Is 3D-Printing A House The Way to Make Millennials Homeowners?
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) They say 3D printing will radically change the world . But is a 50 square-foot 3D-printed house taking 3D printing a little too far? Or could it be a legitimate way to help first time buyers and students buy their own home?
We cannot ignore the fact many young adults are in a bit of a rut when it comes to getting their foot on the property ladder.
Dustin Taylor, for example, who finished his degree in $50,000 of student debt is waiting tables at a comedy club to pay the rent. Taylor wants to get a mortgage and buy a home within five years.
"Home ownership is out of reach for me," Taylor told Yahoo! Finance . "Renting is fine for now, but I want to own a home for all of the clichéd reasons."
Meanwhile, as Mainstreet reported earlier this year, Daniella DiMartino has been living at home with her parents for the last four years. Living with her parents is her only option after accumulating $58,000 in debt from student loans .
According to the National Association of Realtors, in May this year, approximately 27% of total home sales involved first-time buyers , compared to an average of 35% since October 2008.
As the number of young adults between 18 and 34 living at home is on the rise and has risen to new highs, the government is looking for ways to help first-timer buyers onto the property ladder. Alternative loans such as FHA-insured loans , in which buyers purchase insurance and the government sets the rules and repays the lender's investment, are designed to help people become homeowners in the U.S.
As the government grapples with more affordable ways to help people to buy a home, organizations are coming up with their own methods to get people out of parental or rented accommodations and into their own homes.
Enter the 3D printed mini home
One particularly inventive some might argue ridiculous - way to get people on the property ladder has been thought up by a team of students from the U.S. and the U.K.
Students from UCLA and Huddersfield University in the U.K. have developed tiny 3D printed homes. A single property measures just 50 square feet but comprises of essential household items, including a bathroom, kitchen, bed and even a folding toilet. These portable homes, state the researchers, could be placed in various locations around the world.
The dome or mussel-shaped 3D-printed homes are part of a project on "Small Transportable Living." They are intended to provide an alternative for young people who are struggling to buy their first home.
Being entirely 3D-printed, these transportable mini homes provide a cheaper living solution than modern homes, states the researchers.