In Austin's Village Farm Tiny Home Community, people live side-by-side in 399-square-foot houses.
Residents share grills, gathering spaces, and can volunteer to work on the farm.
If I were to ever live in a tiny home, after visiting the village, I'd want to live like this.
Previously on Insider, I spent two nights in a 250-square-foot tiny home and thought I could see myself living in one.
So on a recent trip to Austin, I visited Village Farms, a tiny home community that's somewhat of an RV resort and a working farm.
I found Village Farms to be a tight-knit community, and the larger shared amenities made me feel like if I were to live in a tiny home myself, this would be the way to do it.
The 30-acre village includes about 70 tiny homes and an expanding 2-acre farm, Rebecca Powers, a representative for Village Farm Tiny Home Community, told Insider.
Powers said that there are some families living in the community, but it's mostly couples, single millennials, and retirees.
Powers has a home in the community herself where she lived with her family of four for two years, she said. Living tiny helped her save up for their 10-acre homestead.
"I wouldn't even say it was a sacrifice," Powers told Insider. "We really enjoyed our time living in the tiny home. It has all the amenities you would expect in a full-size home. It's just a little smaller."
In the village, there are several different home layouts, Powers said, but they're all the same size — 399 square feet.
Some homes have a bigger kitchen or bedroom while others have a bigger living space or bathroom, Powers explained.
Some floor plans come with a loft, which is great for families, but typically inconvenient for older or taller people, she added.
"We wouldn't have been able to live in our tiny home for two years without that upstairs space, so the children have a place to sleep," Powers said of her own experience.
While touring the homes, I noticed space-saving hacks like stacked washers and dryers and sliding barn doors.
Even the village's office was a tiny home, and I got to meet some residents when I stopped by there.
Jacqualyn Blizzard-Caron and her family are leaving the village after two years, and told Insider that they'll miss the neighbors most.
Blizzard-Caron said they hang out with the other tiny home dwellers at outdoor gatherings and events.
"We've never been this close to our neighbors in any of the places that we've lived, Blizzard-Caron told Insider. "I don't think we expected that they would be the saddest thing to give up."
Throughout the village, there are community hubs with amenities like grills, fire pits, pools, and hammocks.
These types of outdoor amenities are decided on based on resident needs, Powers said.
Powers said that by 2025, they hope to have 170 homes and about 300 residences at Village Farms.
Green Gate Farms, an organic farm, also operates on the property with a greenhouse and row crops, according to Powers.
On the farm, there are three sections of row crops that can feed up to 55 families, Powers said.
Community members can get involved and learn about farming by joining the gardening club, which is free for the whole neighborhood, Powers said.
"It's a fun way to get projects done, learn in the process, and get the community together," Powers said, adding that about 30 people come to meetings on a regular basis.
Also on the farm is the Bergstrom Barn, which is used for events, workshops, and community gatherings.
Inside the barn, the first floor is home to chalkboards full of gardening club information and event supplies.
Upstairs, there's a large, sunlit space that has been used for weddings, club meetings, and other events. I thought it was the most beautiful part of the property.
I noticed dried flowers around the room, which Powers said were for a wreath-making class the community hosted.
Across from the barn was a family farmhouse that is used as a communal space for events and gatherings, like a clubhouse, Powers said.
I assumed living in a tiny home would mean I couldn't host gatherings, but communal spaces like the clubhouse and fire pits make that possible.
Powers said that Village Farms wants to build a community reminiscent of a traditional village with a shop and restaurant, which are both in the works.
The strong sense of community made the idea of tiny living appealing to me, and by the end of my tour, I thought I could see myself living in a village like this.
If only they had one in New York City.
Read the original article on Insider