I visited a tiny home village in Texas where 100 people live in 399-square-foot homes. Here's what it's like.

·6 min read
The author in front of the tiny homes
Insider's reporter went to a tiny home village in Austin, Texas, to see what it's like to live in one.Joey Hadden/Insider
  • 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.

Left: the author sits outside the tiny home Right: A view of tiny home's main room
The author and the tiny home she stayed in.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I was skeptical about spending 2 nights in a 250-square-foot tiny home that's half the size of my NYC apartment, but now I think I could live 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.

A sign reads "Austin's Agrihood Tiny Home Community"
A sign welcoming people into the community.Joey Hadden/Insider

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 author in front of the tiny home village with blue skies
The author poses in front of the tiny homes.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

A wide view of some tiny homes in a grass field
Tiny homes in the village from a distance.Joey Hadden/Insider

Powers said that there are some families living in the community, but it's mostly couples, single millennials, and retirees.

three tiny home patios
Tiny home front porches in the village.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

A tiny home dweller with her dog in front of her house
Powers and her dog in front of their tiny house.Joey Hadden/Insider

"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."

Powers and her dog sit in front of their tiny home
Powers sits on her porch with her dog.Joey Hadden/Insider

In the village, there are several different home layouts, Powers said, but they're all the same size — 399 square feet.

Inside a tiny home with stairs on the left leading up to a loft and a kitchen on the right
A tiny home model with a loft space.Joey Hadden/Insider

Some homes have a bigger kitchen or bedroom while others have a bigger living space or bathroom, Powers explained.

inside a tiny home in two photos
A tiny home model with a narrow kitchen.Joey Hadden/Insider

Some floor plans come with a loft, which is great for families, but typically inconvenient for older or taller people, she added.

A tiny home with a loft (L) and the author's feet on the stairs (R)
A tiny home model with stairs leading up to a loft.Joey Hadden/Insider

"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.

The loft has a kid-sized pink bed and a window on the right
A loft inside a model tiny home.Joey Hadden/Insider

While touring the homes, I noticed space-saving hacks like stacked washers and dryers and sliding barn doors.

A stacked washer and dryer (L) and a bedroom with a sliding barn door (R)
A washer and dryer (L) and a sliding barn door (R) in a model tiny home.Joey Hadden/Insider

Even the village's office was a tiny home, and I got to meet some residents when I stopped by there.

The tiny home village's community center on a clear day
The community office building.Joey Hadden/Insider

Jacqualyn Blizzard-Caron and her family are leaving the village after two years, and told Insider that they'll miss the neighbors most.

A mom, dad, and baby in the community pose for a picture on the couch in front of the community center
Jacqualyn Blizzard-Caron and her family.Joey Hadden/Insider

Blizzard-Caron said they hang out with the other tiny home dwellers at outdoor gatherings and events.

pumping carving event
A recent pumpkin carving event in the village.Village Farm

"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."

sound bowls around firepit
The neighbors gather at a fire pit in the village.Village Farm

Throughout the village, there are community hubs with amenities like grills, fire pits, pools, and hammocks.

A community spot with a grill and fire pit
A communal space with a fire pit and a grill.Joey Hadden/Insider

These types of outdoor amenities are decided on based on resident needs, Powers said.

A garden (L) and a street of tiny homes (R)
Raised flower beds are part of the communal amenities.Joey Hadden/Insider

Powers said that by 2025, they hope to have 170 homes and about 300 residences at Village Farms.

The front of a tiny home with trees in the background
The exterior of a tiny home in the village.Joey Hadden/Insider

Green Gate Farms, an organic farm, also operates on the property with a greenhouse and row crops, according to Powers.

The barn house on the right and the greenhouse on the left
The barn, (R) and greenhouse (L) at Green Gate Farms.Joey Hadden/Insider

On the farm, there are three sections of row crops that can feed up to 55 families, Powers said.

Rows of crops on the farm with a barrel and a haystack in front of them
Rows of crops on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider

Community members can get involved and learn about farming by joining the gardening club, which is free for the whole neighborhood, Powers said.

Rows of crops on the farm
More crops on the property.Joey Hadden/Insider

"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.

gardening events
People gather for a gardening club event.Joey Hadden/Insider

Also on the farm is the Bergstrom Barn, which is used for events, workshops, and community gatherings.

The barn house is on the right and trees are on the left on a clear day
The exterior of the barn.Joey Hadden/Insider

Inside the barn, the first floor is home to chalkboards full of gardening club information and event supplies.

Inside the first floor of the barn house
The first floor of the barn.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

Inside the top floor of the barn house
The upstairs venue in the barn.Joey Hadden/Insider

I noticed dried flowers around the room, which Powers said were for a wreath-making class the community hosted.

Inside the second floor of the barn house
Dried-out flowers hang in the barn.Joey Hadden/Insider

Across from the barn was a family farmhouse that is used as a communal space for events and gatherings, like a clubhouse, Powers said.

The outside of the community work and entertaining space
The exterior of the community farmhouse.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The inside of the community work and entertaining space
Inside the community farmhouse.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

A sign reads: COMING COON: General Store & Bistro
A sign about the upcoming store and bistro openings.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author smiles in front of a tiny home
The author snaps a selfie on her way out.Joey Hadden/Insider

If only they had one in New York City.

Buildings in Manhattan as seen from the tall One Vanderbilt building against a blue sky.
A view of the NYC skyline from the top of One Vanderbilt.Joey Hadden/Insider

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