Tiny Home in Tennessee Built for a Buyer Who Makes $11 an Hour

Buying a home is a daunting proposition, even for the well-heeled. For those with less in the bank, it can seem like an impossible goal. But we invite you to check out this brand-new home in Chattanooga, TN.

This home is "designed for that buyer that makes $11 an hour and really doesn't want to rent, but wants to own something," listing agent Julie Chamberlain says.

You read that correctly: Make $11 an hour and you, too, could be a homeowner.

This diminutive dwelling on the market for $79,000 was built by the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, a nonprofit that works to provide safe and affordable homes. That includes partnering with builders to construct housing, home buyer education, and even financing.

"We have a comprehensive approach to our work," President and CEO Martina Guilfoil says.

The group has been in the housing market for years, but hadn't attempted a tiny home before this one. It's also one of the first tiny homes in the city, she notes.

The tiny tale began when the group purchased multiple lots for housing in the Highland Park area, and had a half-lot left over. Nothing else would fit on the undersized lot except for a tiny home.

"Let's test it and operate a pilot program," Guilfoil says they decided. The home was finished just this fall; if it sells, they plan to add seven more and create a "cottage community," she says.

The 532-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom home requires low maintenance and offers durable features such as stained concrete flooring, insulated vinyl windows, and efficiency heating and cooling. There's also a full-size kitchen with an eat-in dining area as well as an open living space. Outdoors, there's a big backyard.

While there's room for storage in the attic and outdoors, be prepared to downsize, especially if you own "overstuffed furniture," Chamberlain advises.

"It doesn't feel small," the agent says. "You've got high ceilings, natural light, light colors -- it's just a good feeling." And converting from renter to homeowner? That's a great feeling!

"It's affordable, it's energy-efficient, and it gets people into homeownership, which boosts neighborhoods," the agent adds.

The home is located in Highland Park, a "great, older neighborhood," Chamberlain notes. It's accessible to city parks, downtown shopping, and public transit. "If you're paying rent downtown, this is the property."

Although the cottage has been on the market since October, the home was just recently staged, the grass finally in, and the privacy fence up. Now's your chance to make a move out of the rental market and into a (tiny) space of your own.