Advice and learnings

Why alternative housing options are a hot topic


Ian Urgarte is a full-time property investor, consultant , real estate advisor and owner of the business Small is the New Big. He is also Australia’s leading micro apartment, rooming house and boarding house specialist.

Ian has spoken to over 50,000 people over the past 5 years in the property development, micro apartment and personal development fields whilst also being a private mentor and coach where he is known for his personal style of challenging peoples’ thought processes and perceptions

Deb had the opportunity to chat with Ian about different aspects of housing affordability crisis in Australia, and how housing will inevitably have to change to suit population needs. Watch the video below to hear Ian explain the option of creating multi-generational living, and the prospect of new generation boarding houses.


Our expert advisors from Build in Common recently published this great story about a client who built a Tiny House. We love this story and had to share an extract.

To view the whole story head over to

Tiny-house-4… We had the trailer custom made and engineered to hold the weight of the Tiny House, a maximum of 4.2 tonnes, then we had a steel frame made and installed on the trailer. Even though the house is mobile, I designed its orientation to reduce the heat in summer but still get warmth in winter.

The high windows are on the south side so they let diffused light in but not too much heat in summer; they also provide gorgeous views of the countryside. The double doors are on the east to let in that lovely morning sun and there are no windows on the west as the house has to be quite exposed due to the solar panels. There is so much light we didn’t want it to feel too closed in and we knew we would be on a larger property, the views are amazing!

Our Tiny House is made from approximately 70% recycled materials, all the windows, doors, flooring and cabinets are recycled. It is cladded with recycled cedar and the floors are 140-year-old Baltic pine. The copper sinks were custom made by a local coppersmith and the staircase it has eleven different storage compartments. The house is completely off the grid with water tanks, solar panels and battery storage, a composting toilet, a very basic but elaborate greywater system, an LPG gas cooker and hot water.

The house is heated with a miniature woodfire stove from Canada and as for cooling we have strategically placed windows for cross ventilation. Being off the grid was a challenge with lots of research needed, but so worth it in the long run.


Build In Common

We believe that any woman can renovate, build or develop property; be it a renovation, extension, new-build, sub-division or a commercial development. Join us!

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