ST. PETERSBURG — At the St. Petersburg Tiny Home Festival, even the dogs are smaller than average. You try rooming with a greyhound in a 168 square foot home made of old wooden pallets.

On Saturday, hundreds of people flocked to the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center for the two-day festival to check out one of the hottest trends in real estate: living tiny.

Some were there to buy. Others looked to rent or show off renovated school buses or repurposed shipping containers. One family of five displayed an old bloodmobile that they use as a full time home. They call it “Half Pint.”

All came out on a rare Florida day that felt like spring to enjoy the novelty of the 30-some tiny homes on display. (Warning: only a few people can fit in a tiny home at once, so lines can get pretty long.)

Small dwellings offer the benefit of affordability and a decreased environmental impact, proponents argue. Still, it’s unclear how precisely tiny living became a full-on phenomenon.

By 2:45, the grounds were at capacity, forcing a few dozen enthusiasts to wait for their chance to enter. If you’re planning to go Sunday, get there early. The festivities start at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center. If you buy tickets online, they’re $5 cheaper than at the gate.

When you get there, be sure to check out these five homes:

1. Cruising Caravan

Asking price: $25,000 or best offer

Size: 27 feet (16 feet of living space)

Company: DIY Tiny House Guy

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Cruising Caravan constructed by Colby
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Cruising Caravan constructed by Colby "DIY Tiny House Guy" Biondo is 16' long and is for sale for $25,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

Colby Biondo spent more than a quarter century in the marine industry before he got into the tiny home game. He brought his fourth tiny home, the nautical-themed Cruising Caravan, to the Tiny Home Festival with the hopes of selling it. The unit features a series of shelves lined with trinkets salvaged from discarded ships surrounded by a flat screen TV; a full bathroom and a small kitchen. The unit’s bed lives in the ceiling, but can be lowered with an ingenious homemade pulley system.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Cruising Caravan constructed by Colby
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Cruising Caravan constructed by Colby "DIY Tiny House Guy" Biondo is 16' long and is for sale for $25,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

Biondo hopes to use the profits from the Caravan, in which he currently lives, to outfit a “Skoolie” — converted school bus. He wants to travel the country and help aspiring tiny dwellers realize their own dreams.

2. Tiny Studios Bungalow

Asking price: $42,350

Size: 20 feet

Company: Tiny Studios

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Tiny Studios Bungalow which is a converted 20' shipping container featuring 160sq ft of living space starts at $42,350 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Tiny Studios Bungalow which is a converted 20' shipping container featuring 160sq ft of living space starts at $42,350 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

This bungalow is perhaps the most upscale tiny home on display at the festival. Inside, a tasteful corner sofa basks in the ample natural light offered by the unit’s wide open windows. The kitchen is just a few arm’s lengths away from the living area, but the layout feels orderly and comforting.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Tiny Studios Bungalow which is a converted 20' shipping container featuring 160sq ft of living space starts at $42,350 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Tiny Studios Bungalow which is a converted 20' shipping container featuring 160sq ft of living space starts at $42,350 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

Tiny Studios homes, made of once-used shipping containers, are customizable and luxurious. The most expensive unit, the 480 square foot “Villa” goes for $90,000. They could make the perfect beach shack if you’re willing to spend a little coin.

3. Little Blue Traveler

Size: 18 feet, we think — it has never been measured

The Little Blue Traveler is not for sale. At least not yet. Michelle Mattson and her husband, Travis, wanted an affordable way to travel the country with their two teenage sons. They bought an old school bus for $860, then outfitted it with a DIY couch that turns into a bunk bed; a junk yard fridge and a storage rack up top.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Little Blue Traveler is a converted Levy County school bus known as a Skoolie was purchased for $860 with approximately $4000 of renovations and additions is featured at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Little Blue Traveler is a converted Levy County school bus known as a Skoolie was purchased for $860 with approximately $4000 of renovations and additions is featured at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

They haven’t needed the storage rack much, Michelle said, so on cool nights in the American West, they’ve used it as an “observation deck.” At the Grand Canyon, the family camped atop their vacation home on wheels.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Little Blue Traveler is a converted Levy County school bus known as a Skoolie was purchased for $860 with approximately $4000 of renovations and additions is featured at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Little Blue Traveler is a converted Levy County school bus known as a Skoolie was purchased for $860 with approximately $4000 of renovations and additions is featured at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

4. Backyard Cottage

Asking price: $25,000

Size: 15 feet

Company: Bonaparte

People buy tiny homes for all sorts of reasons. Some want to outfit a personal space — think of the dreadfully named “man cave” or “she-shed.” Others want to give their relatives a place to live that’s close, but not too close.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Backyard Cottage by Bonaparte is a small Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) that is 15 feet long complete with bathroom, AC, heating, and sink starting at $25,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Backyard Cottage by Bonaparte is a small Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) that is 15 feet long complete with bathroom, AC, heating, and sink starting at $25,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

Bonaparte, in Sarasota, is a tiny home retailer that tries to offer whatever the small dweller might want. They’ve got several homes on display at the festival, but be sure to check out the backyard cottage. It’s a neat structure outfitted with crisp pine, an electric stove and an impressive bathroom. And as far as retail options go, it’s one of the more affordable tiny homes if you’re looking to buy.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The inside of the
LUIS SANTANA | Times The inside of the "Backyard Cottage," which can be found at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg Collge on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

5. NextGen

Asking price: $40,000

Size: 24 feet

Company: Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

The NextGen is the most spacious-feeling tiny home at the festival. Walk in and you almost don’t notice the gas stove or fridge because of the spacious loft that covers most of the top of the house. The unit for sale at the festival normally goes for about $60,000, but Tampa Bay Tiny Homes is offering $40,000 because it’s already hosted family camping trips for the company’s Brian Zmich and Herb Dorsey.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Next Gen tiny home made my Tamp Bay Tiny Homes a 24' home complete with a gas range and simulated fireplace that starts at $56,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Next Gen tiny home made my Tamp Bay Tiny Homes a 24' home complete with a gas range and simulated fireplace that starts at $56,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

Dorsey, a St. Petersburg native, thinks "ultra-functional" tiny living has the potential to transform the Tampa Bay housing market.

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Next Gen tiny home made my Tamp Bay Tiny Homes a 24' home complete with a gas range and simulated fireplace that starts at $56,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
LUIS SANTANA | Times The Next Gen tiny home made my Tamp Bay Tiny Homes a 24' home complete with a gas range and simulated fireplace that starts at $56,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.

“My goal since I’m from here is to really solve that affordability problem here locally,” Dorsey said.