LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The average home size in the United States is close to 2,500 square feet but, as more people become interested in smaller homes, developers are looking for ways to meet that need. That's why some new, exciting concepts are creating a buzz in Central Arkansas.
Developer Jim Jackson has helped create what he calls “the concept of the future.” After running into people left and right who want to downsize, he realized people want smaller homes now more than ever before. That’s how he came up with the concept of The Porches at Rockwater.
Located in North Little Rock, The Porches at Rockwater is a development in progress that will be comprised of 15 single family homes that share a common yard. Jackson said the POA will maintain the common yard so no homeowner will do yardwork. The homes will also be low maintenance and have a common fire pit to foster a very tight knit community.
“People want the ease of not having a lot of work to do on their home,” he said. “They want to be on the bike trail to enjoy the amenities in central Arkansas and not be worrying about who will be mowing or landscaping.”
The Porches are a unique concept for the Rockwater neighborhood. Rockwater boasts of many houses above 2,500 square feet that cost upwards of a million dollars. In contrast, The Porches will be only 1,700 square feet and start at $260,000.
Jackson’s innovative ideas don’t stop there. He also plans to bring in tiny house boats that people can live in on Rockwater Marina.
“In Kentucky, they have houses where people live on the boats and they look like small, Southern Living craftsman style homes,” he said. “They’re just beautiful.”
The tiny house boats would range in size from 700-1,100 square feet and cost about $125,000. Jackson said the big hurdle now is getting cities on board to allow this unique type of housing option.
“Planning departments all over the country are looking at how to make this work,” said Jackson. “It is so popular that it’s a change that's going on everywhere.”
Bret Franks of Bret Franks Construction also sees downsizing as the next big housing trend. He says he gets calls all the time from people who want to build new and unique small home concepts. Custom built homes sized at approximately 1,000 square feet are something he's hoping to create more of in the future.
“I have a project idea that would take place on a piece of property I own,” he said. “We are going to renovate the house that’s there while building 2 smaller houses that are both in the realm of 1,100 square feet.”
He hopes to rent out the homes and create a mini small home community for the future.