Shipping your shelter: Amazon joins the tiny house movement

Tiny Houses hit the amazon shelf

More and more families are seeking out smaller living spaces and pursuing minimalism for lower environmental impact and clarity of mind. And now, with many jurisdictions lowering the bar on building accessory dwelling units on lots zoned for single-family homes, building a small house in your back-yard might be just the thing to help house an adult child who hasn’t quite left the nest.  Whether for financial or ideological reasons, younger buyers are looking for quality over quantity in their living spaces, and Amazon is targeting these customers with an offer that is hard to refuse: tiny “do it yourself” houses for purchase online.

Their initial offering included a 172 square foot home that costs $7,250 and can be put together in eight hours.  The tiny home kit was a hit, appealing to young Americans facing high real estate prices in cities across the U.S.  Despite some reviews calling the product “glorified dog kennels”, it sold out shortly after its debut. 

Amazon is not the first to sell “do it yourself” homes. Sears Catalogue began selling build your own home kits in the early 1900s, and other online retailers today sell tiny houses, though the price tags can get over $100,000. 

Whether DIY tiny homes will catch on as the housing solution of the future is yet to be seen, but Amazon’s product line joining the tiny home movement might just push this fad into the mainstream.

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