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Tiny houses
Old 08-09-2016, 12:46 AM   #1
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Tiny houses

I record HH and HHI on HGTV and watch them in batches, skipping through the commercials

But I still see commercials about Tiny House Hunters.

I searched my Tivo and I see the following:

Tiny House Nation
Tiny House Hunting
Tiny House Hunters
Tiny House, Big Living
Tiny House World
Tiny House Builders


This seems like extreme downsizing. And if there are that many shows about it, it must be a real phenomenon.

Maybe due to the financial crisis? I haven't watched many of these shows, just snippets and the people talk about financial independence or wanting to travel with the money saved.

There is probably some ecological component as well.

I would assume most of these are younger people, not just for financial and environmental reasons but also that you have to be limber to live in these compact spaces. For one thing, the "bedroom" is often a loft that you access by a ladder and you can't stand up in these lofts.

I have an episode on right now and the family wants something on wheels to travel around the country. They have two young kids. Travel is fine but what about schooling for the kids? They're going to tiny home-school?

If they're doing this for idealistic reasons, I can sort of respect it but otherwise, scratching my head.

Not sure this is LBYM either. Maybe some of these people want to drop out from the rat race like some ER people but not necessarily with the goal of FI.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:28 AM   #2
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If someone wants to drastically lower their cost of living, a fifth wheel RV would be a much more reasonable way than a tiny house. You get twice the room at half the cost--and they're much more comfortable.

I've yet to find a tiny home park--or a place that would even allow them to be in any city. Regular homeowners wouldn't want'em around lowering property prices.
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
I record HH and HHI on HGTV and watch them in batches, skipping through the commercials



But I still see commercials about Tiny House Hunters.



I searched my Tivo and I see the following:



Tiny House Nation

Tiny House Hunting

Tiny House Hunters

Tiny House, Big Living

Tiny House World

Tiny House Builders





This seems like extreme downsizing. And if there are that many shows about it, it must be a real phenomenon.



Maybe due to the financial crisis? I haven't watched many of these shows, just snippets and the people talk about financial independence or wanting to travel with the money saved.



There is probably some ecological component as well.



I would assume most of these are younger people, not just for financial and environmental reasons but also that you have to be limber to live in these compact spaces. For one thing, the "bedroom" is often a loft that you access by a ladder and you can't stand up in these lofts.



I have an episode on right now and the family wants something on wheels to travel around the country. They have two young kids. Travel is fine but what about schooling for the kids? They're going to tiny home-school?



If they're doing this for idealistic reasons, I can sort of respect it but otherwise, scratching my head.



Not sure this is LBYM either. Maybe some of these people want to drop out from the rat race like some ER people but not necessarily with the goal of FI.

Home schooling could work better than staying in one place. Only one parent can drive. So while on the road, the younger kids can play alphabet games with road signs. Geography games--name places-we played a game where we named places and the last letter of one name had to be the first letter of the next place.

You could have a vehicle equipped with wi-fi. History and geography are learned better when not tied to textbooks, with their emphasis on conflict and important people. See the desert, not just read about it. Geology, biology, agriculture, ecosystems.

When I was in first grade, my parents pulled us out of school for a vacation in November, because my dad could not get a summer vacation. My parents got our school work assignments for the week and we brought our school work. We went camping in the desert in Southern California. We worked about an hour a day and were way ahead of the class when we got back.


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Old 08-09-2016, 06:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
If someone wants to drastically lower their cost of living, a fifth wheel RV would be a much more reasonable way than a tiny house. You get twice the room at half the cost--and they're much more comfortable.

I've yet to find a tiny home park--or a place that would even allow them to be in any city. Regular homeowners wouldn't want'em around lowering property prices.
+1

These tiny homes look to be a passing fad. As stated above, an RV is much more comfortable, roomier with the slides, and much, much easier and safer to tow. Just don't understand it.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:45 AM   #5
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Having lived now over two months in our RV pod, which looks like a tiny house when you put it on the ground, I can see why people go for it. In our -4000sqft house we used just the bedroom, den, kitchen, and bathroom. With no guests, I would not have had a problem combining the den and bedroom. The kitchen was connected to the den. I do miss the larger bathroom.

The positives are how easy it is to heat and cool. We are able to cool our pod down to 70 on a 85 degree sunny day just using solar and the 6000 BTU A/C. The 18000 BTU propane furnace heats the pod from 50 to 70 in under 10 minutes.

If we build a little place in the future it will be under 500 sq ft if permits allow.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:10 AM   #6
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I don't think it's a passing fad, but I also don't think that legions of folk are about to start living in 120 sq foot homes (though some do and will).

Some of the sites and businesses that promote tiny house living also include information and plans for relatively "large" homes on a regular foundation, in the 400 - 900 sq foot range. My take on it is that, just as many things in our society operate in a cyclical fashion, currently, a lot of folk are re-evaluating the mores of previous generations and deciding they can do things a little differently. It's not about trying to get everyone to live in a tiny house, but it is about challenging the norms of our culture and letting people know that there are other ways to live that are equally valid. Maybe a 110 sq ft house isn't your thing, but perhaps you'd be happier in 600 sq ft than stretching your budget to afford the 2500 sq ft house that you thought you were"expected" to raise a family in? Some of the tiny homes are very creatively conceived and laid out.

A few generations ago, average house sizes were smaller, and I see this movement as the current generation's way of wondering whether it wouldn't be such a bad idea to return, at least partially, to that.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:22 AM   #7
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...an RV is much more comfortable, roomier with the slides, and much, much easier and safer to tow. Just don't understand it.
DW and I think these folks are delusional. Maybe they do aspire to being hipsters and to simplifying their lives big time - more power to them.

But when they start making it a requirement that the place has a composting toilet, well, enough said.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:29 AM   #8
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I don't get it either. DW and I went to tiny house "display" where you could walk through 4 or 5 of them. Expensive compared to an rv. Too small. And extremely limited as to where you could put one. And the whole deal where you can pack it up and move it is crazy. But I could see something in the 600-800 sf range in a permanent tiny house subdivision being possible.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I don't think it's a passing fad, but I also don't think that legions of folk are about to start living in 120 sq foot homes (though some do and will).

Some of the sites and businesses that promote tiny house living also include information and plans for relatively "large" homes on a regular foundation, in the 400 - 900 sq foot range. My take on it is that, just as many things in our society operate in a cyclical fashion, currently, a lot of folk are re-evaluating the mores of previous generations and deciding they can do things a little differently. It's not about trying to get everyone to live in a tiny house, but it is about challenging the norms of our society and letting people know that there are other ways to live that are equally valid. Maybe a 110 sq ft house isn't your thing, but perhaps you'd be happier in 600 sq ft than stretching your budget to afford the 2500 sq ft house that you thought you were"expected" to raise a family in? Some of the tiny homes are very creatively conceived and laid out.

A few generations ago, average house sizes were smaller, and I see this movement as the current generation's way of wondering whether it wouldn't be such a bad idea to return, at least partially, to that.
Very well put. It's one of many possibilities in obtaining basic shelter if one wishes to emphasize other aspects of life than accumulations of stuff or status. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average size of a new single-family American residence in 1950 was 983 square feet.

We have become accustomed to larger houses just because we can afford that lifestyle.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:35 AM   #10
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Watched a couple of tiny-house shows at the gym or in Dr.'s waiting room (where somebody else chooses the channels). To me, the appeal was evidently that of a clever toy, say a doll house or jewel box (lots of unexpected, clever little touches everywhere).

Fun to contemplate, maybe even fun to do for a while, but not something you'd want to live in forever.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:37 AM   #11
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I doubt that the market for tiny houses (300 sq. ft. and under) will ever become large...it seems to appeal to a small group of young people who don't mind that you can't stand up in the bedroom. The people profiled on these shows also seem more concerned with their "footprint" than practicality and long term living. I've seen a couple with a 6'-4" husband and an 80 pound dog build a 200 sq. ft. house. They claim to be happy once the construction is done, but I'd love to see a follow-up and see how they feel 2 years later.

As Major Tom stated, homes 600 - 900 sq. ft. are much more practical in the long run, and make much more sense for young people starting out.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:45 AM   #12
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One of the shows we watched had a family of 7(!) moving into less than 200 sq ft. of modified school bus. Pass. Anything where there's a chance you might have to literally crawl over people to move around is too small for me.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:07 AM   #13
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I know more than one couple who live in a mcmansion yet take weeks of ocean cruises in a cabin smaller than even a tiny house.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:29 AM   #14
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One couple said they were going to force themselves to live in a smaller space. They saw one 400 sq. ft. option and the husband worried the extra space would tempt them to acquire more stuff.

I can see the jewel box/doll house fascination. The hunters seem wowed by the clever aspects of design, such as a space with walls that slide out, jutting out to create a bigger room.

Yeah I wondered how they differed from trailer park homes or big RVs. If they have to hook up to sewer, electricity and water, where would they go, rent a slot at a trailer park?

The homes seemed to run around $50k but obviously the land and utility services would raise the costs.

I saw part of one episode based in San Diego and one of the options was in a beautiful waterfront location, which I would think would be expensive. But he picked the cheapest option and parked it in the driveway of a friend. Who'd want that in their driveway? I suspect they parked it there temporarily so they could film.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:44 AM   #15
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^^

I also noticed that about the tiny house shows...most of them park in family or friend's driveway or yard. I can't see that being a long term solution, and in some areas it is likely against zoning regulations to have 2 separate residences on 1 property.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:47 AM   #16
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It is really downsizing porn. for people that want to downsize by can't.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:55 AM   #17
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I'm surprised at you guys who are supposed to be LBYMers!!

Not sure which show it was but in the opening introduction of one show a young girl is saying (paraphrasing): "...We don't want to be bogged down with a big mortgage. We want to spend our money on travel and not having to kill ourselves at a job we hate..."

Or something like that.

Granted, it's not for me and I agree with getting an RV instead (again, not for me) but I do believe there's a shift going on with the young'uns of --maybe never being FIRE but also not really having/needing a 9 to 5 job for 30 years before hitting the 'live' button.

I think there's a whole group of folks who want to work when they feel like it and do whatever the rest of the time (see Uber). Getting saddled with a big house is a big obstacle to that.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:03 AM   #18
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Millenials are saddled with huge student loans and illusions of grandeur.

Tiny houses may be their residences of the future out of necessity.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:14 AM   #19
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Lots of new homes are the same size as the tiny houses--today we have condos vs the detached smaller homes that were built a couple of generations ago.

I read somewhere that the vast majority of the tiny home owners never live in them or sell them within a year. DH and I could easily live in them, but we would each need our own. Or one of us would then be moved into an even tinier home, in a prison, and one into a grave.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:21 AM   #20
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I'm not a fan of tiny homes for a lot of reasons (too small, high cost, zoning requirements, etc). But I do think they would make a great side project for temporary living.

I actually would like to see more attention given to well designed small homes (maybe 500-800 sq ft). When I lived in San Jose, we had a 1200 sqft house with a finished attic and a detached 400sq ft finished garage (with plumbing/bathroom). I know this is small by many people's standards but it was still way more space than we needed.

I tabulated the rooms we actually used on a daily basis and we lived in maybe ~700 sqft.
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