Can Living Like Elon Musk Save Boise From A Housing Crisis?
What will save the Boise housing crisis? Are we on the verge of the bubble breaking? Will we start to see house prices crashing down as we did in 2008? There are plenty of new Treasure Valley homeowners hoping that they didn't buy on the high end of a market that is about to crash. Meanwhile, others hope that the market does crash and that they can finally find housing at a reasonable cost.
We don't know what the future holds, but we know that something has to give. The rate of inflation, growing housing costs, and the current gas prices aren't doing the average Boise area family any good. If the market continues to soar, people will be looking for alternative forms of housing. The answer might just be... a box! Not a refrigerator box in an alley behind an 8th Street bar, but a house in a box or shipping container.
Several companies are currently trying to solve the housing crisis for markets like Boise by building nice, affordable housing from shipping containers or a box that is the size of one.
Elon Musk recently sold all of his homes and moved into one of these box homes. He rents land from his spacecraft engineering company, SpaceX, near their test site in Boca Chica, Texas.
Musk's house isn't extravagant, but it has everything the average person needs. It costs $50,000. Yes, $50,000. It has a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom and is easily expandable by purchasing another $50,000 box. Some add-ons can make the home more expensive, but the first model, the Casita, is just $50,000 and sets up in a day. Each unfolds into a roughly 380 square foot home, which would fall under the City of Boise's Tiny House regulations. The visual of the home being delivered and unfolding is amazing. The single box home sets up in an hour! No wonder there are so many investors jumping on board this North Las Vegas company called, Boxabl. The Boxabl homes can be connected and stacked to create larger floorplans and even a garage. The customization possibilities are seemingly endless.
A Boise-based company approaches the housing crisis differently by building affordable housing from shipping containers. Unlike Boxabl, IndieDwell focuses on multi-family homes. They are currently building four low-income apartment complexes in Los Angeles. They've already built eight single-family homes for LEAP Housing in Boise. LEAP then rents them to low-income families taking care of an elderly family member. The project is called Windy Court, and each home is 960 square feet and has four bedrooms. While that's not a lot of space, it is a far better home that families in these situations can afford on their own. 960 square feet also keep these homes out of Boise's Tiny Home zoning regulations.
IndieDwell is marketing its product for subdivisions. They currently have projects in use in Bellevue, Idaho, Richmond, Virginia, and another project in Boise.
One of IndieDwell's 960 square foot, four-bedroom Boise homes built in 2020 for low-income families now shows an estimated value on Zillow of $452,500. That tells you exactly why finding solutions has become such a priority.