Small homes: A third option to buying conventional houses or renting The average cost of a house in Nova Scotia is $249,000, which usually requires a minimum down payment of $50,000. Nearly three in 10 Nova Scotia residents are renters. Many people live in apartments with about the same square footage as a small house. Smaller homes in Stewiacke will allow for apartment-size living space but instead of being in an apartment complex, the house will be on grass. For those who can’t afford to buy a conventional house, are tired of renting and would like their own land or want to downsize, a small home could be an affordable third option.
The Town of Stewiacke is in the process of determining the potential of a small home development. The province is amending the building code regulations to facilitate the construction of tiny homes (less than 500 square feet) but the Town is hopeful that homes in the 500- to 1,000-square-foot range will be constructed. A potential concern is the quality of construction of the houses. Small doesn’t have to mean cheap. (See visuals above for examples of small home construction and design.) One way to encourage the development of small homes in Stewiacke is to lower lot size requirements.
For new subdivisions this would mean more houses on the same amount of new serviced streets. There would also be an opportunity for land on existing serviced streets to be developed. Because this land is already serviced with water, wastewater, storm water services and road maintenance any new lots created due to a small lot size could be developed with little additional cost to the Town.
Want to learn more about small homes? What: A public workshop on small home development in Stewiacke When: Wednesday, May 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. Where: Municipal Building at 295 George Street