Justin Draplin is the Founder and CEO of Eclipse Cottages
An Alternative Solution to Traditional Housing
In the current housing market, rent is becoming more expensive, and availability is dwindling. Many looking to buy their first home right now have found themselves unable to do so due to a market that won’t — or can’t — accommodate their needs. The same goes for empty nesters trying to find a good downsizing solution; appropriately sized housing at an affordable price is missing.
However, some have found exciting alternative solutions, such as tiny homes like those offered by ECLIPSE cottages. The main factor that distinguishes these cottages, and the one that makes them such an eco-friendly and sustainable living option, is that they can be powered entirely by solar panels They “include up to 8kw of high-tech solar power technologies in every cottage we build,” explains Justin Draplin, Founder and CEO “Customers also have the option of adding on a lithium-ion battery backup.”
Indeed, these cottages produce more energy than they consume, allowing them to live off the grid for the average homeowner. With the optional battery backup in place, most cottage owners can comfortably live entirely off-the-grid with some on-site modifications, as the homes generally produce and store enough energy to power themselves in temporarily overcast conditions less conducive to solar power generation.
One of the biggest concerns about many tiny homes is whether they are durable enough to withstand unfavorable conditions. ECLIPSE cottages have steel SIP construction recognized by the ICC-ES and approved by the FBC, as well as having Florida Product Approval with HVHZ. They “are built to last, even in extreme circumstances,” Draplin asserts.
Another important feature that allows them to be livable off-the-grid is advanced water filtration. Water and sewage can be among the costliest utilities a homeowner has and are, unfortunately, also the most difficult utilities to forego. After all, clean running water is a necessity to lead a healthy lifestyle, but thanks to the technology built into these cottages, owners no longer have to hook up to municipal water services for washing or drinking water.
ECLIPSE cottages also stand out from the competition by offering up to four times the level of insulation required of homes of this type and size by residential building codes. In addition to the benefits this offers concerning sustainability and energy efficiency, the insulation also prevents pest/insect and water intrusion and eliminates mold, mildew, smoke, pollen, and other potential health contaminants.
These cottages are also move-in ready; purchasers are only responsible for furniture and some appliances in certain models. ECLIPSE will deliver and level the cottage. At that point, the buyer only has to furnish their home, and have it hooked up to local utilities should they opt to not include the off-the-grid upgrades for their unit. If the customer purchases the base model, there is no need for extra permitting, running utilities, or hiring additional contractors. Although some added features may require extra work — such as an optional porch add-on — the base model cottages are quite simple to install wherever a customer chooses to call their home.
Much of the reason tiny homes have gained such popularity and interest in the market is their affordability. “With prices beginning at $25,000 for the base model, ECLIPSE cottages are significantly more cost-effective than many housing alternatives,” says Draplin. “And unlike most traditional low-income housing options, your ongoing maintenance and utilities are less because of the quality construction.”
In addition to the low price point, these cottages have greater efficiency and lower maintenance costs. “Many forms of housing considered ‘low-income’ or ‘affordable’ housing may have lower rent or mortgage payments, but there are hidden costs that can be expensive in the long run,” explains Draplin. “Because many ‘affordable housing’ buildings are older, they cost more to upkeep and typically have higher energy costs. This isn’t an issue with (our) cottages.”
They are also eligible for financing through their partners, with no down payment in some cases for qualified applicants. ECLIPSE cottage customers could pay as little as $99 per month on the company’s latest model home, in addition to any fees they may have for the land or community in which they are located.
Although customers can choose to have their cottage delivered to wherever they live in the United States, some decide to live in one of ECLIPSE’s communities in South Carolina, which they call villages. The three communities are designed for like-minded individuals who wish to live sustainably and within a community. With plenty of amenities, tight-knit neighborhoods, and low community fees,these villages are an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to invest in a sustainable lifestyle.
ECLIPSE’s newest cottage model, the Comet, is nowavailable. This beautiful and sleek 128-square-foot compact cottage offers all of the ultramodern technology and amenities and meets all ANSI standards. Ideal for those who are looking for a super affordable place to live or wish to go off-grid and be completely sustainable, the Comet is the next evolution of ECLIPSE’s cottage offerings. It can be delivered directly to the customer’s property or purchased within one of the villages. Should a customer host the cottage on their property, it can serve as a wonderful accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in lieu of a traditional “mother-in-law suite,” or even be rented as an Airbnb to create a revenue stream and help pay your mortgage and bills.
ECLIPSE cottages are not only an affordable and viable way to live; they also offer significant environmental benefits. “Our customers have said time and time again that they love the sustainable lifestyle that our cottages offer them,” asserts Draplin. “They have the ability to live independently and affordably while helping the environment at the same time.”