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South Coast Company Creates Affordable Home Which Is Cross Between Tiny House, And Trailer

Sitting in a lot off of Quarantina Street in downtown Santa Barbara is a shiny silver structure. At first glance, it looks like a small, but sleek modern looking condo.

But, as you look closer, you realize it has wheels. It’s something called a “Living Vehicle,” and it’s the creation of Santa Barbara architect Matthew Hoffman, and his wife Joanna.

From the outside, there is a bit of a boxy, trailer like appearance. Inside, you feel like you are in a very modern apartment, which is surprisingly spacious. It’s 30 feet long, and eight feet wide.

The bedroom area feels like something you’d find in a condo. There’s a queen sized bed, which turns into a sofa. And, it has a nine foot pull down screen, so the bedroom can be a screening room. There’s a full sized closet, with a combination washer dryer built into it.

The bathroom, kitchen, and living area all feel more like something you'd find in a condo, or apartment than a travel trailer.

Joanna Hoffman says it’s a concept which evolved over time because they were living in small spaces themselves. So, along with Hoffman’s dad, the three of them created a company, Living Vehicle.

They have sold nine that are now in different parts of the country, and they are geared up to build one a week. The base model starts at $90,000, while this fully equipped model, with solar panels and batteries to operate off the grid, costs $150,000. It’s a bit of money, but only the fraction of the cost of a house, or even a condo in California.

Matthew Hoffman says they know there’s an element of risk with the company, but they believe it’s an idea which is catching on, especially with retirees who want to downscale, and millennials who can’t afford traditional homes. The Hoffmans are now on a nationwide tour to build interest in the Living Vehicle.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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