Live Big in a Tiny Home in This Growing Central Pennsylvania Neighborhood: Video

You’ve no doubt heard of the “tiny house” craze before, maybe even seen shows like “Tiny House Nation” or “Tiny House Hunters” on TV.

But did you know that the craze spread to central Pennsylvania with the arrival of Tiny Estates four years ago?

Tiny Estates started in 2018, with visitors able to book short stays at these tiny homes.

Ryan Shank and his wife, Abigail, originally started the business to provide visitors to the area with a unique short-term housing experience, whether visiting relatives or driving to Hersheypark, just minutes away.

In November 2020, the business transitioned to providing permanent living spaces on the property. The houses even come with wheels, so buyers can now take them on the road if they need to move quickly.

Currently at 867 Schwanger Road, Elizabethtown, Tiny Estates has a total of 58 different homes. Prices for these properties range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Shank said he noticed that many home buyers were young couples or older couples in career transition.

“What we’ve tried to create is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to live in one…community [where] they feel they have some ownership,” he said.

Although some homes can accommodate families of four, the sizes don’t always provide the most practical space for a large family.

Many of these homes are built by professional and non-professional builders hired across the country. All homes are considered individual trailers.

According to Shank, the houses can range in size from 24 to 40 feet, with around 8 feet in width. He said the reason for the height requirement was due to transportation needs, as anyone who has seen a truck stuck in some of the state’s tunnels and underpasses will know.

Most homes are built in “stick,” which is a very similar design to your traditional home composition, offering many of the same qualities, he said.

Tiny houses offer bedrooms large enough to fit a king or queen size bed. Heating and cooling are provided.

And if you’re worried that their small size means they wouldn’t withstand the elements, Shank assures that these structures are safe.

“Most of these homes can withstand very high wind speeds on the road,” Shank said. “These have been specially designed to withstand the most dangerous natural weather phenomena.”

Rent covers water, sewer, wifi, grounds maintenance, garbage and snow removal, and access to the entire property, as well as two private access security gates.

There are three different house models that are part of the Via series offered by Tiny Estates: The standard model, which features an open cabinet layout and white wall interior; the farmhouse style, which has a more woodsy feel with a more rustic interior; and the modern style that comes with a wooden interior.

Many of these homes only offer a first floor layout, but some offer a second floor, which many use as storage.

“We have many ways to customize what our customers are looking for. We’ve been able to help people looking to live tiny understand, or at least ask questions they might not even know they had,” Shank said.

Shank and his wife are considering expanding the property and are in talks with the township. Additionally, the two have ideas about expanding their business across the country.

“We went so far as to search in California, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas,” Shank said. “Abby has been very influential in helping groups across the country be able to replicate something like what we’re doing here.”

For more information, visit the official Tiny Estates webpage. Watch the video to see some of the offerings from Tiny Estates.

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