Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Small Living
Old 07-18-2010, 11:34 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
Small Living

We saw a video today on You Tube about a guy that lives in a house that is less than 100 square feet. He has for 12 years and now designs and build small homes for others. Search for tumbleweed houses on YT.

It got us to talking about our future plans and downsizing and all that. Our plan (today) is when the kids move on to college and such we get a motorhome and see the country and take the opportunity to travel internationally while we don't have a stick house and a stick house mortgage. We can afford a mortgage or we can afford to take a lot of long trips to Europe, Australia and Asia, but likely not both at the same time. And why would we want to?

We also talked about park models, condo and such. We both agreed 100 square feet is a little small, but that an 800 sf motorhome or 1000 sf condo would do. Our current travel trailer goes about 400 sf and that would be tough for two of us, storage being the biggest issue. How small a house could you live in? Especially, if it meant FIRE instead of working. Does anyone live in something really small now? Just an interesting idea and I was getting sick of the DVD and book threads
__________________

__________________
Retired July 4th, 2010 at age 43
Trout Bum, Writer, Full-Time Dad and Husband


flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-18-2010, 11:59 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I lived for 4 year in a 152 sq. ft. apartment in France. It was just fine for me. I had a small hallway (with a coat closet), a bathroom (with sink, toilet and shower), a kitchenette (with sink, fridge, stove, toaster oven, and a small table and chairs for 2) and a small living room with enough room for a sofa-bed, coffee table, bookshelves and a large desk. I liked it a lot and would consider living in such small space if I was single again. The only "extra" I would require this time around would be a small washer and dryer (probably the stackable kind to keep the square footage down).
__________________

__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
I guess the smallest amount of space I'd need if I were very naughty would be a jail cell.

Otherwise, at least 600 sq ft. Add another person and the sq ft would need to double.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
I lived for 4 year in a 152 sq. ft. apartment in France. It was just fine for me. I had a small hallway (with a coat closet), a bathroom (with sink, toilet and shower), a kitchenette (with sink, fridge, stove, toaster oven, and a small table and chairs for 2) and a small living room with enough room for a sofa-bed, coffee table, bookshelves and a large desk. I liked it a lot and would consider living in such small space if I was single again. The only "extra" I would require this time around would be a small washer and dryer (probably the stackable kind to keep the square footage down).
Wow! That sounds like a lot of stuff for 152 sq ft. Back in my MegaCorp days, I was in a 10 x 15 office and all it held was a L shaped desk, a credenza, my chair and 4 guest chairs. Oh yeah, there was a book case too. I can't imagine fitting a bath, kitchenette, living room, etc in there.

Efficiency apartments in the Chicago area have similar features to what you describe but they are in the 300 - 400 sq ft range.

Typo?
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 12:31 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Wow! That sounds like a lot of stuff for 152 sq ft. Back in my MegaCorp days, I was in a 10 x 15 office and all it held was a L shaped desk, a credenza, my chair and 4 guest chairs. Oh yeah, there was a book case too. I can't imagine fitting a bath, kitchenette, living room, etc in there.

Efficiency apartments in the Chicago area have similar features to what you describe but they are in the 400 sq ft range.

Typo?
It's not a typo. In my current house, the library is about 190 sq. ft. and it is definitely larger than my entire apartment used to be. I am certain I could fit everything I described above in my library with room to spare.

Of course, you have to keep in mind that my furnishing was scaled to fit European-size apartments (IKEA stuff mostly). My kitchen table for example was at the most 2ft x 2ft. The table and chairs could be folded to conserve space. The kitchenette looked like what you would find in a class B RV: a small European fridge (under the counter with small freezer) with a 2-burner stove on top. Virtually no counter space (I used to kitchen table for prepping). The bathroom was very compact as well, 20 sq. ft. at the most. Come to think of it, it was like living in an RV.

Edit: it looks like my old apartment is now renting for 350 euros per month!
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
my furnishing was scaled to fit European-size apartments ........... The kitchenette looked like what you would find in a class B RV........ The bathroom was very compact as well, 20 sq. ft. at the most.

Thanks for the explanation. A very impressive use of space to say the least.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,385
My apartment is 500 sqft, and I have a pretty good sized storeroom in the basement, as well as a shared bike room for my bicycle. My storeroom is about 30 sqft I think.

My kitchen is large enough, but the fridge is not full size- it isn't one of those tiny hotel fridges, just a bit smaller in all dimensions than a normal refrigerator. I would do better with a larger one. Socially, my current apartment is fine for a cocktail party, but the LR is pretty small if I am going to feed 6 or more people.

I get by, but if I buy something it will be larger-at least 650 and maybe bigger.

I think those tiny bungalows are .

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 01:05 AM   #8
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
If I had to live in >1000ft2 to ER, I'd probably work a bit longer...at 100ft2, a lot longer. But, maybe that's just me...to each his own.
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I guess it depends what you are used to. Until I moved to the US, I had never lived in a dwelling larger than 1,000 sq.ft. I would think that the average European condo is somewhere around 500-700 sq. ft. My mom lives in what is considered a large condo and hers barely tops 900 sq. ft. When my European relatives learned that we were buying a house with 2,500 sq. ft. of living space, they were picturing Southfork in their minds!
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 01:43 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,385
You can get a lot of sqft for your money in the burbs, fewer in a nice building in the city center in an expensive city. It's a matter of taste. I'm not certain, but I would think that 500 sqft in midtown Manhatten in a non RC building might take $3500 or more.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 02:09 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
My current condo is 860 sqft and I don't use half of it. I really want out of this condo and may take a look at a house closer to work that is 462 sqft. That doesn't include a small attached garage or the basement. Should be more than big enough for me.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 02:16 AM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,890
Even at this stage in life I would be perfectly fine with 600 square feet, like BbbamI suggested, or 500 square feet plus storage downstairs, such as Ha described. About 400 square feet to live in, plus 60 square feet for a bathroom, and the rest would be closet/storage space.

This is assuming that I don't need square footage as a sound buffer between me and the neighbors, a huge and unwarranted assumption.

When I was younger, it was easy to live in much less space but then I didn't have much at that age and spent most of my time away, either working or out having fun.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 02:28 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,129
When I bought my first house, I moved from a small studio into a 1500 sq ft 3 bedroom house. It looked empty, and I didn't know what to do with all the space. In the next few years, I acquired all kinds of stuff to fill the space, and have spent the years since I sold it trying to get rid of things so I can move into successively smaller places. I'm currently living very comfortably in a 300 sq ft room, am looking around for slightly smaller and cheaper digs, and am fervently getting rid of still more stuff.

One advantage of the room I'm in now is that it has 10 ft high ceilings, giving me lots of room for shelving up near the ceiling.

I think I could live pretty comfortably in a 200 sq foot living space - especially if it had a shared kitchen and/or bathroom.
__________________
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 05:57 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
Cattusbabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 814
I saw that video and said to each his own. That would drive me bonkers. Can't live closed in like that. DH and I rattle around in 3300sq ft. I lived here alone for many years before I married. Granted we do not use all the space.......yet, but it was cheap when I bought it in 1992 and is cheap to maintain.
My dream home would have been a loft with loads of floor to ceiling windows. This home has high ceilings and tons of windows and I do not feel closed in here.
__________________
A todos los amantes del mundo. No importa el color de su piel, la pasion es universal.
_______________

La tavola e il letto non hanno restrizioni.
_____________
Any day your on this side of the grass is a good day.
Cattusbabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 07:29 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Well, the 4 of us and two dogs just spent 3 days in 7X16 feet, and we plan on doing so for an 8 day stretch next month. How is that for small?

Our condo was about 750 sq ft with some extra storage space. It was perfectly fine space wise. When we moved into our 1950 sq ft house BC (before children) there were rooms we did not go into for weeks at a time. I've little doubt that we will eventually downsize, but my youngest is 4 so it will be a while.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 08:30 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,422
Quote:
We also talked about park models, condo and such. We both agreed 100 square feet is a little small, but that an 800 sf motorhome or 1000 sf condo would do. Our current travel trailer goes about 400 sf and that would be tough for two of us, storage being the biggest issue.
I read that RVs are limited to 8'6" in width and 41' in length. This works out to less than 350 sf, not including wall thickness. No doubt, slide-outs would gain some square footage, but it is still not that much. I have read of double-decker class As, but my, that's more expensive than most homes!

Anyway, for most couples, a space of around 1000 sf would be sufficient I think. We have way too much space now, but selling and moving is a chore we cannot contemplate in the foreseeable future.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 08:31 AM   #17
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,539
If I was single I could do it but I doubt DW would have the patience. But wow, I'd have to get rid of a lot of stuff! Come to think of it, a lot of that is tools I use to maintain the house. And since I'm no longer building big R/C airplanes I wouldn't want a big workshop either.

So if I didn't have much maintenance to do I wouldn't need the tools....

But I'd still want a large shed to keep the boat, motorcycle, etc. in, and a garage makes a huge difference in how long a car lasts.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 08:42 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
...I'd have to get rid of a lot of stuff! Come to think of it, a lot of that is tools I use to maintain the house...
Tell me about it. Stuff begets stuff. Sigh...
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 09:14 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Tell me about it. Stuff begets stuff. Sigh...
Here it is again:

__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 09:24 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,422
"That's all your house is: a pile of stuff with a cover on it" - George Carlin.

My cover had a leak! In another thread, I have described the ordeal we went through recently because of it, with the drywall repair in addition to the roof.

That used RV that I bought, I discovered it also had a leak and I had to fix it. This has also been described here.

That's it! Covers are overrated. I am moving to a place where all one needs is a hammock strung between two coconut trees. The Puget Sound is out!
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What to do with small IRA? Khan FIRE and Money 14 09-11-2008 05:32 PM
Got small kids? Got small grandkids? cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 5 09-10-2008 10:52 PM
IJS vs. VBR (iShares small value & Vanguard small value) Fttaw FIRE and Money 1 01-22-2007 05:10 PM
standard on living or living with basic in US Enuff2Eat FIRE and Money 14 12-30-2005 11:35 AM
A small step, but... brewer12345 Young Dreamers 7 09-01-2004 07:08 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.