By Rachel Hinkle
East of Athens, about 20 miles, is the city of Carlton, Georgia. A a mile down a dirt road, canopied by red and yellow Autumn leaves, is a small wooden sign with the words “tiny house” in red paint. This sign indicates the 200 square foot tiny home on Jeremy and Julie Burt’s property.
Jeremy became infatuated with tiny houses after his wife introduced him to them a few years ago. Being a contractor, he knew that he could design and build a tiny home on his own. Jeremy took off four months of work, and began working on the tiny house full time.
Tiny homes are typically under 400 square feet. The Burt’s tiny home is 200 square feet. It has one lofted bed and one bunk-bed, making the tiny house able to sleep four people comfortably, in Jeremy’s opinion. Jeremy mention that if he redesigned the tiny home that he probably would have made a bigger living space.
“In hindsight we should have done away with the bunk bed and made a bigger living area. That would have been a plus for a lot of people, but for what it is here with people staying just short term, sometimes families, it works out great,. said Jeremy.
Kimberly Skobba, a Housing and Consumer Economics professor at the University of Georgia, has opinions on why she believes tiny homes have become so popular. Skobba believes that people are interested in minimalism and how to make the most of a small space.
“It captures the imagination of some people and for others, it is the possibility that you could build your own house,”. said Skobba.
Airbnb, an online marketplace for short term lodging, has provided an outlet for the Burt’s to lease and earn some money on their tiny home. Jeremy and Julie said that they can count on their tiny home being rented out at least three nights a week, especially during college football season.
The Burt’s went on to say that although their tiny home is hooked to their house, they can’t tell.
“When people are here, the lights are blaring and they are running the electricity in there. They’ve got the air conditioning on or the heat on, so it’s being used but we can’t really tell,”. said Julie.
Because the Burt’s live in a very rural location, they get many people from the city wanting to stay on their property. They mentioned many stories regarding people attempting to swim in their retention pond or trying to build a fire.
“Were glad to be able to share it with people because we get a lot of people that live in the city and they come out here to get away from the city, sometimes it’s their first time fishing or first time building a fire. They’ll call us and say, can you help us light our fire wood,”Julie said.
Jeremy agreed with Julie, saying that he enjoyed meeting people from all over the globe.
“It’s pretty cool, we’ve met people from South Africa. We’ve met people from New Zealand. We had a famous comedian from Scotland.”
When it comes to the future of the Burt’s tiny home, Jeremy said that if someone really had to have it and offered the right amount of money for it, he might let it go, but other than that, he and Julie may try to become tiny house dwellers themselves one day.