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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) regarding “The Cottages at Pine Lake”

Do we have to buy an Incredible Tiny Home to live on this property?

Yes, this property is being developed in collaboration with GoTinyBeFree & Randy Jones / Incredible Tiny Homes. GoTinyBeFree is developing the property and infrastructure and Incredible Tiny Homes is supplying and marketing / selling the Tiny Homes exclusively. Randy has an incredible selection of tiny homes to choose from at some of the best prices in the country, if not THE best prices for what you get, and his builders build very high-quality, well-laid out and functional homes – it’s a win-win-win situation! Click here to learn the buying process

What about financing?

Unfortunately as is stated on the main page, there are no in-house financing options available, or any reliable outside financing options we can recommend. If you don’t have the funds in savings, or an investment account, or your retirement account or aren’t selling your home to use the equity to pay for the home or other common scenario, you could look into a personal loan at your local credit union or of course friends and family, begin selling things & pairing down to “go tiny” or any combination thereof. We are not financial advisors and cannot give specific advice on this, but there just aren’t any good financing options currently.

What do you include with the purchase of a new Incredible Tiny Home with the lot option?

Once your tiny home build is complete, we will facilitate the delivery of the home to the right lot on the property, set up, blocked up & leveled, utilities connected and provide stairs to enter your tiny home so when you show up, you can walk right in, turn on the lights and faucet. So we will provide these services but the home owner must pay for the actual delivery service fee.

What utilities are provided and how will utilities be billed? Will residents have to setup individual utility services in their name, do a credit check or put down a utility deposit?

Power, Water & Sewer will be connected to each Tiny Home in the community and residents will receive a monthly breakdown and bill of their individual metered usage to the email address registered in their lease agreement (unless subsequently updated with a different one); no credit checks, no security deposits or activation fees. Lot rent of $300 + utility usage from prior month (billed in arears) will be due on the 1st of each month (your first month will be prorated). A late charge of 3% will be assessed on the 5th day of the month (+$2/day) if both bills are not paid in full prior to the 5th. Residents should alert management immediately if there is an issue with any of their utility services (water leak, etc). Using an example of 35 gallons of water per day (~1000 gal/mo) and 11kwh of power per day (330kwh/mo), you can expect a total utility bill of $300, which includes sewer usage as well. Cut that usage in half to 17.5 gallons of water per day and only 5.5kWh/day of power and your utility bill will cut in half to $150/mo (what we expect will be closer to the norm). That also covers your weekly dumpster trash pickup, WiFi fiber internet property-wide, general property grounds keeping & lake maintenance, dog park usage, property security features, etc.

What are the lease terms for the $300/mo monthly lot rent? Is it really that cheap? What does that include?

We are able to offer discounted monthly lot rent due to the key money being collected initially when you purchase the home (prices on main front page of website with 3 featured home types include the key money) which allows us to pay for the development and infrastructure of the property, the lake and to develop the many amenities we plan to feature property-wide.

If I place an order for my tiny house today, when will I be able to move in? What is the process?

Click here for the buying process

Why are the homes for sale for “The Cottages at Pine Lake” more expensive than buying a home through ITH directly that are not for “The Cottages”?

As mentioned above, the featured homes on the front page of the website feature the total package price to buy into the Huntsville-area Tiny House Community “The Cottages at Pine Lake”. These prices include the key money cost for that phase of development, which goes toward putting in the infrastructure and development costs and allows us to offer a lot rent of only $300/mo (+utilities)

I want to buy a tiny home to rent out on a short term basis (ie, airbnb). Is this allowed at “The Cottages”?

UPDATE: For up to 10 lots at the front of the property, on the south side of the Lake – separate from the rest of the community (in front of the gate that leads to the rest of the community around the east side of the lake) – YES! But once those 10 rental lots are sold (or Phase 2 sells out), no other rentals will be allowed on the property.

For the rest of the property, behind the main gate: For the safety and security and peace of mind of the long-term residents and community of “The Cottages”, only the tiny home owner and directly related family members (proof required) of the Tiny Home owner(s) are allowed to live on the property (a family member buying or helping a family member buy their home for example, for long term living on the property). Unknown and/or frequently changing guests cause numerous issues for surrounding neighbors, no matter how much painstaking detail and effort is put into preventing this from happening with short term rentals (ask me how I know…). So any and all rental units will be separated and kept at the front of the property, allowing this option for up to 10 people who would like the option to have a tiny house part of the year for them to use, but to perhaps offset some of their expenses when not living in their home on the property by renting it out for others to enjoy.

Are pets allowed?

Yes! Of course, we want well-behaved, socialized pets for the enjoyment and safety of all residents (and the pets!), and all pets must remain on leash (or inside the home if off leash or in the dog park only) but the dog park will have a long run and fresh water from the spring and nice sturdy fences to keep them securely inside (assuming they’re not jumpers). There’s also a 1/4-mile or so walking trail you can take that goes around the lake and property edges to help give your pet some nice exercise and scenery. Limit of 2 pets per tiny home (ie, 1 dog & 1 cat, or 2 dogs, or 2 cats; doesn’t apply to birds to fish of course)

How big are the lots?

This depends on the phase and the lot. In trying to keep as many of the beautiful trees and mature shade canopy as we can, the lots will vary in size. In phase 1 for example, the 6 homes to the north of the club house are in about a 100ft wide area with about 10-15 ft of forest behind them to the fence line and about 30ft of space in front of the homes. So there will be more space for parking in front of the homes in this section than beween the homes. Whereas phase 2 around the lake (east and north sides) will have more space between the homes and no space in front or behind (lake front). Phase 2 will have 24 homes on approximately 900 feet of shoreline, so could be 25-35 feet between the homes depending on the trees and width of the homes.

Will be able to put up any fencing, decks, landscaping around our home?

In short, yes, with approval. All the lots will be different sizes due to the wide variety of potential Tiny Home models that will be on the property (different lengths and widths) so its impossible to say how much space will be available for each home/lot for these items so these things will be allowed, with approval once we know what homes will be going where and what size they are and the property has been developed.

Can we put a shed / outbuilding / storage unit on our lot?

No, to maintain as much of the beauty and simplicity of the property as possible, we will not be allowing any kind of additional structures to be placed on your lot other than your home. As mentioned above, landscape items, chairs/benches, etc (decks and fences, with approval) are all acceptable. We are looking into developing storage / garage / car port units on the property for this purpose (along edges of property, primarily front and back where additional space) based on demand of residents. Additionally, the homes will be roughly 2 feet off the ground; under your home can be used as storage, as long as its hidden behind the skirting.

Do we need to skirt our homes? (ie, cover the empty space on all 4 sides of the home to box it in and prevent cold winter air or animals getting under your house)

Yes, we do highly suggest skirting the bottom of your tiny home from the elements and making sure animals don’t want to start nesting under your home. In the winter, there definitely will be freezing temperatures at night, sometimes for several days at a time. Your pipes will freeze and then break and cause flooding and run up your water bill and possibly burn up your water heater (and the cost to repair the leak will be your responsibility). You will want to have your water pipes wrapped in heat tape (thermostat controlled) and/or insulation and again your home skirted to help prevent this from happening; in the summer time you’ll want to make sure your skirting can vent to let moisture out and prevent mold issues.

Can we add Off Grid features to our home to reduce our utility usage and bills? (ie, Solar panels & batteries, Rain water catchment, Waterless/Composting Toilet, Propane on-demand water heater)

You can add any additional ITH packages or options to the home as you desire, however solar panels won’t work well with the amount of shade the vast majority of this property is covered in (75-100 foot tall pine tree forest); you can add rain water catchment for water supply but you’ll still have waste water usage as you’ll have to be connected to the sewer system (obviously the waste water has to go somewhere!). Typically only 20% of the water entering a home is consumed, the other 80% goes back out in the sewer.

However, to reduce your utility usage, we DO suggest using a waterless or composting toilet like the Seperatt with the urine diverter (fecal matter is collected into a garbage bag essentially and emptied like trash on a regular basis, sort of like baby diapers; Other toilet systems like the Nature’s Head are a little more involved requiring active composting and then disposal of fecal waste, and emptying of urine container frequently). The EPA indicates that “Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption”. So replacing your toilet could right there reduce your water & sewer consumption by 30% alone.

Adding the 5kw or 10kw lithium batteries (cheaper without solar) would provide a good backup battery option and would still allow you to add solar panels in the future should you ever move or sell your tiny home.

Lastly, a propane on-demand water heater will help reduce your power bill as you’ll only be heating water when you use it, versus keeping a tank hot 24/7 with a standard water heater (you will have to refill or replace your propane tanks so that will be an additional cost keep in mind). You can also heat your home with a propane heater, which generally is more efficient than an electric heater (although except in really cold temperatures, mini splits efficiency is hard to beat, and very convenient).

Is there natural gas or propane hookups?

We do not have any natural gas or propane on-site to supply any gas fixtures, appliances or devices. You would need to supply your own propane tanks.

Can we anchor down or strap down our tiny home?

This is something you may need to discuss with your insurance company, but yes we allow you to strap or tie down your home. There are tie down loops built into every Incredible Tiny Home and these anchors / tie down systems can be purchased as kits from places like Lowe’s (however we cannot recommend or endorse any particular system or product, please do your own research)