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Central Commons ‘small homes’ now for sale in Holland

By Sydney Smith/The Holland Sentinel • Aug 26, 2017 at 6:00 PM

HOLLAND — At 22, Sydney Smith didn’t think she would already be a homeowner.

Now, the Holland resident and her dog will move into a 488-square-foot, $109,000 “small home.”

“I went and saw it, and wrote the offer up that night,” she said.

Smith has been living in a 500-square-foot studio apartment in downtown Holland, so the space isn’t a big deal for her. She mostly wanted the chance to move her bed out of her living room.

She will be the owner of one of six small homes at the corner of 16th Street and Central Avenue. The homes are all situated on one lot called Central Commons. The homes were built by Jubilee Ministries, with the goal to increase the amount of affordable housing in Holland and provide another housing option.

Jubilee held an open house on Aug. 22, which was attended by dozens of people. Steve Grose, executive director of Jubilee, said he receives multiple calls per day about the homes.

“Small homes” are typically between 400 square feet and 1,000 square feet, while “tiny houses” are typically less than 400 square feet, with some as small as 80 square feet.

See more photos and a video from inside one of the small houses.

According to Grose, buying one of the homes is cheaper than renting a one-bedroom apartment in Holland. He said the cheapest one-bedroom available for rent is about $750 per month.

“This is an alternative for someone who is looking for something more affordable but who has the means to make a down payment,” he said. “If you have the means, it’s going to be cheaper than renting.”

All of the homes, except Smith’s, are for sale on a first-come, first-served basis. According to Jubilee’s Facebook page, it is looking for additional property to build more units through partnerships with other organizations.

Jubilee previously owned the home at 4 E. 16th St., and was going to restore it, Grose said. They discovered that wasn’t an option.

“It turned out it was too far gone,” he said. “When we decided to tear it down, we got together with a number of our partners and donors, and they helped us come to this solution of six small houses.”

Grose said based on the square footage, only two people can live permanently in one home, as outlined in city ordinances. He imagines each will be sold to a single person.

Smith dreamed of having an outdoor space for her dog, and is excited to be able to sit on the porch of her small yellow house.

“At 22, it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “It’s a tiny house, but I’m still a homeowner.”

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