Have house will travel: Inside the Tiny House Movement where more and more Americans have rejected tradition for a simpler - and cheaper - lifestyle
Once upon a time an American family’s home was their castle and the bigger the better, but growing concerns about meeting mortgage payments and the environmental impact of large houses has helped fuel a new movement of people who are happy to live small.There's so much wrong with this whole thing, I don't even know where to start. First off, this is not a new thing. This is a very old thing. When I was out in WY back in May, there were cabins on the ranch property that were easily over 100 years old that were the same size as these "tiny" homes. You know what *is* rather new? The idea that we need more than one room in a house. Check out the cabins and old shacks - or huts in third world nations - and you won't find "bedrooms" or "living rooms" or "great rooms." You'll find one room.
The Tiny House Movement is a growing group of people who are happy to downsize the space that they live in and enjoy simplified lives as a result.
Second, you know what else is missing in the story? Where do these tiny houses go? The ones on wheels - what's the permanent address? Where do their utilities come from? Yeah, didn't think of that, did you? The cost of the basic 8' X 24' home (under 200 sq. ft.) is $66K. Add the cost of a plot of land to that, and you're easily pushing $100K total (or more) depending on location.
Think you're going to play Caine and just wander the land? Good luck with that, having no permanent address or job, for that matter. Gas to haul something that heavy is expensive, and so are campgrounds. The 24' trailers weigh 15,000 pounds - that's a full-ton diesel pickup with a dual wheel rear axle, which is easily a $60K+ rig. Not only that, but you're talking single digit gas mileage when towing - and towing something that big is a major PITA.
Third, you know what else these "tiny house" people are missing? Anything even remotely resembling planning. Where do you store your tax records? Where do you keep extra provisions? Looking at a 200 sq. ft. home, I don't see a lot of room for extra canned veggies, toilet paper, or more than a handful of extra clothes for that matter. It doesn't seem likely that you'd be able to hold more than a few days worth of rations in a place that small.
When the Mrs. and I first started out, we had a small 2 bedroom apartment in a large complex. The whole layout was 650 sq. ft. We had to go shopping mid-week to garner the groceries we needed, because there simply wasn't enough room in the tiny galley kitchen to store all the food we needed to get through the week. Forget keeping a family's worth of extra food, toiletries, HBA, etc. on hand for future use.
It *sounds * really cool. $66K works out to something like $1200 a month for 5 years in a standard loan. Imagine paying off your house in 5 years. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The Mrs. and I were halfway through our mortgage when we moved; and still had very little to show for the money we'd actually invest at that point. I imagine it'd be awfully tempting, were we just starting out, to shell out for one of these teeny houses, with the idea that it would be all ours in just 5 years.
It's when you factor everything else in that it becomes truly unworkable...
That is all.