micro homes

Design Dynamos

Some diminutive manufactured homes currently arriving in South Palm Springs give new to meaning to the axiom that less is more.

Lawrence Karol Real Estate, Valley

micro homes

One of the more popular franchises on HGTV is the “Tiny House” programming block, which has grown to include four different shows all devoted to the notion that living small doesn’t mean you have to make design sacrifices.

Locally, the 1960s-era Palm Canyon Mobile Club has taken this mantra to heart and given it a distinctly Palm Springs spin. Ravinia Communities, which owns multiple mobile home parks across the country, has acquired the community and is planning to add approximately 100 new “micro homes.” (Ravinia is working in conjunction with Goetz Ventures, a real estate firm that owns and operates mobile home and RV communities in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.)

The expression “micro homes” is the result of discussions Ravinia had with Paul Kaplan, CEO and founder of the Paul Kaplan Group. “They came to me to ask if I wanted to represent the sales of new manufactured homes at the Palm Canyon Mobile Club,” says Kaplan. “Because of the desirable location and unique buyer profile we have in Palm Springs, and considering the popularity of tiny homes across the nation, I suggested trying to do something a little different then the traditional mobile home. Although they’ve never done anything like this previously, they were open to thinking outside the box and thought it would be beneficial to provide this unique housing product not currently available in Palm Springs.”

Five of the new micro homes are currently on site and an additional six will join them by early July. Five of the 11 micro homes are approximately 600 square feet with one bedroom and one bath, while the others are two-bedroom, two-bath floor plans with approximately 800 square feet.

“The homes don’t feel small when you’re inside them,” says Kaplan. “The abundant use of windows with glass sliders that open to the outside, plus clerestory windows and the nine-foot-high ceilings, make the homes feel light and bright—much larger then their actual footprint. I also love how efficient the design of the floor plan is. Even though it’s small, there’s great separation from living areas and the bedroom area with no wasted space.”

He also notes that placing the micro homes on a traditional double wide lot allows for a large private outdoor space. “Although the homes are small, your actual living space more then doubles by having access to outdoor decks and porches,” Kaplan says.

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Clerestory windows and nine-foot-high ceilings make the homes feel light and bright. Shown here is the interior of a one-bedroom residence.

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The kitchens include such features as solid surface countertops (Corian or quartz, depending on the plan), Shaker-style cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances—a full-size cooktop range, built-in microwave range hood, multi-cycle dishwasher, and double-door refrigerator.

Silvercrest, a Corona-based company located about an hour from Palm Springs, is building the micro homes. “They’re one of the biggest manufactured home builders in Southern California [and] they were willing to work with us to customize the homes the way we wanted,” says Kaplan. “I designed the floor plans, working with Silvercrest, using their available finishes, plus mass produced building elements, and incorporated that into our final design. We also worked with H3K, a local design firm, on the interior design finishes and the exterior improvements. The homes are built in [the Silvercrest] factory, using similar construction materials as a stick-built home and are built to Department of Housing and Urban Development housing standards.”

The one bedroom homes start at $126,000 and include a front porch, covered carport, private fenced yard, plus two balcony-sized decks off the bedroom and living room. The two bedroom houses are laid out similar to the one bedroom, except that an additional bedroom and bathroom have replaced the front porch. The two bedroom homes, with a double tandem carport, are currently available for $150,000. All of the houses have private, gated backyards.

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The master bathrooms include a large walk-in shower with a glass enclosure.

“Some of the homes will feature upgraded finishes such as tile flooring, quartz kitchen countertops, tile shower enclosures, [and] mirrored wardrobes, to name a few,” says Kaplan. “They also include larger decks. Currently, our one bedroom model home, which has all the upgrades, is priced at $170,000.” An upgraded two bedroom will be listed at $190,000.

Ravinia is updating the electrical infrastructure for the entire park and renovating the private clubhouse, which will include a workout room. The community pool, spa, and barbecue areas are also being renovated and a new dog park with a separate area for smaller dogs is currently under construction.

The Paul Kaplan Group, 1115 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-459-1396; www.paulkaplanrealtor.com or www.palmcanyonmobileclub.com.

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Design Dynamos was last modified: August 8th, 2017 by Lawrence Karol