Alexa, order me a house?


After becoming everyone’s go-to online shopping mecca, formidably contending with Hulu and Netflix and even upending the grocery industry by buying Whole Foods, it’s clear that Amazon is in the business of disrupting just about any industry it chooses.

Clearly, the real estate industry is not immune from disruption, and the retail giant recently dipped its toes in the waters by teasing a Realtor referral service this summer. However, the days of simply logging in, browsing homes and clicking “buy” seem far away, unless potential buyers are interested in a very specific type of home: Tiny homes.

Amazon recently started selling pre-fabricated tiny homes made by Wisconsin-based MODs International. The homes are fully finished shipping containers that have a bedroom, shower, toilet, sinks, kitchenette and living area in 320 square feet — all for $36,000, plus about $3,754 in shipping.

Tiny homes have been growing in popularity in recent years, especially with prospective buyers who want to live simpler, reduce their footprint or just want to plop down a home in a spot where it’s difficult to build a traditional home. It appears that the fad is just that: A trend that is on its way out as people realize that they actually do want more square footage. In a survey Trulia conducted over the summer, 41 percent of homeowners said their biggest regret in the purchase was not opting for more space.

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