still have privacy and separation when people needed to get away from the gang,” said resident Jodi Zipp.
Each time home in a small villa is sustainable and uses the surrounding landscape to its advantage. Garcia is one-half of one of four couples who have named their unique off-the-grid settlement, “Llano Exit Strategy” and they’re all ready to retire on the property when the time comes.
The four cabins’ reflective walls help keep the places cool during the summer and retain heat during the winter. Since the homes are made of plywood whenever possible, the costs are very low. Each roof is equipped with a water barrel that can hold up to 50,000 gallons of rainwater.
“We just wanted something warm feeling that would offset the coolness of the metal on the outside. It’s a high-design finish that doesn’t cost a lot of money,” said Matt Garcia, the architect.
The cabins are small. Each measure about 400-square feet, however, they don’t cost too much to obtain. According to Garcia, each cabin cost just about $40,000 from start to finish. And since there won’t be any upkeep costs, at least for electricity and heat, the places will not require much cash in order to retire.
The interior design of the homes was kept very stark and simple. This has allowed for the costs to be kept extremely low.
“We’re doing what we can to preserve as much water as possible for the native trees and grasses,” said resident Fred Zipp
The homes are efficient and cheap and living among friends makes all the couples very, very happy.
“It’s like a Disney movie out here. As we spend more and more time here, we find more and more,” said Jodi Zipp.
Garcia loves homes and living with his friends.
“Everything just clicked,” says Garcia. “I mean, there are only so many ways to arrange a queen-size bed, loveseat, and bathroom, so we had the basic concepts in a matter of hours. You can move really quickly with these kinds of projects and have a lot of fun.”
Would you ever want to start your own retirement community with friends?
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