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Thursday, 13 September 2018 12:43

Home Care.... Sweet!

The August Issue of Furniture, Lighting and Decor Magazine features Home Care Suites cottages, which it calls, "The Suite Solution”.


The article talks about how there is a new housing alternative that many retiring boomers find appealing: granny flats or accessory dwelling units (ADUs). These backyard cottages, also sometimes referred to as tiny homes, or granny pods, offer an answer to two pressing challenges.


Alison Martin of Lighting and Decor Magazine wrote that ADUs “stand poised to solve two major housing crises in cities across the country: the struggle for more affordable housing and the eventual wave of retired and aged Baby Boomers who cannot physically live or afford to live by themselves.”


Henry Moseley Jr., founder and president of Home Care Suites started making these ADUs when his friend asked him to transform a cabana into a livable space for an aging family member. From this experience, Moseley created the custom cottage building company “designed for elderly living with a focus on accessibility.”

By 2035, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65, as well as one in three heads of house, says the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. As housing and healthcare costs continue to rise, ADUs may provide a win-win-win: affordable housing in major cities, comfortable living for aging Boomers and caregiving assistance for adult children.”

While ADUs are a great option for some boomers, they are not a perfect fit for everyone. The cottages are a significant investment.   According to Carrie Shores of San Francisco Bay Area-based Larson Shores Architecture and Interiors explains, “Little houses have all the same expensive parts as a big house but don’t have the extra square feet to bring down the cost.”

“In Florida, the ADU’s cost about $200 per square foot to build. Moseley’s most popular design — a 400-square-foot ADU with a 65- to 85-square-foot porch — costs about $85,000.00"

However, compared to the cost of assisted living facilities (ALF), ADUs are more cost-effective in the long run. According to research the average cost of a one-bedroom in an ALF in the United States is between $3,500 and $4,000 per month.

Building a Home Care Suite pays for itself in just over two years of paying for a one-bedroom in an Alternative Living Facility.

There are a few ways to recoup the investment. In Florida taxpayers are able to get a waiver on their taxes if there is an elderly person living in a space on their property.

“If people think they’re building these cottages just for a parent,” Moseley says, “they’re mistaken.”   Home Care Suites residents enjoy multiple benefits from multi-generation living. Grandparents are able to spend more time with the grandkids, parents spend less time driving across town to visit mom or dad, and the cottage can be used for multiple purposes after their loved one has passed away.  

In a 2016 AARP report, it estimates that that family caregivers focused on the elderly spend about 20 percent of their annual income on costs related to caregiving. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the emotional toll.

Alison Martin said it best in her piece in Lighting and Decor Magazine:  “Greater access to affordable housing and ADUs could potentially benefit people of all ages no matter where they’re living. The tools are out there. Now it will be up to cities and communities to help future generations realize their American Dreams and let others finish theirs in dignity.”

To read the piece by Martin, click here:  https://www.furniturelightingdecor.com/suite-solution

To take a virtual tour of our most popular Home Care Suite model, The Floridian, click here.

Published in Home Care Suites Blog
Thursday, 06 September 2018 14:32

Grandkids Make Life Grand

If you knew grandkids would be this fun, you would have had them first, right!?


It should come as no surprise that when kids spend more time with their grandparents, everyone wins. With age, comes wisdom. Our elders have a wealth of information - just waiting to share knowledge, love and skill sets with anyone, but particularly younger relatives.


Good Housekeeping Magazine wrote an article, titled, “A New Study Says Kids Need to Spend More Time With Their Grandparents -- Another thing your mom was right about!”  You can find it here.  


Studies have shown that intergenerational interaction has many benefits - it makes kids more compassionate, patient, interested in a variety of fields, and cultivates a more positive view of the elderly in general. Kids reported learning life lessons and expanding their skill set on an interpersonal level and in a more tangible way, as well.


It might also come as no surprise that Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens than any other state. Children who recorded spending time with their grandparent/s at least once a week reported being happier and healthier.


As seniors retire and find their homes become a bit too much for them to manage anymore, a great option is a Home Care Suite. It allows grandparents to maintain their independence by still living on their own and allows them access to interact with their grandchildren. Grandparents and grandchildren are able to grow their relationship with weekly dates, as well as pass down wisdom learned from a life well lived.


Click here to learn more about Home Care Suites - backyard cottages built to keep your family close, comfortable, and independent.   

Published in Home Care Suites Blog

 

Do you want to build a stand-alone tiny house?

It’s fun to dream about finding a little plot of land and building your own tiny dream home on the lot. But, it turns out that there are quite a few factors to keep in mind when you are developing a new lot.

Downsizing is all the rage, but before you build a tiny house as your stand-alone permanent residence, we encourage you to consider these things:

A big part of the expense of building a new home-especially on an undeveloped lot- actually comes from the underground work – things you might not think of.  

For modern day comforts, you need to have a home that has running water, sewage system, and electricity. If you have a vacant lot that is not already developed, you will have to pay significant additional fees to install your utilities: water, electric, sewage.

But there’s more. Depending on where you live, impact fees should be expected with your new residential development project. These fees are imposed and required by the state: school, fire service, parks, and transportation/ mobility fee.

So you know may be asking yourself, how much will all of this cost? The generic answer is, “more than you think!” But let’s add numbers to give us an approximation we can all compare. In the chart below, the numbers provided are based on counties located in the Tampa area, however, these fees are subject to change depending on the area of construction.

Keep in mind that these figures are approximations and they will vary depending on the county, zone, and the development of the land.

General Residential Development Charges Approximate Cost
Impact Fee-Transportation *depending on square footage $3,100.00 
Impact Fee- Recreational *depending on 1BR or 2BR and building zone   $275.00
Impact Fee- School *depending on square footage  $1,500.00
Impact-Fee Fire   $50.00
Meter Installation- Portable Water
*Septic System Setup (if needed)
Water Well *if needed
Water line set up
Engineering inspection
Reading Device
Wastewater charges
Survey
Electrical Connection
Permit Certification
 $18,000 to $133,500 
Total Costs $23,000 to $138,000 

 

*The county charges the impact fees. These averages were provided by Hillsborough County http://hcflgov.net/library/hillsborough/media-center/documents/public-works/impact-fees/residential-impact-mobility-schedule.pdf?la=en

* The site development costs for utility setup were estimates provided by http://buildingadvisor.com/buying-land/budgeting/typical-site-development-costs/. Please keep in mind that these values depend on the level of development of the land you purchase.

Now add on top of that the cost of building the cottages – our tiny homes start at $55,000, and go up to $110,000 or even $140,000 for the larger two-bedroom models with a full kitchen.  

Now that you have a general idea about the costs associated with a new development, this information should be considered when you’re making the decision to build your new home.

We don’t want to discourage your plans but do hope we can provide you with a clearer picture!

We generally build our cottages as a backyard structure – being the second living unit on an already-developed lot allows us to tie our cottages utilities into the existing water, sewer, and electric, which saves tremendously on costs.  

If you are thinking about building a stand-alone tiny new home on an undeveloped lot, you should compare these costs those associated with purchasing an existing home, and ultimately choose the best option for YOU: because home is where the heart is!

 

Published in Home Care Suites Blog
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 10:12

Home Care Suites featured on WFLA NBC

We are so happy to be featured on Tampa's NBC station, WFLA. We had so much fun working with reporter Meredyth Censullo, Sheila De Santo and her wonderful family in Clearwater.  Check out our awesome NBC segment on Granny Cottages.  

Granny Cottages on WFLA NBC Tampa Home Care Suites

Published in Home Care Suites Blog
Thursday, 21 September 2017 07:43

Clearwater Cottage - The Floridian Model

DeSanto Exterior Pool Screen Medium Distance

Home Care Suites recently completed a cottage in Clearwater for a lovely family.  Our client, Sheila, had been a successful real estate agent for many years and had a nice condo in downtown Clearwater, but she had gotten to a point where she preferred to be close to her family. She sold her condo and built a cottage in her son's backyard, which had a smaller footprint than her condo, and would be easier to maintain with lower utility bills.   

Sheila had taken care of her own father and went through the process of him aging and passing away, so she had a first-hand experience of taking care of parents.  Sheila decided that a Home Care Suite was a much better option for her. Sheila wanted to be close to her family, but she also wanted to maintain her independence and have her own private space.   

Having spent dozens of years as a real estate agent, Sheila knew the value and appeal of having a guest house on a property.  Sheila's cottage was completed in early August 2017 and she is living comfortably there now.  

We are very happy to report that Sheila's cottage stood up to Hurricane Irma with no damage, and she and her family were safe through the storm.   

The cottage is attached to the main home through a connected breezeway, and a screened in lanai that surrounds the family's backyard pool.  Sheila and her family love gathering together on their back patio in the evenings and on weekends.   In Clearwater, building code requires that an accessory dwelling unit must be attached to the main home, so we were able to create a lovely compound for this family by attaching the cottage through a small roof tie-in and breezeway.  

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A VIRTUAL TOUR OF OUR CLEARWATER COTTAGE. 

Published in Home Care Suites Blog
Monday, 23 November 2015 10:53

Tiny House on Wheels in Tampa Bay

Home Is Where You Hook Up 

Do you want to build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) and live in Tampa Bay? Not so fast.

Your Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) Is Actually an RV

We've seen the clever tiny homes featured on television - many have been built on wheels. When you build your tiny house on wheels, it is technically considered a Recreational Vehicle, or RV. RV's are subject to regulations that prevent you from taking up residence and parking anywhere you choose. If you want to live in Tampa Bay, before you pursue building a tiny house on wheels, consider this:

 

Where are you going to put your tiny house on wheels?

 

In your head, you may see yourself living here:

Beautiful Tiny Homes Tiny House Community Orlando

 

But in reality, you may end up living here: 

Trailer Park Image2 sm

 


The bottom line is that in the Tampa Bay area, there are very few places where you can actually live in your tiny house on wheels (THOW).

 

    1. RV Park
    2. Tiny House Community, aka an RV Park, (none that we know of in Tampa Bay; closest one is in Orlando)
    3. Your own land (properly zoned, single family lot with permanent water, power and septic or sewer needed – a serious financial commitment).

 

The most likely choice is an RV Park.

 

Welcome home to your tiny house in an RV Park!

Trailer Park Mailboxes

 

Is this really where you want to live?  


As we mentioned in our previous blog post, there are rules about living in what is technically considered an RV. All communities have rules about where you can park an empty RV, and the rules are much more stringent when someone actually occupies the RV as a permanent residence. Your THOW is required to be hooked up to sewer and water, and there are only certain places that have the capability of offering those hook-ups – mainly RV parks.

 

Trailer Park image 3

 

Trailer Park Image1

 

We visited a few RV Parks and mobile home communities in the Tampa Bay area. We asked them if they would be willing to accept a THOW. We found that the majority are deed restricted and do not want home-built projects in their community. Others only accept selected manufacturers' "park models" that do not exceed 600 square feet. We did, however, find a very nice RV community near the Hillsborough River State Park that would allow temporary parking for your THOW, but would not allow for a permanent stay.

 

The Tiny House Community website offers a national listing of tiny house friendly RV parks; there are approximately fifteen of these RV parks in the state of Florida. 

 

*** UPDATE ***  Even the RV people say that a Tiny House is not an RV! 

Even the RV Community is rejecting the THOW concept! We recently reviewed the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association website, and we verified a few things. There's a type of recreational vehicle known as a "Park Model" - here is what the RVIA says about these "Park Models"  

"These RVs are used for recreational purposes only. They are not meant to be permanently affixed to the property, they do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences." 

When asked the question, "Is a Park Model RV a Tiny Home" the answer is a resounding NO. RVIA explains:

"so-called 'tiny homes' that the media describes are not really homes either. That's because federal, state and local laws typicaly require that permanent residences be built to federal, state or local building codes or standards. Few so-called 'tiny homes' meet those standards."  

 

Want to live in a THOW in your backyard? That is illegal.


Occupying a THOW in the backyard of a single family zoned parcel is prohibited in the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.

 

    • You can park your THOW along the side of your house, but you can't live there.
    • You must be the only house on the lot. Make sure you comply with zoning. All single family homes lots are zoned to have one single family, permanently built structure on the site. Multiple living structures are not permitted.  

 

Want to buy a lot, or put yout THOW on your vacant land? That could be costly.  


By the time you spend the money to incorporate the required infrastructure, (water/sewer/electric) you might as well build a traditional house.

 

Other things to consider for a THOW: 

 

  • If it is on wheels, then it is considered a "mobile home" and it needs to meet the requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - essentially making sure the structure is safe enough to be transported on the highway.

  • Your tiny house on wheels will be inspected. The DMV and local building officials will be checking to see if there is an Engineer Of Record (EOR.) Only the EOR can make modifications and additions to the building.

  • In order to make it a permanent residence, you need to have a licensed mobile home contractor strap it down with hurricane straps to ensure it can withstand Florida's Building Code Hurricane Requirements.

  • You are required to register your "RV" annually with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

It's a lot of fun to imagine yourself living in a tiny home. We understand that this lifestyle enables people to declutter, free up resources, and get outdoors to enjoy life. However, fully understand that local communities throughout the United States limit the short and long term placement and closely manage the construction of THOWs.  

 

Bottom Line - Your THOW is not a permanent home because it doesn't meet Florida building codes.  

You should carefully plan ahead before you build a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW).  As an alternative, a properly zoned and permanently built tiny home or Accessory Dwelling Unit should be seriously considered.  For more information on such a structure, please contact Home Care Suites.  

 

Below is a photo of one of our Accessory Dwelling Units under contruction in North Tampa.  This tiny house was designed to meet local codes, properly permitted, and built to match the architectural design of the house.  

  

HomeCareSuites ADU Mackin Exterior

 

Home Care Suites

 

 

 

 

Published in Home Care Suites Blog

FastCo Urban planning backyard cottageFastCompany just put out a new article on “the next big thing in urban planning” that caught our eye -- backyard cottages.  While Mother-In-Law suites and guest houses have been around for a while, backyard cottages as a solution to urban sprawl is also gaining popularity.

We have received lots of interest from women who are considering having their mother move in with them - either because Mom is downsizing, or because she wants to be around her daughter's family and enjoy her grandchildren.  

Backyard cottages are a way for families to create extra private living space on their property. The beauty in these tiny houses are that they’re quick and easy to build and they allow families to stay together while still maintaining their independence. 

FastCo's article focused on the cottages sprouting up just outside of San Francisco in East Bay, where real estate is a premium. While Tampa Bay is no East Bay, we are seeing a rise in apartment needs and pricing.

Right now, Hillsborough County zoning only permits these suites as  “Accessory Dwelling Unit” --  living space for a family member on the property of a single family home.  In other parts of the country like Vancouver, and San Francisco, these backyard cottages can be rented out to the public. 

Home Care Suites is your go-to source for backyard cottages in Tampa Bay.  We offer three cottage layouts: The Poinciana at 256 Sq. Ft., the Floridian at 448 Sq. Ft., and the Boca Grande 588 Sq. Ft. Contact us today to find out if a backyard cottage is right for your family!

 

Published in Home Care Suites Blog

The Tampa Bay Times recently featured a story on the Dobyville dollhouse, the smallest home for sale in Tampa Bay. In a world where bigger has always been better, the Dobyville dollhouse is unusual, but it has much appeal for our growing population.

final raw cropped smallEfficient, Eco-Friendly, Economical

Twenty-somethings and retirees are now using tiny houses as a way to have their own place with less maintenance than a traditional space. Not only is this cost effective, but with over-crowding and environmental concerns, joining the Tiny House movement is a growing trend.

Some in the tiny house movement choose to build their own, but if you are looking for a simple solution, here in the Tampa Bay Area, Home Care Suites specializes in small, affordable custom living suites ranging from 256 to 588 Sq. Ft.

Our "Accessory Dwelling Units" are perfect for those who are looking to live close to loved ones... right in their backyard. Our standard Pullman kitchen and bathroom and walk in shower are included in each layout. The units can be customized to suit your needs, whether it is living quarters for an aging loved one, or a college grad; or a place for grandma to stay while she's helping with the kids. 

Learn more about our custom floor plans here

Published in Home Care Suites Blog

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Home Care Suites are an affordable alternative to an assisted living facility in the greater Tampa Bay area.
Home Care Suites serves the Central Florida Market including Tampa,  St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Largo, Dunedin, Seffner, Lakeland, Land O Lakes, New Port Richey, Riverview, Plant City, Town N Country, Spring Hill, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Clermont, Brooksville, Apopka, St. Cloud, Haines City, Winter Haven, Lake Wales & more.

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