It might be hard for weary dwellers of America's most popular cities to believe — but some Australians have even bigger housing headaches than we do. Google "Sydney housing affordability crisis" and you'll find the same hand-wringing and agita familiar to anyone looking for an apartment in, for example, the Bay Area.
In San Francisco, the main solution seems to be giving millionaires even nicer options so they vacate the less expensive spots — trickle-down real estate totally works, right? One Aussie architect has come up with a completely different solution: flat-pack houses that can be constructed with the help of nothing more exotic than a hammer and drill. (And presumably some nails and screws.)
Alex Symes's off-grid Big World Homes cost between $45,000 and $60,000. A base model consists of 39 individual panels, which can go up with the aforementioned tools plus some "online support." Each home sits on a trailer, meaning it's portable — and there's a need for neither a foundation nor a big swath of land. A solar energy panel sits on the roof; tanks collect rainwater for future use. The basic model provides a bedroom, bathroom and living space, but each unit is fully modularized, meaning it's easy to add on for extra space.
Interested? The project is currently in the prototype phase. But we may very well be on the waitlist as soon as it's announced.