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See a dingy garage transform into a sunny tiny home for grandma

See a dingy garage transform into a sunny tiny home for grandma
Posted at 10:45 AM, Apr 04, 2024

The tiny home movement is still a big deal for people around the country looking for simple, more affordable housing options. Some people want tiny homes to help them downsize to fit their changing lifestyle. For others, like Monique Marshall, creating a tiny home out of her garage made bringing her mother home to live with her family a reality.

Marshall, 55, and her husband DeMille Halliburton struggled to figure out a way to move Marshall’s mother, Karin Notbom-Healey, to Los Angeles from New York. The 84-year-old Notbom-Healey had become a widow in 2021 — and her rent skyrocketed.

MORE: 12 gorgeous ‘granny pods’ to keep aging family members close 

“I knew immediately she couldn’t stay in her apartment in New York City anymore by herself,” Marshall told AARP.

But real estate prices in Los Angeles also made it impossible to buy another home. So, the couple looked at their own modest 1,200-square-foot house and property to see what they could do. The adjoining garage caught their eye as a possible “granny pod,” even though it was in bad shape.

“The garage was just a pile of junk,” Halliburton said.

MORE: Take a look inside this viral tiny home you can buy on Amazon

After taking out a loan to convert the garage into a home for Marshall’s mom, the couple had no idea where to begin. So they looked to their neighbors, Pierre De Angelis and Carmen Suero, who are architects, for guidance.

The team had 295 square feet to work with in the garage. The four friends brainstormed on how to best meet Notbom-Healey’s needs in her new home, while staying within the zoning laws to build the tiny home.

“We told them what was more important was that there was good light and that there was a bathroom,” Marshall said. “She does not like to cook, so there didn’t have to be a full kitchen.”

The designers also knew there needed to be a place for grandma to enjoy her records and make it feel like a home. So, they got to work.

The construction process took almost a year and $125,000 to complete. The renovation included a new roof and foundation, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, a tiled skylight and more.

Take a look at the stunning transformation from a dingy garage to a gorgeous tiny home in the AARP showcase video below.

Now, Notbom-Healey gets to spend time with her family as often as she wants, while living an independent life in the garage adjacent to their house.

“I’ve never been happier in all my life,” she told AARP.

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