Tiny Houses

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Photo from country living dot com.

Tiny houses are in such demand these days that it is now referred to as a movement.  If I am not mistaken, the tiny house movement came out the current minimalist lifestyle movement.  I am excited about the minimalist lifestyle and embrace it.  For quite some time I have been getting rid of clutter in my house, and it is a very freeing activity.  Not only do I get more free flow of space, but there are less things to have to dust when it’s time to clean.  Like many things though, I think that humans tend to take things to the extreme.  I see the tiny house movement as taking minimalism to extreme.  As the tiny house movement continues to grow I see that builders are also taking advantage of tiny house seekers.

I have been binge watching tiny house shows on Netflix and You Tube.  Many of them look really cute.  It seems that in the beginning of the movement many of the people who own tiny houses built it themselves at great savings.  Those who did not build their tiny house themselves, for whatever reason, had them built for them very inexpensively.  As I bing watched tiny house episode after episode, I was shocked to learn how much people now have to spend.  These days, a very basic tiny house with at least a little character can cost $50k just for the shell.  One couple wanted hardwood flooring and the builder said that would add $8k to the price.  Electric and plumbing would cost another $20k.  Price gauging has infiltrated the tiny house industry because so many people desire to have one.  There is no way in the world that a tiny 600 square feet or less house should cost $8k to lay hardwood flooring in it, and I’m sure that it really doesn’t.  Neither should plumbing and electric amount to $20k.  This is clearly price gauging.  Builders have recognized a new avenue to make money and they are taking huge advantage of it.  These homes are not even really made that well by professional builders, even though many of them look gorgeous inside by having features such as the subway tile look in the cooking and bathroom areas.

One of the benefits of owning a tiny house is that they are supposed to be so much cheaper than buying a conventional home.  The tiny house owner could live mortgage free.  For what some tiny houses costs these days I don’t consider it worth it.  If I ever decide to downsize the square footage of my living spaces I would purchase a cottage style home that is around 1200 square feet, but with lots of land around me so that I can grow my own food.  At least I would feel comfort in knowing that I have real equity in it, and that if I decided to sell it after a few years I have a better chance of getting someone to buy it.

As much as the tiny house movement has grown, it is not for everyone.  I know that I would never buy one because as much as I do not like clutter, I do value space.  Even living by myself, I do value space a lot.  I love the free flow of space and do not like tight spacing at all.  If I was married there is no way I would live in a tiny house with my husband.  No matter how much I love a man, I do not need or even want him to be in my line of view at such close proximity 24/7.   It is nicer to have someone around, but I have a very independent nature, so I do thrive being with just myself and doing my own thing.  Some couples buying tiny houses have small children.  What do you do if you and the hubby wants to have sex and the children are right overhead in the loft style sleeping area?

Another issue with tiny houses is the plumbing.  Plumbing can be a problem, so many of the homeowners are given the option of installing a compost toilet instead.  There is no darned way that I would live in a house without a reliable and working FLUSHING TOILET.  Having an outhouse kind of bathroom facility inside or outside would gross me out.  Minimalism, to me, is not about going backward in time.  Tiny houses would additionally hinder my love of cooking and home decor.

Minimalism and simplicity is one of the goals of tiny house living, but I have seen many tiny houses that were filled with clutter.  One of the You Tubers that I follow downsized from renting a large home to renting a small 600 square feet cottage.  After 3 years the cottage was just as cluttered as the large home they used to live in.   From what I have seen I don’t think that having less space necessarily keeps you from bringing in clutter.  I think that it takes a conscious effort to live clutter free no matter how big or small your living spaces are.   After I donated a boat load of items to Goodwill I have made conscious efforts not to bring in more stuff to replace what I just got rid of.

It is going to be interesting to see if the tiny house movement gains even more strength and sticks around for a while.  If it doesn’t will lots of tiny house home owners get stuck with tiny houses that won’t sell?  The tiny house movement, to me, is extreme because it seems to be about extremely denying oneself the comforts of home and giving the finger to abundance.  From a spiritual standpoint I cannot align myself with that.  While I do not need to live in a house as large as what I have now, and would be very comfortable and happy living in a house half the size, I do believe that the Source of all of our lives did not put us here to live in limitation.  Abundance is not a bad thing.  Of course, if you really like living that way and its plenty of living space for you then more power to you, but if a tiny house is going to cost almost as much as a conventional one then it is something serious to take into consideration.

Would you buy a tiny house?

3 comments

  1. Ann Marie says:

    I would not buy tiny house. I to live in Apartment. And love it. I can’t afford a house of any size in New Jersey. Taxes are to high here. So l will wait. For when I move out of State. But, doesn’t stop me from looking for a 2 bedroom house. With nice size back yard. To plant things in. Lot’s of flower’s and fruit trees. And place to entertainment. With my friend’s and family.

  2. Servetus says:

    No, I wouldn’t live in a house like this. If I wanted to live in a small house in the country, there are plenty around here with 1-2 bedrooms. And I’ve been living in 600 square feet (approximately) since 1992, in apartments, so I don’t have a huge need for more space (I see living with my dad that all the extra space is just an incentive to collect stuff). Apartment living suits me pretty well, and I think living in an apartment complex, or purchasing an existing small home is less environmentally wasteful than building a box. To me this whole movement is heavily infected by consumerism (sort of like that magazine Real Simple, which is just mostly advertising for things you can buy to make your life “more simple”).

    • Xenia says:

      Servetus you brought up another thing about tiny houses that I have thought about a lot but forgot to include in my blog post. From an environmental standpoint buying a house that already exists is always better than building a new one. This tiny house movement is doing very little for sustainability.

      I think that in the beginning the tiny house movement was not about consumerism, but I would say that is certainly the case now. It is no longer associated with hippies or anyone who was anti establishment and concerned about the planet. Lots of people with money are buying tiny houses now, and they want them to look like tiny mcmansions.

      I loved every apartment that I ever lived in. I could still be happy living in an apartment. I’m just more of a house type of gal.

      More space does encourage people to collect stuff, but like I wrote in my post, I am not sure having a small space stops people from consuming stuff either. AT least not from what I have seen. I think that more people need to make a conscious effort to not consume so much stuff.

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