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The Oaks Tiny House Village in Florida (Preview)


This is a little preview of The Oaks Tiny House Village in Florida near Tampa which is under development and will be opening soon. To be the first to know when it opens, be sure to register your information with them on their website.

The Oaks tiny house community is the second phase of the Tampa Bay ESCAPE Tiny House Village in Thonotosassa, Florida, which we’ve posted about before right here but we’re excited to announce an update to give you a bit of a preview of what the second phase of the community will be like. It’s still under construction, and the Palm Court area of the community is set to be finished first.

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The Oaks Escape Tampa Bay Tiny House Village

The Oaks Tiny House Village in Florida from Escape

Image © ESCAPE – The design is subject to change, but shows 23 new tiny homes being developed!

The cul-de-sac area, called Palm Court, will be the first section to open. As you may already know, the area labeled Village is already open but sold out.

Lot Number 1 Escape Vista XL Wide 001

The Village area of the community now sold out

Highlights

  • Design subject to change
  • Shows 23 new tiny homes being developed
  • All lots will be assigned appropriate Escape tiny houses
  • Residents/owners can buy the tiny houses and lease the lots
  • This area of the village is designed for long-term residents
  • Units are not on sale yet, but you can register to be the first to know (link below)

Learn more

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Our big thanks to Dan at ESCAPE for sharing!🙏

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 25 comments… add one }
  • jerry dycus
    April 4, 2021, 11:19 am

    A great business model with good income doing these and creating lower cost housing.
    I’d go farther and supply RE power, water and sewage as a microgrid and independent of utilities, impact fees for them.
    Especially here in Florida.
    And find a way that the big bedroom window doesn’t face a street 10′ away.

  • RV NUT
    April 4, 2021, 1:22 pm

    This is a great accomplishment, I saw them when they didn’t have any tenants/owners just yet but the problem I have, and the reason why I didn’t buy is because I do not like these particular tiny houses. They are almost the same inside and out and they do not have any charm in my opinion. If this was a tiny home community with a diverse type of tiny homes I would consider buying.

    • Marcy
      April 5, 2021, 7:47 am

      I don’t like Escape homes, either. And I love the idea of the tiny home village, but not if people can’t have their own tiny home choice.

      • Melissa Robinson
        April 6, 2021, 4:37 pm

        I’m with you both! I am currently in Alachua County (Gainesville, FL). Our county council actually passed zoning for 3 separate tiny house villages in our county; however, this was approved back in 2018 but absolutely nothing has come from it yet.

        I really looked at the Tampa Village because I’m ready to buy a tiny house but I do not like any of the Escape models at all! The only reason I can think of that the builder of Tiny House Escape Tampa would basically use the same looking houses throughout the original community and now this new one is b/c that’s the only way the Hillsborough County council members would approve the zoning. I may be way off here but why else create a tiny house community that’s basically filled with identical looking homes? Also, the HOA rules at TH Escape Tampa are honestly quite strict including strict pet limitations, no smoking on any property within the village, and not much wiggle room for creative landscaping. These are just the ones that I know about but I’m imagine there are many more rules.

        I love the thought of living in a tiny house community but I want flexibility to make my own decisions on the exact house that fits my needs, a yard for me and my pets, plus the ability to choose whichever plant material I want that represents me.

        • RvNut
          April 6, 2021, 6:16 pm

          They suffer from the same cookie cutter-house syndrome as all of Central Florida – I am from here so I know and will not live in a cookie-cutter type home. Do you what is the next to move forward with the community in your County?

  • Eric
    April 4, 2021, 5:20 pm

    My issue is that they are all the same. Or nearly so. So visitors, especially, would get confused which home is which. Plus, the houses are all the same inside. Need to come up with a better business model in my opinion. A good concept but needs more work.

    • James D.
      April 5, 2021, 4:42 am

      Well, problem is it’s a common business model that has worked for decades and in some ways has been indoctrinated into how some people think of properties and that being different can be considered bad because it can lead to negative impact on property values, etc, which is one of the reasons HOA’s can be so restrictive and have so many rules that prevent diversity.

      While Tract/Cookie-Cutter housing is usually driven by cost and time efficiency to produce the most number of homes for the lowest cost. So it usually produces a lot of homes with very few to no variations and entire neighborhoods of basically identical houses.

      It’s more mixed income neighborhoods, which focus more of on the culture of a particular area, that’ll you’ll find any real diversity. Usually, referred to as Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND).

      The trend is moving towards more housing diversity, especially with tiny houses, but you’ll still see generic homes wherever cost and time efficiency is the primary concern and there’s still many who are developing Tiny Home communities that are basing them off existing norms in the housing market, which is partly driven because getting approval, etc. from the local authorities often drives it in that direction, along with the aforementioned HOA’s, etc… Similar to the reason it’s easier to convert an RV park into a Tiny Home village than to get them to just change the laws to give Tiny Homes the same recognition as other residential dwellings.

      But this will become increasingly rarer as, again, the trend is towards increased diversity and the barriers to Tiny Housing developments are getting fewer to allow more flexibility and options…

      Though, anything from Escape Homes may take awhile to get there because they primarily produce specific model series and while they can do custom, it’s not their primary business model and they usually focus on more minor range of options, with the main difference being on the interiors…

      Communities developed by other builders, though, can be far more diverse, especially, from the full custom builders or owner developed communities…

      • RvNut
        April 6, 2021, 6:32 pm

        I must say that I do appreciate some type of guidelines in order to create and preserve some sort of decency and aesthetics within the community without going overboard.

        Recently, I began looking on-line for established RV parks for sale that I could purchase to slowly turn it into a tiny home community. My search left me hopeful but a little disappointed as the prices are astronomical for most. I am not a rich man just yet (ha ha) so this would have to be with a loan, like minded people and lots of prayer. I am not giving up yet.

        • James D.
          April 7, 2021, 12:04 am

          You never know, some of the existing Tiny house communities happened because of good timing and finding deals on properties that were well below the normal range.

          However, keep in mind development and maintenance costs. RV Parks have to meet certain standards and development costs can be quite significant. So finding someone to partner with to handle any repairs and development needs can go a long way to making it a practical reality.

  • Pat Howard
    April 4, 2021, 9:51 pm

    How much is the rent for the lot and how much are the tiny houses??

    • Melissa Robinson
      April 6, 2021, 4:40 pm

      The tiny houses range in price but I believe the cheapest home that can be purchased in this particular community is $50,000 and go way up from there. One of their houses was over $100,000 to purchase. The lot rent also ranges but the cheapest that I’ve seen in this community is $450 a month and the most expensive was $650 a month.

      • KC
        May 4, 2021, 11:53 pm

        As with mobile home parks, those monthly fees for lot rental almost never go down, and if it’s in a popular area and doesn’t have off-grid electric capabilities (with solar, wind, battery capacity, etc.), those fees usually go up, and you can get stuck (and it can have an impact on resale, too– as with mobile homes). I think I remember reading that you can’t use the house as an AirBNB or rent it out if you, say, want to go on an extended vacation or use it as a vacation home and rent it out the rest of the time.

        • RV NUT
          July 7, 2021, 10:57 am

          Yes, people are getting stuck with the ever increasing high lot rents. I recently saw some with lot rents of over $700+ a month and people are desperate to get out but no one will buy their homes because of the park/lot fees.

  • Rosa Espinal
    April 4, 2021, 9:58 pm

    I agree with the comments above!

  • Dana Gregory
    July 6, 2021, 6:07 pm

    I am also ready to buy Tiny, as a 1st time home buyer. Unfortunately, nobody will finance me (not even Escape Village financing). My bank said no, and Escape Village said I had too much debt. Seriously? My credit rating is 760, and the only debt I have is an average-cost 3 year car loan. Escape Village said my RENT was too high so my debt ratio was too high. That’s ridiculous. I’ve been paying high rent for YEARS now, which is the whole reason I want a Tiny Home. NOBODY will take my money (finance me) – how crazy is that?
    Further, Florida will only finance THOW (Tiny Home on Wheels), and yet then my bank turns me down because it’s a Tiny Home on Wheels and cannot be insured. A Tiny Home on Foundation is only allowed in 3 counties in the entire State of Florida. So I can’t buy that either. What a joke the whole process is. I want to BUY a Tiny Home, but nobody is willing to work with me.

    • James D.
      July 7, 2021, 7:15 pm

      @Dana Gregory – There should soon be a lot more places you can build on a foundation in Florida. Since, Appendix Q (AKA Tiny House Building Code) has been adopted into the Florida Building Code, 7th Edition (2020), Residential, which went into effect December 31, 2020.

      While Tiny Homes can be insured, there’s even a few insurance companies that specialize in insuring Tiny Homes. Can try contacting one of them and see what information they can provide to your bank to show you can be covered.

      A lot of times you just have to be ready to provide information to whoever you’re talking to as it may not be something they’re aware of and may be basing their answers to you on outdated information or just assumptions as there’s still a lot of bias and stereotyping towards Tiny Homes.

      You can try contacting Tiny House Expedition (they have a large data base of information), United Tiny House Association, or any number of local Tiny House Builders like Cornerstone Tiny Homes to see who you need to contact and maybe direct you to a local advocacy group that can help you more directly.

      Builders that provide either RVIA or NOAH certification may make the process easier if you’re going for a THOW. While builders like Cornerstone Tiny Homes do both THOWs and Tiny Homes on Foundations…

      While some who have done it already, like the “Tiffany the Tiny Home” website blog, who’s owners documented their Journey, include articles like “Guide Of Tiny House on Foundation Building Permit Review Process” that can be informative of what the process can involve…

      There’s also different types of financing options to consider, like it can sometimes be easier to qualify for an RV loan, for example, when purchasing a THOW. While personal loans may be another alternative option… Different types of financing options can consider different factors to your qualification and one of them may be more favorable to your present situation… The caveat being the interest rate may be higher than you’d want, being what to watch out for generally…

      Some builders may also offer financing options if you can cover at least a 20% down payment and then you pay them back the rest, but may be hard finding a builder that will offer that… But there should be a few things to consider as you arm yourself with better information to argue your case…

      • Dana Gregory
        July 7, 2021, 7:26 pm

        James D:
        Florida only has 3 counties that allow Tiny Homes on Foundation. I have to renew apt. lease in Oct. but was hoping to be buying a Tiny Home before then. The Tiny House Association doesn’t have much information really at this point. I emailed and called Cornerstone Tiny Homes b/c I want them to build my home, but nobody there is responsive to me. I called Pasco Cty Zoning to get some help, and the person there was more interested in getting off the phone – basically told me that “my builder” should know the answers to my questions. I figured I can get it insured, and get financing, somewhere other than my own bank (Regions) – Regions wants to do nothing for me, even tho I’ve been a client for 25+ years. I wanted a home in Escape Tiny Village, but the contact person there is not overly informative either. It’s quite frustrating. I can put 15-20% down, but nobody wants it apparently. I’m very frustrated.

        • James D.
          July 7, 2021, 7:48 pm

          Dana Gregory, like I stated, there should soon be a lot more places you can build on a foundation in Florida. Since, Appendix Q (AKA Tiny House Building Code) has been adopted into the Florida Building Code, 7th Edition (2020), Residential, which went into effect December 31, 2020.

          It was prior to this that you only had the option of those three counties, which mainly made an exception like removing the minimum Sq Ft requirement… But it’s a lot harder for counties to prevent tiny houses on foundations when it’s already part of the accepted building code, they can no longer say it would violate the code, and this includes exceptions that were not previously available like allowing a loft, which the Appendix Q directly addresses… So expect the number of counties that accept this to go up now and the range of designs allowable to also increase…

          It can still be very frustrating, anything dealing with a bureaucracy unfortunately tends to be that way, but being well informed and having the information you need at the ready can make a world of difference…

          Like RV NUT said, don’t give up… There are ways to make things happen, may involve some diplomacy, knowing who to talk to, what to say and not to say, etc. but it’s not impossible if you really want to do it…

  • RV NUT
    July 7, 2021, 11:04 am

    Dana,
    This sucks but keep in mind that loans are based on your income for the most part, even though your car loan is your only debt they are counting your current rent as a “debt” or monthly expense, and as such it appears that your income would not be sufficient to cover “two rents” plus your car payment and living expenses. You probably can but in numbers and ratios in doesn’t add up for you to qualify. Chances are that you would qualify if you didn’t have the current rent. Perhaps, you can move with a family member or friend eliminating the current rent helping you qualify. BTW Tiny Homes can be insured for what I understand.

    • Dana Gregory
      July 7, 2021, 12:39 pm

      Why am I covering two rents? I want to give up my apartment lease and move into the tiny home. If I can afford my high rent and my car payment why can’t I afford a lower mortgage in a tiny home and my car payment instead?

      • RV NUT
        July 7, 2021, 12:58 pm

        Because for approval purposes they consider your current situation not what you are looking to do in the future. Whether we like it or not a tiny home on wheels (in most States and counties) it is considered an RV (recreational vehicle) and not a necessity but a luxury. Therefore, it is not looked as your primary residence (a need) but a “toy” (a want) which limits the options when income is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements.

  • Dana Gregory
    July 7, 2021, 12:43 pm

    if I’m going to get screwed with no guarantee on lot rent, or having to buy a house with a huge mortgage loan, HOA fees, etc. then screw it, I’ll just pay rent then and will never be a 1st time home buyer

    • RV NUT
      July 7, 2021, 1:00 pm

      There are ALWAYS ways to make things happen – do not give up.

  • Dana Gregory
    July 7, 2021, 7:30 pm

    James D.:
    I also went to a Tiny House Show in Bradenton 2 weeks ago and it was a waste of time, gas & money. There were vendors there selling eye cream, body lotion, dips for chips, etc. and there were only a handful of cheaply-built tiny homes. It was very disappointing. I will look on the Tiny House Expedition website, so thank you for that lead. The only other option is a Modular, which I really didn’t want. I just want to live smaller (b/c I don’t need a huge space) and living smaller will allow me to have the upgrades/options that I want.

  • Dana Gregory
    July 7, 2021, 8:01 pm

    James D.:
    I will read up on Appendix Q. While waiting for more counties to adopt the Tiny Home movement, I will unfortunately prob. have to renew my lease for 1 more year. My rent, of course, goes up each time I renew, which I was hoping to avoid. But it is what it maybe is…I really think a Tiny Home with my own chosen upgrades/options will be the best life choice for me as to living (and retiring in a few years). Thank you again!

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