Words by Tess Becker
The housing crisis in the United States cannot be overstated. In 2021, home prices rose faster than ever. The median sales price for an existing home was $346,900, up a whopping 17% from the prior year.
People can’t find places to live and the market they’re diving into isn’t sustainable – that’s where Eclipse Cottages hopes to make a dent.
Eclipse Cottages is a sustainable home company focused on affordability and efficiency, environmental impact and community.
“Having a family, having kids, and the way that we live our lives affects what my thinking is these days,” Eclipse founder and CEO Justin Draplin tells Smiley News. “Quite frankly, banks and government are making housing more difficult and more expensive, so we’re coming up with solutions to address that.”
A journey through New York City seeing and hearing the stories of homeless people who are struggling to meet the consistently growing demands of US metropolitan areas had a particular impact on the work he wanted to do.
“They all had a heartbreaking story and most of them were straight up being ignored," he says. "I get it, there are millions of people there and you can't save everybody, but it was one of those things that greatly affected me as a person and the way I think about things."
The biggest focus on making these affordable homes was making them with quality and sustainability in mind. To Justin, there are ways to make cheap houses but the final product is often much lower quality than it could be.
The houses themselves come in a few different models, each relatively small cottage size adobes around 400 square feet, that sit in small villages with a focus on community and accessibility.
To craft these homes, they shirk a traditional homebuilding route looking for affordable alternatives that make the buildings more sustainable and just as structurally sound.
The roofs are made with a solar-integrated material and the foundations are built with steel framing and a specific custom siding with insulation efficiency in mind. They claim that you can even live fully off the grid if you so please.
“On every aspect of our build, we're at the cutting edge of the existing technologies from a sustainability standpoint, and just from a construction quality standpoint,” Justin says.
Depending on the model you choose and potential upgrades to that model, Justin says that the homes can range anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000 dollars with the goal of getting their financing as low as $99 a month.
“We're going to make these phones so much more affordable than what currently exists,” Justin says. “No matter what you look at whether you're looking at single-family homes, manufactured homes, housing, apartments, condos.”