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From Danville to ATL: One Couple's Tiny Home Business

Hummingbird Tiny Homes is a business based way down in Danville, a roaring metropolis of less than 300 people about 30 miles southwest of Macon. The business was on "House Hunters" last year and is run by Denise and Tommy Ryals. They love building tiny homes that are on wheels and right around 200 square feet, and they're slowly getting more business in metro Atlanta, where other micro enthusiasts say the market is ripe. "Most of our clients are young couples that want to be homeowners but they don't want a McMansion," Denise Ryals said. "They want something that they can pay for without 30 years of debt." And the Ryalses are happy to oblige. With Hummingbird, you can get a home for as low as $28,500, and it comes with a gas cookstove, refrigerator, couch, fireplace, all the important bathroom things, a 32-inch flat screen and more — everything but a mattress. Length: 22.5 feet. Width: 8 feet.

Ryals said she and her husband got into the business about a year and a half ago after seeing a tiny house built in California and realizing it was "way out of our price range." Tommy Ryals builds regular-sized houses, so the transition was pretty easy. The company consists of only Mom and Pop. Both of them have other full-time jobs, and they do all of their work outdoors, so the most recent build took nearly four months — but they love what they do, and they're firm believers in the rise of the tiny home.

So far, they've had "three or four" customers in the Atlanta area over the last few months, Denise Ryals said. "I don't think we're going to be living the lifestyles that we have been used to living all these years," she said. "I think our young people are getting smart, and they see a struggle. I just don't think that generation is gonna go for that.

"Tiny houses aren't for everybody," she continued, "but there are so many out there that are wanting to leave a small imprint on the environment."

— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep

· Hummingbird Tiny Homes [Site]
· Tiny-house photos [Pinterest]