I'm not sure about the finance and permitting questions, but I have lived in Houston my whole life and can speak to living in the area. I definitely by no stretch know everybody in Houston, but I have never met anyone in Houston that has lived in or rented out tiny homes.
Greater Houston is a geographically large metro area with tons of land. My understanding of tiny homes is that they are primarily marketed to people that want to simplify their lifestyles and live as minimalists with the ability to pick up and go with ease.
Outside of the "novelty factor" of checking out a tiny home and sleeping in it for a night, I think it may be tough to get Airbnb traffic in a market like Houston, given the vast availability of land. I could be TOTALLY wrong, but I encourage you to browse the Airbnb market and rates specific to Houston to see what you would be competing against.
Best of luck and (premature) welcome to Houston!
One more thing:
https://kinder.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/Kinder_Institute_for_Urban_Research/HAS/2017%20Kinder%20Houston%20Area%20Survey%20FINAL.pdf This is a great publication that will help you understand the lay of the land in Houston. Some of it may not be useful, but a lot of it gives great insight on the makeup of the city, state of the local economy, jobs outlook, profile of people living in Houston, etc.
I am a GIANT fan of Dr. Klineberg and his extensive research (of over 30 years!) on the ever-changing trends in Houston.
@Scott Gunther I have four Airbnb studios that all make good money. If you are able to do it (I'm not sure on this part of your question) I would suggest trying to get a plot of land in the Heights/Midtown area. Being inside the loop you would have some demand for folks working in downtown/galleria area. Another potential market would be near the medical center to pick up some of the traveling nurses.
A very important point to consider is that you have a backup plan and that you can make those tiny homes cashflow, if airbnb doesn't work out.
The reason I'm bringing that up is that airbnb these days almost always takes the guest side and will easily eliminate your account, if someone complaints or if your average goes below 4 stars. I've been there and I've heard about a number of landlords that were surprised about the harshness of airbnb management, if a problem was expected to get solved.
So, you need to make sure that you don't put all of your eggs in one basket and have a way to survive, if for some reason airbnb doesn't work out.
@Scott Gunther This sounds like the perfect idea for the Montrose area . Please let me know if you have carried out your idea, I am interested in the results!!!
Worst case scenario, you can always move your tiny house elsewhere!
I would think City will not allow all 4 cabins to be built on one lot zoned for R1. The zoning has to accommodate these structures. It sounds like it needs to be on R4 with like houses. I will contact City planning first.
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