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When Size Does Matter: The Rise of the Tiny House Movement

Scorpio

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#1
When Size Does Matter: The Rise of the Tiny House Movement

Pete Nicholson | Jul 04, 2011 | Comments 1

For a growing number of people, green building is no longer only about the materials that are used in building a house, or the energy a house consumes. For many, building a truly green house comes down to something arguably more fundamental: the size of the house itself.

Over the last few years, a loose collection of people interested in smaller and more minimal living spaces have started to come together as something of a movement –– the Tiny House Movement.

The Tiny House Movement is not about living in deliberately tiny spaces. Instead, it’s about creating living spaces in which you have room for everything you really need –– and no more. It’s about simplified, cheaper living, self-sufficiency and social consciousness.

Tiny houses are, as you might expect, much smaller than their regular counterparts: where the average American home is usually around 2400 square meters, tiny homes are typically no bigger than 400 square meters.

A new breed of builders have taken up the challenge of turning small spaces into cosy, innovative and totally livable homes. Austin builder Louis R Burns is one of them. Burns recently completed an elegant, wonderfully simple 80-square meter tiny house, building the entire thing on a 16-foot trailer. Check it out in the video below:

‘Austin Tiny House was born out of necessity,’ Burns says. ‘That’s not a global climate change necessity, though it helps with that too. It was born out of the idea that I needed a place to live and wasn’t interested in flushing more rent money down the tubes. That necessity led me to a small but growing movement of people seeking greater simplicity and freedom in their lives.’

Because of their diminutive size, Tiny Houses are far cheaper than their conventional counterparts: Burns’ Austin Tiny House was built for $8500, and was put up for sale for just $10000.

Another amazing tiny house was recently featured by PBS. Its owner, Dee, moved from a large, regular house into a truly tiny 84-square-meter home that was smaller than her previous bathroom. As you’ll see, Dee has no regrets: she loves the simplicity of her new space –– and the fact it only costs eight dollars in utilities to run each month doesn’t hurt.

For more inspiring tiny houses, visit the Tiny House Blog.

http://www.greenrealestateinvesting...tter-the-rise-of-the-tiny-house-movement.html
 

gringott

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#3
When I was a young adult, single, I had no need of a large living space. The majority of my time was spent out working or socializing. Basically all I needed was a place to keep my stuff and crash when I wasn't crashing at some woman's place, yet housing was my major expense. I could have used a cheap "tiny space" yet even a small trailer was expensive when I was starting out, plus you need a place to park it, with water and utilities. I suspect the extremely high rents in some areas are making $10 to $15 grand seem cheap. However, I will say that as you get older and are home more often you might find a tiny space quite confining. I have a small house and some small land, I wouldn't want to go any smaller, this size is right for me.
 

Alton

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#5
The town next door just completed a Code Enforcement rampage tearing down or fixing up 1000 houses in 1000 days. I won't go into property rights issues here. However in the spirit of staying on topic the mayor's race is on and the republican challenger brought up 2 quite pertinent questions:
1) how will the city pay for maintaining all the empty lots (mowing, vermin, crime spots, etc.)?
2) Why are tiny houses NOT allowed?

My answers are as follows:
1) tax the remaining property owners even more to pay for empty lot upkeep and...
2) taxes will insufficient on tiny houses (Indiana constitutionally capped property tax increases at 1%)

This means municipalities have been desperately scrambling for ways to re-assess properties to increase tax revenues.

Another observation, I can buy yard sheds that are larger than some of these tiny houses and for much less money.
 

Ragnarok

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#6
I have seen the increase in tiny house postings on the internet. I am surprised at the high cost of many of them, equal to a conventional one or two bedroom small house. I do like that many are built on trailers so as to enable easy transport to other locations. Perhaps as the craft becomes popular prices will normalize. I just wish that states, counties and communities woild allow people to go off-grid with something like this as long as the setup meets code.

But in post-prosperity America the tiny house is the way to go imho.

R.
 

Rusty Shackelford

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#8
The houses that were tore down most likely had people that abandoned them. I know that is the case in my Indiana town. The City is paying for up keep on abandoned properties either way. At least being tore down, there is the possibility that they will be redeveloped or bought up by an adjacent property and added back to the tax rolls. Turning blind eyes to properties that have been abandoned will not make the issue go away.
 

D-FENZ

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#9
...Tiny houses are, as you might expect, much smaller than their regular counterparts: where the average American home is usually around 2400 square meters, tiny homes are typically no bigger than 400 square meters...

...Burns recently completed an elegant, wonderfully simple 80-square meter tiny house...

...Another amazing tiny house was recently featured by PBS. Its owner, Dee, moved from a large, regular house into a truly tiny 84-square-meter home that was smaller than her previous bathroom...
People are confused. Myself included. These houses seem big enough to me.

Maybe it's just the author that has their square meters and square feet mixed up.
 

Krag

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#11
I am happiest at night in a tent which is the ideal traditional form of housing; fully portable, extremely flexible and cheap, Walmart has them for under $50 new, what more could you ask for in most places 3 seasons....Winter is another matter. And I'm taller than 99% of people.
 

motowngold

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#12
All this tiny house conditioning is Agenda 21 mind control so that you will not only accept, but love your servitude.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
 

ToBeSelfEvident

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#13
I wouldn't mind a tiny house at some point. Heating and cooling would be extremely efficient. I would want a large outdoor space to live in, though, not somebody's back yard.
 

Krag

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#14
I like efficiency and privacy and a small house, Scotty camper or a tent that can be moved at will all fit the efficiency model. Of course if people really need big houses because of their productivity or a growing family that is another matter.
 
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Canadian-guerilla

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#15
the concept of " shelter " is a mindgame you play with yourself

how simple
can a life be
and still be a good one
 

stewie

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#16
America has officially reached third world shithole status.

Peasants for centuries have embraced the "tiny house" movement, it's called being poor.
 

Silvergun

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#18
I think its a cool idea for a remote cabin setting as a bug out location or vacation spot. Living in it full time with kids? Ya....not gonna happen.
 

Ragnarok

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#20
^^^ Two words: Insurance, registration.

R.
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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#21
I had a tiny house after my discharge from the service. It was a 1968 camper and i lived in it from 93 - 94, Then i moved up to a 76 mobile home, Then a house, lost to a mining bust. Back to renting and a mobile homes. Lived that way for a decade, met GIM, bought a 30 year mortgage that will be paid in 10... Thanks for the lessons, fellas. Understanding the world of banking has certainly made me far better off than I ever would have been without the bunch of you.

I do believe this lifestyle is being foisted upon us by the new world order crowd. Buy a used camper if you want to live tiny. You can find em for a couple of grand.
 

bb28

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#22
^^^ Two words: Insurance, registration.

R.
Full-coverage runs about $300-500/year with driving about 3000 miles and registration is about $200-400/year depending on the cost of the motorhome. Both of those costs go to negligible if you register the thing as non-op -- you don't need any coverage if you're not driving it.

bb
 

Eyebone

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#23
Jeez, let people live the way they want to live.

The problem is not the size of the house, its regulations and perceived 'property values'.

Where's the money for the real estate vultures and house 'flippers'?
 

gringott

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#24
Jeez, let people live the way they want to live.

The problem is not the size of the house, its regulations and perceived 'property values'.

Where's the money for the real estate vultures and house 'flippers'?
I suspect that is what is behind the article I found today. I don't agree with many of the points the author made, and think he is misleading in others, or they just don't apply to a person who would want to live in one of these. Example, your family might get bigger or you might get too old to live in one. There is a simple answer, sell it and move on. People do it all the time with houses that cost a lot more.


http://news.yahoo.com/why-tiny-house-living-isnt-always-frugal-choice-132500185.html

Why Tiny House Living Isn't Always the Frugal Choice

Tiny house living has been a growing trend over the past few years. In fact, there are numerous television programs that follow supporters of the lifestyle. In an effort to scale back, live in a more environmentally-friendly way and be more frugal, tiny house supporters have cast aside sprawling homes in favor of much tighter living quarters. For those of you still unfamiliar with the concept, it's a house that is 500 square feet or less in size.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, the average house size has increased more than 1,000 square feet from 1973 to 2013. With that fact in mind, it's understandable why some people pursue the tiny living model instead. A starter home for a couple or small family doesn't need to be nearly 3,000 square feet.

A smaller house can mean less consumption and mindless spending and a more positive impact on the environment. But there are also other factors to consider when weighing whether it makes sense for you and your budget to join the tiny house movement. Here are three reasons why living in a tiny home can end up costing you more money, not less:

1. It's not sustainable.

The main argument against living in a tiny home is that it's not sustainable. That argument makes sense. Consider some of the following questions: Will your family grow to include additional members? Do you or your family members prefer privacy? What are you going to do when you're too old to climb over your kitchen to get in your bed? Where are you going to store personal keepsakes that you don't want to part with?

Those are just but a few of the questions to consider. For some people, answering these questions might confirm that a tiny house is right for them. But that will be true for a very small portion of the population.

2. It's too expensive.

How can a tiny house be expensive? Many who pursue tiny house living do so to spend and consume less. When you look at the cost of an average tiny house compared to more traditional homes, you actually see tiny houses often cost more, relatively speaking.

Forbes reports the average cost of a tiny home is $200 to $400 per square foot. Compare that against what a standard house costs per square foot. The 2010 Census breaks down the average cost of a new, single-family house at just over $84. The highest region of the county, the Northeast, averages just over $110.

A quick check reveals that a tiny house is anywhere from two to nearly five times higher than the cost of a single-family home. They also tend to come with less land attached.

3. Potential legal issues.

Zoning related to tiny houses pose another issue. As many tiny houses come on wheels, they can run into issues with municipalities who have little to no legal establishments for tiny house dwellers.

This isn't meant to say living in a tiny house is illegal, per se, but rather that many regions of the country simply aren't set up to allow for tiny house living. Safety issues, potential difficulties hooking up to utilities and more can lead to expensive and time-consuming legal challenges.

As long as you are mindful of these challenges to frugality, then tiny house living might still make sense for you. The point is to be mindful. Benefits include lower utility bills, less of a temptation to fill your home with expensive things and a lower or no mortgage.

The desire to live more frugally and be free of debt are great things to pursue. But you can also reduce your impact on the environment while living in an average-sized house.

Living in a tiny house has been glamorized as a way to cut down. That might work for some people, but for others, the factors mentioned above can change the equation. Be sure to consider all costs, including long-term ones, before deciding to move into a tiny house. Ultimately, the best frugal choice for you depends on more than just the size of your home.

John Schmoll is the founder of Frugal Rules, a finance blog that regularly discusses investing, budgeting and frugal living. He is a father, husband and veteran of the financial services industry who's passionate about helping people find freedom through frugality.
 
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#25
Spot on, they want people to get use to the idea of stack and pack housing thats coming to a city or town near you if you live in one of the larger metro areas, if not well they want you to move when they have your new box ready.

And the word sustainable is a dirty word to me.
Its just anothrr mental mind fuk that the UN uses.

Keep buying ammo lots of UN troops gonna need killin soon.

All this tiny house conditioning is Agenda 21 mind control so that you will not only accept, but love your servitude.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
 

Ishkabibble

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#27
Motorhomes are a much better investment. Easy to access parts, portable, cheaper, and DIY too often looks like DIY. When you factor in the genset, heater, propane tanks, water heating and all else, the Tiny home cost really adds up; these are standard features of any RV.
 

Irons

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#28
Living in a Tiny House Stinks