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Tiny home dealer opening in Rigby

Business & Money

RIGBY – The influx of people to eastern Idaho and the continued increase in housing prices poses a challenge for those looking to purchase a new home.

Tiny homes have become a popular trend in recent years because they’re smaller and more affordable. The homes are also mobile, which is convenient for people who move a lot.

Snake River Tiny Homes, a new business at 1 North 3800 East in Rigby, is looking to capitalize on the current housing demand by offering tiny homes as an alternative option to first-time homebuyers or anyone else who wants one.

“A lot of empty nesters, single women, single men — they don’t want to buy a three-bedroom house that you have to constantly clean, so this is something that is really good for them, or even college students that have saved up their money but can’t afford their own home,” Operations Manager Shelly Mendoza tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Tiny homes are also attractive to investors who want a turn-key vacation rental or Airbnb property.

The business is celebrating its grand opening Friday and Saturday next to Loft 745 Events. Homes will be on display for people to tour. EastIdahoNews.com took a tour ahead of the grand opening, which you can watch in the video player above.

Mendoza says there are a variety of luxury models available. Each home is between 300 and 400-square-feet and takes between three and six months to build.

“You can’t just go and buy our model off the lot. You can say, ‘Hey, I love this model.’ We would then call the Tumbleweed Tiny Home company in Colorado (the manufacturer) and say ‘This is what they want,'” Mendoza explains.

RELATED | Local couple and their tiny home to be featured on national TV

The customer can design and customize it however they want. The price varies, depending on what features and amenities are requested, but it ranges from about $90,000 to $120,000.

Mendoza’s father, Porter Talbot, is the owner of the business. He’s particularly proud to offer price transparency throughout the process.

“Most often, when a person buys something like this, they’ll design it how they want and then two weeks later, they’ll learn that it’s unaffordable. They’ll make another change without knowing what that’s going to cost (so price transparency is really helpful to the customer),” Talbot says.

tiny home interior
The interior of a tiny home | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Tiny home trends

Snake River Tiny Homes has been a work in progress since January, but Talbot became interested in the tiny home industry several years ago.

Data he provided shows an increase in environmentalism and social consciousness dating back to the 1980s that prompted people to downsize and declutter their lives. After the recession in 2008, homebuyers became more focused on homes that were sized “just right” rather than getting “more bang for their buck.”

Talbot was also impressed with the appreciation potential of a tiny home.

“In this economy, they’ve been appreciating as fast or faster than traditional homes have, which is kind of surprising. But it’s probably because of the lower starting price range,” he says.

After years of research, Talbot felt opening a tiny home dealership in Rigby could be a successful venture.

“I think this is an ideal place for this type of a business because there’s a lot of interest in the outdoors,” Talbot says. “People will enjoy not only the aesthetics of it but the practical nature of being able to move it around if you want to.”

And Mendoza says there’s been a lot of interest from locals and out-of-staters as they’ve caught wind of it.

RELATED | Blackfoot tiny homes ordinance attracting interest

The city of Blackfoot approved an ordinance for tiny home subdivisions in 2019 and Mendoza would like to see similar tiny home communities in and around Rigby.

But more than anything, she and her dad are excited to serve customers being priced out of the market with a home that’s affordable.

Snake River Tiny Homes is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment Monday and Tuesday. It will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the grand opening. Mendoza will be giving away $20 gift certificates to The Drip Factory next door and Carnations will be given to all the women in honor of Mother’s Day.

tiny home pic 2
Tiny home at Snake River Tiny Homes | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

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