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Tempe Micro Estates

How can I get on the Interest List?

Add your name to the email list here or call Newtown at 480.517.1589 for more information. We use this list for updates on project progress, meetings, and when applications will be accepted.

Why ‘Small Homes’?

There are a number of reasons why people like living small – including the ease of maintenance, low cost, privacy, efficient use of space, and environmental benefits of a smaller footprint. The average American new-construction home is now over 2,600 square feet, while average household size has decreased to the lowest levels in the history. Our goal is to develop homes that take the best benefits of small living and remove as many of the negatives as possible.

Homes at Tempe Micro Estates will be energy efficient, well designed, built to a high standard, quiet, and very comfortable, all while being close to the heart of Tempe.

What is the size of the homes?

We have two floor plans in our community; both are one-bedroom/one-bathroom homes and are 600 square feet. Twelve homes are two-story and one home is a one-story floor plan. There is one 900-square-foot Common Room that includes a kitchen and laundry room.

Is Tempe Micro Estates some sort of commune?

No. Tempe Micro Estates could be described as an “intentional neighborhood” – meaning residents share the desire to have much more of a sense of community with their neighbors. You could also describe it as “co-housing light” – if you’re familiar with the co-housing model. The shared common areas are intended to serve as places for neighbors to gather, visit, garden, and occasionally share a meal.

Why one-bedroom homes?

Most houses built and sold in the Valley (and across the U.S.) are three bedrooms or more. However, 27% of households in the Valley (and 34% in Tempe) are one-person households. Almost a third of family households are just two people. Small-scale homes can help address this mismatch in the market. The so-called “missing middle” housing type has been vastly under-built in the last 70 years across the country – and in the Valley especially.

Are they built like mobile homes?

No. Our homes are built of standard building materials, and meet or exceed the local building codes. Each home is on its own lot, with a small front patio and backyard. Homes are built by professional contractors held to the highest standard. Energy-efficient materials are installed and tested to EPA and Department of Energy standards. Homes are designed to be independently certified to meet ENERGY STAR®, WaterSense®, and Indoor airPLUS® standards. The intent with all of these certifications is to verify that what we designed was installed properly and achieves the goals that we expect it to.

Can the homes be moved?

No. Each home is on a permanent concrete foundation, connected to electric, water, and sewer.

How much will homes cost?

Final pricing is still in the works and is dependent on construction costs, grants, city fees, and more. Ultimately, our goal is to price the mortgage to be the same or less than rent for a comparable one-bedroom apartment in the area.

How do I purchase a home at Tempe Micro Estates?

To ensure fairness, applications to purchase a home will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Directions on how to apply and due dates will be available here. We will announce the opening of the application process through the Interest List. In order to own a home at Tempe Micro Estates, homeowners must meet eligibility requirements, which are the same for Newtown’s other Community Land Trust homes. If you are interested in purchasing a home, we encourage you to contact us immediately to help determine your eligibility and if there is financial assistance or other home buying help for which you may qualify.

How are these homes financed?

Homes can be financed like any other home purchase through banks that have experience working with Community Land Trust properties.

How much are HOA dues?

The Home Owner’s Association dues are set by the owners annually, but are designed to be as low as possible, balancing community effort to maintain the common areas and the long-term financial stability and maintenance of the property. Draft CC&Rs will be available on the website.

What about the common areas and landscaping?

In addition to your own backyard and front patio, each resident shares responsibility for the landscaping for the whole property – think of it as a shared front yard. The landscape has been thoughtfully designed with a few special attributes, including native and edible plants and trees. Together, residents will form a landscaping committee to ensure that it is well maintained and continues to benefit all of the residents at the Estates.

  • The property will be planted with native trees and plants, as well as fruit-bearing orchard trees. While care has been taken to pick low-maintenance plants, they still need care and upkeep.
  • Some of the landscape plants support a Monarch Butterfly Waystation and other habitat, which will need to be cared for in order to keep the designation.
  • The property will feature garden beds for the benefit of residents.
  • No, or very-limited, pesticides will be allowed near garden beds or landscape plants.
  • The property features a rainwater harvesting tank and other water harvesting landscape features to “plant the rain.”
  • The laundry room features a laundry- to-landscape system, which gives users the option to send greywater from the laundry to water the trees on the property when using greywater safe laundry detergent.
  • Each homeowner is responsible for weeding and watering the landscape adjacent to their home.

What is the Common Room?

The Common Room acts as the community’s living room. It features an open floor plan with a full kitchen, indoor and outdoor seating area, a restroom, the laundry room, as well as a community book and game library.

Will I have my own kitchen?

Yes. Each home is completely independent and includes a full kitchen (with standard-sized appliances), dining and living room, bedroom and bath (with full-size tub).

Does every unit have a washer and dryer?

No. In the Common Room, there is a laundry area that provides two washers and two dryers, along with an area to line-dry clothing. The washing machines feature an option to send the greywater to the orchard, if using greywater safe laundry detergent.

Would I have my own parking space?

Yes. There are 16 spaces for cars, including a van-accessible and a standard ADA accessible space. Each home will have a single designated parking space as well as designated bike parking. Vehicle parking is limited, but the property is convenient to light rail, the future Tempe street car, the free Orbit circulator, and bike paths.