The American Dream has always included the idea of home ownership. Despite issues with affordability and the availability of homes, many people still dream of owning their own place. According to a recent study published in the New York Times, two-thirds of Americans still place owning a home above career and college as a sign of prosperity.
Lately, however, the American homeownership dream has become an increasing nightmare for many. Mortgage rates have reached their highest point since 2002 at over 7%, and the median home price in the US has soared over $420,000. From 2020 to 2022, home prices increased by 30%.
“As mortgage rates continue to rise and this current inflationary period pushes families into decision mode, more and more of the middle class will be pushed out of the real estate market entirely,” says Joshua Massieh, CEO of Pacwest Funding and Real Estate Host at the Trading Fraternity. “The average School teacher, police officer, and small business salary would not allow them to purchase a home in this environment.”
Thankfully, one company has emerged to bring the American dream back to the people. Eclipse Cottages is embracing sustainability, off-the-grid living, and — above all — affordability to allow more people access to a home of their own.
Sustainable and attainable
Eclipse Cottages has taken the issue of the unattainability of the American Dream and offered a solution that not only puts home ownership within reach, but also offers solutions to sustainability and energy issues. Eclipse has disrupted the home market with a high-tech approach to sustainable, affordable housing. Their cottages use patented solar roofing, wireless “smart” switches, water filtration, and SIP (structural insulated panels) construction to deliver a home that works for the buyer immediately.
This “plug-and-play” approach to housing is leveraging current technology to make home ownership quick, easy, and user-friendly. The cottages are affordable compared to the average market home, and can be placed anywhere.
By using sustainable materials and technology, the 399-square-foot Eclipse cottages are a great way to live “off the grid” or in a low-energy consumption community. The homes are low maintenance, giving owners more time to spend with their families and on activities they enjoy rather than on home upkeep.
The affordability of the Eclipse Cottages is one of the most remarkable features. The median mortgage payment in the United States is $1,100, with many paying three to four times that for their single-family homes. The new Eclipse model that is releasing in November — the Comet — will run buyers as low as $99/month, or an amount lower than most people’s internet bill. The added positive of the new Comet model is there is no need to pull permits to place or move the model. In addition to ease of placement and low prices, Eclipse makes financing easier as well.
“At Eclipse, we’ve developed our internal financing,” explains Eclipse CEO Justin Draplin. “Currently, it’s only available when you live in an Eclipse Village, but we hope to expand on that offering soon. We’ve made the process extremely easy. It merely involves a simple one-page application, signing the final paperwork, and closing.”
While the easy internal financing is limited to their new Comet model at this time, they are working on a larger roll out of financing options for other models in and outside their developments.
A new way forward
As people struggle with the lack of affordable housing and rising mortgage rates, companies with innovative ideas like Eclipse are paving a new way forward for people to access their dreams. While tiny homes have been an option for quite a few years, they have yet to combine the minimized space with such state-of-the-art sustainability and financing options.
These small, efficient, and technologically-sound spaces may not be for everyone, especially in a country that has historically set its sights on bigger, better, faster, and more. Still, there are signs that Americans are ready for a cultural shift towards minimalism and energy efficiency, especially as access to affordable housing gets further out of reach. Eclipse Cottages are filling a need in a way that does not put increased pressure on the Earth’s energy resources or America’s already strained pocketbooks.
Today’s American Dream may still include home ownership, but that can look different from how that has ever looked before. Today’s dream home can be good for the planet, help people limit consumption, and still allow them to fulfill a dream for their owners. In a world that is often stretched to the limit and stressed, Eclipse hopes to offer a lighthouse in the storm. Draplin’s vision for his company is simple: “My goal is to help people live more fulfilling lives.”