A Harvard grad invented these $US139,000 stackable homes that can be built in under three weeks

Jeff Wilson spent one of his two years as dean of Huston-Tillotson University in Texas living in a dumpster.

The experience made him embrace minimalist living, and inspired him to launch a tiny housing startup, called Kasita, in 2015.

“While the experiment was extreme, the experience I gained by living small and simple made a big impression,” Wilson says. “At the end of the year, I left the dumpster with the concept for a new category of housing — a beautiful, small footprint home designed as a solution for the growing housing crisis.”

Based in Austin, Texas, Kasita offers housing units that can sit by themselves or stack to form apartments. The pre-fabricated homes can be assembled off-site and delivered in two to three weeks, Wilson says.

The startup is now selling its first units, which measure 352 square feet and cost $US139,000, across the US. There is currently a waitlist for preorders — $US1,000 holds a spot.

Keep scrolling to check out the units, which will likely be ready for delivery in June 2017.

Kasita (a startup that gets its name from 'casita,' the Spanish word for 'little house') sells tiny housing units that encourage a minimalist lifestyle.

Kasita

The interiors have a modern look. At 352 square feet, white walls help the units look larger than they are. (For comparison, the average one-car garage measures about 260 square feet.)

Kasita

The main, open-layout space functions as both a living room and bedroom. In the model unit, a bed pulls out from the sofa (though the units come unfurnished).

Kasita

Across from the living room, there's a sleek kitchen.

Kasita

While they don't include full ovens, there are electric stovetops and dishwashers.

Kasita

Around the corner, there's a bathroom with a shower.

Kasita

Since the units are so small, they are designed with space-saving storage. Drawers are located inside stairs.

Kasita

Each home also features tech integrations, including glass windows that adjust their transparency depending on the amount of natural sunlight.

Kasita

Kasita units can also stack on top of each other to form a complex ...

Kasita

... or they can sit on rooftops.

Kasita

The first batch of stackable units, which people can also pre-order online, will be delivered in December 2017.

'We want to take the noise out of buying a home. Imagine how great it would be to be able to buy a home as easily as you buy a product,' Wilson says. 'The long-term plan would be that you could just put in your address and credit card number and we would care of the rest.'

Wilson, who's also a Harvard graduate and a former IBM project manager, got the idea for Kasita after living in a dumpster for a year in 2014.

Sarah Natsumi

Owning a lot of stuff felt burdensome, so he sold the majority of his possessions and moved into (and renovated) the small, empty dumpster in Austin, Texas.

Sarah Natsumi

He says that the Kasita is both 'a product and a home.' The way that his team designs future Kasitas will evolve, depending on owners' needs and wants.

Kasita

'The way we build housing (and even skyscrapers) hasn't changed substantially in over 100 years and a lot of that lag is because we haven't updated the way we approach building,' he says. 'A house is built once and it's only improvement will be a marble countertop replacement in 30 years. A Kasita product can iterate version upon version and improve based on user experience.'

Kasita

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