Tiny houses are trendy. And lots of people on the Maine coast are having a hard time finding a place to live. So Unity pharmacist and amateur real estate investor Chad Tozier is aiming to connect those dots by developing a small-house rental subdivision along Oak Hill Road in Swanville.
Tozier and his business partner, Derek Davis of Davis Dirt Works in Thorndike, last week received preliminary approval from Swanville town officials for the subdivision. They could have as many as 15 houses on the roughly 80-acre property, but are planning to start small, with five or six houses built by Amish-owned Backyard Buildings of Unity that will be installed on the property this summer.
“It’s crazy, but we’re doing it,” Tozier said of their plans. “I’m interested in things that are a little bit different and that are new, compared to what I’ve done in the past. And the tiny house movement has always really interested me. I think in the future, tiny houses will just be more and more common. People are becoming more aware of what’s important, and of efficient living. I think these houses fall into that quite well.”
The rectangular houses will measure 440 square feet, which includes 20 square feet taken up by the covered front porches on each structure. A prototype home is being built now in Unity, and will feature finishing touches including hardwood floors, standing seam metal roofs, granite countertops and full-size appliances.
“In my opinion, they’re really well built,” Tozier said. “We made them a little bit nicer. It wasn’t super expensive to do that in a small space. It’s a very economical model, but when you walk in, you think, ‘this is nice.’”