Inside this posh, 500-square-foot capsule of luxury is white oak flooring, 9-foot ceilings, full bathroom, kitchen, living room, LED efficient lighting and premium sliding glass.
This is tiny. This is glitzy. This is a real estate nugget that can be plopped anywhere. And people, says former IU quarterback Zander Diamont, can’t get enough of these micro luxury homes.
Diamont, along with his business partner and best friend, Jared Amzallag, recently launched the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company Den, which builds the miniature houses.
In the world of real estate development, they’re technically called accessory dwelling units.
So yes, 25-year-old Diamont says, think of them as accessories, the bracelet or necklace to those massive outfits people call homes.
But there are more than homes on Den’s menu. The company also builds Think Dens (standalone office space), Sweat Dens (standalone gyms) and Work Dens (bigger office spaces).
They all are the real estate little brother, at less than $100,000, to what Diamont used to be involved in as an agent selling $6 million homes in L.A. — extravagant penthouses and massive mansions with rooftop pools and private cabanas.
But then, Diamont took a minimalist real estate turn, packed his bags and made a 373-mile trek to live in Arizona.
Townhomes and tiny houses
A year ago, Diamont was selling homes in places like Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice and Pacific Palisades. Sitting in front of clients who were twice, some three times, his age.
He had remarkable success. In 2019, his first full year as a luxury estate agent, Diamont racked up $20 million in transactions. As 2020 began, he had $12 million worth of homes up for sale.
At the same time, he and Amzallag started putting together a business model that involved flipping property in Inglewood.
But then came COVID-19. And like much of America, Diamont said he and Amzallag took a step back and started thinking. What should they do next?
“From the beginning when I started selling, I knew I wanted to one day be a real estate developer,” said Diamont, who gave up his final year of college eligibility at IU to protect his brain after multiple concussions. “It was where my heart is.”
He and Amzallag decided on developing larger, multiunit long-term projects, but L.A. wasn’t a feasible place to do that. They started traveling back and forth to Arizona. They secured investors and funding, found architects and builders, located land.
“We are ready to rock and roll,” Diamont remembers thinking.
He made the move to live in Scottsdale and the two went to work, developing 16 townhomes in the Central Avenue Corridor of Phoenix. But they wanted to get some income flowing.
“What does the housing market need?” Diamont said.
Come to find out, it needed tiny houses — and more.
Proud of development and IU football
With COVID, many people were stuck in their homes, not getting out much. They needed office space, gym space and, perhaps, a tiny home for in-laws to live in.
Den was launched two months ago to create income for Diamont and Amzallag while they worked on larger scale projects.
And yet, the company has taken off. In just weeks, five contracts have been signed to build different versions of Dens. Diamont said he gets calls and emails every day with inquiries for more.
In addition to the Live Den, a $98,000, 500-square-foot home, the company offers the Sweat Den, a luxury gym furnished with a full bathroom, steam room and padded floors. It is 250-square feet and sells for $66,000.
The Work Den is the larger version of office space, 200-square-feet and $45,000. The smaller Think Den is 100 square feet of office space and $38,000.
The options for his tiny pieces of real estate are endless, Diamont said. And he’s proud of them.
Proud that he knocked down his goal of getting into development — both with the town homes and the tiny homes.
But on another note, he has to get this in, too: He’s also feeling great pride about IU football.
“I have been following diligently (their season),” he said. “I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am to be a Hoosier and see all the success they are having.”