All answers can be quoted to Steve Weissmann
Who buys a Tumbleweed?
Most customers are either young couples between 25-35 or single women between 45-60 with an empty nest, but we’ve had buyers range from teens to someone in their 80’s.
Do you have business customers?
About 25% of our sales are for business purposes. The majority are used as Tiny House Rentals, and in addition to that, we’ve built tiny houses that are traveling offices, retail display, a mobile COVID testing unit and traveling kitchens.
Do most people buy them for a full time home?
Much less than you’d expect. Many are purchased as a guest home or vacation cottage.
Where do people put these?
Typically they stay in a backyard. Others are placed in RV Parks or Tiny House Communities.
Do you sell more in certain areas?
There are Tumbleweeds in all corners of the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. Most of our customers are in California, Colorado and Texas.
Do you think Tiny Houses are a fad?
Tiny Houses are here to stay, and the popularity will only continue to increase. There are 3 primary types of tiny homes; RVs which are built on wheels, HUD homes which are built in a factory and delivered, and conventional stick built homes that might range from 400-1000 square feet. The RVs and HUD homes can be built in a factory and offer huge advantages as such. Factory built homes can be quickly produced year round, regardless of weather with very predictable costs to the end buyer. As of 2021, we’ve built close to 500.
Which types of tiny homes does Tumbleweed build?
We only build Tiny House RVs on wheels. RV codes allow a tiny house to be built up to 399 square feet. The largest we build is 260 square feet, with a loft. Anything larger often requires special permits to tow. Plus the current setup of our factory doesn’t allow us to build the larger RV models.
How does financing work?
A few people will pay cash for a tiny home, but most finance their purchase. There are 3 types of tiny house loans; tiny house RV loans, traditional RV loans, and personal loans. Tiny House RV loans have rates from 6.5% – 12%, and terms that range from 15-25 years and can be the easiest to qualify for. Traditional RV loans are the same you find buying a Winnebago. The rates are great, but the term is usually 10-15 years and they can be harder to qualify for. Personal loans are typically used when buying a non-certified tiny house and have rates from 10%-16% and terms from 5-10 years.
At Tumbleweed, we work with several lenders and can setup a first and second loan. Our lenders will finance buyers with scores of 575 or higher in most states. Down payments range between 1% to 20% depending on income and credit score, with the typical buyer needing 10% down. Because we are a licensed vehicle dealer, we also take trade ins for the the down payment. One customer traded in their Airstream, and another traded in their car and motorcycle. My all time favorite was a customer who started a tiny house himself and traded that in for his down payment. In one day, we delivered his new Tumbleweed and towed his unfinished tiny house back to our shop.
How much does a Tumbleweed cost and have prices gone up?
Prices for materials have increased dramatically due to COVID and our tiny house RVs have risen in price about 10% as a result. Today, the typical Tumbleweed sells for $100,000 and prices range from $85,000 – $125,000.