Greg Shelton and Steve Penn stood outside of the newest addition to School Street on Friday to give The Recorder exclusive access to the 240 square foot tiny home they had built together.
The home appears normal from the outside, but after entering in through the front door, the living quarters inside are compact and tidy. A small kitchen sits in the back of the home, with a brand new stove and refrigerator, as well as a high-tech on demand water heater. Attached to the left of the kitchen is a small bathroom complete with a sliding door and granite countertops. The rest of the tiny house is open space in which a potential resident can put furniture and other in-home appliances.
When the term “tiny home” comes to mind, one may picture a small house attached to a mobile trailer that can be moved to wherever the home-owner sees fit. This new tiny addition to Porterville, however, is a permanent fixture complete with an address, a state-of-the-art central heating and cooling system and large backyard.
“It’s pretty tight,” said Shelton.
“But it’s nice,” added Penn.
The tiny home trend has been on the rise, and this home could be a perfect fit as a potential solution to affordable housing. Shelton and Penn, however, would like to sell the home to the city so it can use it as an aid to the community. The two men will be discussing the selling of the home, and the land it’s on, during closed session before tonight’s City Council meeting. The angle for their sale comes in two forms; the city can use the home as homeless transitional housing, or use it as a safe house for those fleeing from domestic violence or abusive relationships. If the city decides to purchase the land, it can choose to use it as it sees fit.
If the city chooses to not purchase the property, Penn and Shelton have a few ideas on how they will proceed with the home. They haven’t yet decided if they would sell it, or rent it out, but if they choose to rent it out, they’re going to try to cater to the market of younger adults, between the ages of 18 and 25, and make rent affordable.
“It’s all energy efficient,” said Shelton. “There’s even room to add solar panels.”
The backyard to the home is long and spacious, enough room for animals to roam. It’s blocked off by a wooden fence separating the back patio from the backyard, and is completely fenced in on all four sides.
“For just a little bit of time and water, you could really have a nice lawn back here,” said Penn. “So you could have a nice lawn and patio area.”
Shelton and Penn had a stroke of luck with the house as the city doesn’t have standards for tiny homes. The men were “grandfathered” in, so to speak, as the property initially had a house from the 1940s on it. The two put their heads together to totally renovate and build a new, innovative and modern approach to the outdated house.
“It really is a neat little design,” said Shelton.
If all goes well with this tiny home, Shelton and Penn are hoping to build additional tiny homes on a separate lot.