The Studio
The Studio

This New Company Is Selling Ready-Made, Tiny Houses for Your Backyard

Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia has just launched his latest venture, Samara, in California.

Have you’ve ever wanted to get in on the Airbnb hosting game, but couldn’t because you don’t own a potential rental property? Good news: thanks to that very same platform — or, rather an offshoot called Samara — you can now purchase a ready-made, tiny home, and set one up right in your backyard.

Samara is the brainchild of Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia and began, per a report from Fast Company, as an innovation design studio within Airbnb that “looked for new products for the company and new ways to create social change.” Since then, however, the vision has morphed into something else entirely.

Now, the focus is entirely on what are called accessory dwelling units (ADUs), or — in short — little backyard houses. And the company, which is now operating independent of Airbnb, has just launched its first offering — a net-zero tiny house, aptly named “Backyard.”

As it stands now, Backyard currently comes in two sizes and five different colorways. The smaller of the two units, the 430 sq. ft.-Studio, starts at $289,000 and comes fully outfitted with Samara’s “signature” kitchen, a spacious bathroom, walk-in shower, combination washer and dryer and built-in storage. Alternatively, the larger of the two units, the 550 sq. ft.-One Bedroom, comes with all of the same features, in addition to (you guessed it!) a separate bedroom.

And they can purportedly be used a variety ways, too — a home office, guest room or rental property, chief among them. Further, the company handles the entire construction process, from start to finish, including surveying and procuring permits. That said, Samara is only live in California for the time being, where — by Fast Company’s estimate —  there’s room for roughly 1.5 million backyard homes (which is objectively a lot of backyard homes).

“California’s just a glaring opportunity,” cofounder and CEO Mike McNamara said. “There’s not enough housing units, and the cost of housing is extremely high. We have to find ways to get more units to the people and we have to find ways to get more units that are more approachable in price. So, that one is already here.”

Assuming all goes well, though, you may soon be able to purchase a Backyard, regardless of locale. In other words: your chance to be an Airbnb host may soon come. If you’ve got the backyard to support it, of course.


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