Skip to content

When you think of a typical neighborhood, the vision that comes to mind is several hundred houses connected by a network of streets. You know the people close to you, but that’s about it. That’s what makes “pocket neighborhoods” so appealing to a growing number of people. Not surprisingly, builders and investors are starting to take notice.

A pocket neighborhood typically consists of 8-12 cottage-style houses nestled closely and all facing a common area, usually a green space or garden. Think of it as a secluded neighborhood within a neighborhood. An architect named Ross Chapin coined the term in 1996 after he and a developer built The Third Street Cottages – eight small homes tucked away from a busy street in Langly, Washington.

highlands langley pocket neighborhood

Pocket neighborhood in Langly,
Washington. (By Jtmorgan License SA 4.0)

When word got out about Chapin’s pocket neighborhood, the response across the country was incredible. That’s when he knew he had hit on something that people wanted, but couldn’t find – a deeper sense of community.

Now pocket neighborhoods are popping across the country.

At their core, pocket neighborhoods are designed to encourage interaction and provide a meaningful sense of community for their residents. The common area is communally maintained and serves as a gathering place. Casual conversations turn into pizza on the porch. Kids play freely while their parents and neighbors look on from their porches.

People look out for one another.

Are pocket neighborhoods a good investment?

Like Ross Chapin, other builders and developers are seeing the investment opportunities in pocket neighborhoods. Aging Baby Boomers and people with shared disabilities are finding a superior quality of life in pocket neighborhoods. The cost of living in a pocket neighborhood is typically far less than it would be to rent space in a group-living facility and offers a much greater sense of connection with neighbors.

More homes on less land are as desirable for pocket neighborhood residents as they are for builders and investors.

illustration of pocket neighborhood

A pocket neighborhood typically consists of 8-12 cottage-style houses nestled closely and all facing a common area, usually a green space or garden.

Interaction and privacy live hand in hand

But does this greater sense of community and heightened interaction come at the expense of privacy? For many people, the answer is no. And the reason why has everything to do with how these homes are designed.

Read More: 7 reasons to live in a small home

While homes in a pocket neighborhood are close to one another, the open side of one house always faces the closed side of the next. The open sides are designed with large windows that face the side yard, which opens up to the next house, while the closed sides feature high windows and skylights. That means inside life stays private and the only thing peeking through windows is natural light.

Who’s attracted to pocket neighborhoods?

Put simply, anyone who’s looking for a stronger sense of community. Empty-nesters, young families, retirees, millennials, and more are drawn to the closeness and connection that comes with pocket neighborhoods.

Pocket Neighborhoods and Mighty Small Homes are a perfect fit

The sustainable, highly-efficient small home kits offered by Mighty Small Homes are an ideal choice for builders and developers looking to create and invest in pocket neighborhoods. The Carriage, Modern, Ranch, and Cottage can all be easily customized to offer design features found in pocket neighborhood homes. Mighty Small Homes can be under roof in just 2 days and require a lot less labor than traditional homes.

Efficiency is built-in

While pocket neighborhoods can comprise homes of any size, the most common feature is smaller, more efficient designs. This is another area where Mighty Small Homes can be a great choice for a pocket neighborhood development. Every Mighty Small Home is built with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) that allow them to be airtight and 60% more energy-efficient than traditional, stick-built homes.

For people seeking savings on utilities in addition to all the benefits that come with pocket neighborhoods, Mighty Small Homes can be very appealing.


Questions about using Mighty Small Homes in a pocket neighborhood? We’re ready to talk.

Read More: Retirees can Live Large in Small Homes