Tiny Houses... Could You Live In One?
We recently downsized... but not THIS much!
Moving across the country from Wisconsin to Nevada was an eye opening experience. We developed a feeling of "if we're not using it, let's get rid of it." And that is just what we did! In order to downsize, you have to get rid of those feelings that sometimes develop, those of emotional attachment to things.
That can be difficult to do, but looking back, I'm glad we did it. We downsized from a three bedroom home to two bedrooms. We also do not have a basement in this home, where we did have a full basement before. You don't realize how much STUFF you have until you start going through it and getting rid of unnecessary clutter! The first thing to go in our case? The snow blower! I can't say I'm going to miss that, either~ (winking!)
Other things we got rid of were mostly furniture. We found that moving across the country, it was actually cheaper to buy furniture in our new home state than to transport the old furniture across the country. There are ways to buy furniture cheaply, like by shopping at secondhand stores and shopping at hotel liquidation centers. It is much cheaper to move when you don't have a need to move any furniture!
I've watched shows that are popular on TV today about the topic of hoarding and I wonder, how in the world does it ever get THAT out of control? I realize now, though, that hoarding is a mental illness, a disorder, so I understand it a bit better now.
In order for most people to downsize, however, it is mostly a matter of redefining your priorities, and deciding which material things really are important to hang on to. As we found out, you really CAN live with a lot less things!
How About A Tiny House?
Recently, I've heard of a movement where people are moving into extremely small homes, homes that are under 100 square feet, and they are enjoying it! I found a great company that sells small homes called "Tumbleweed Tiny House Company."
For a lot of these homes, you don't even need a permit, they can be placed anywhere you would usually put an RV. The homes are on wheels, but there are ways to lock the wheels if you want to keep the home in one spot.
Now these homes are becoming popular and drawing the interest of people like retirees, baby boomers and young people who do not want to be tied down to a traditional mortgage. Many people today are more mobile than ever before and don't want to feel as if they will be tied down to a home for the next 50 years or more.
People tend to move more today in their search for that perfect fit in a job they enjoy or that pays well. For those who have just suffered through the tanked real estate market, tiny homes are starting to look like an attractive alternative.
I overheard someone say recently that they were living in a "submarine home" here in Nevada... now it took me a minute to realize WHAT it was that they were really saying! They were referring to being underwater on their mortgage. They bought their home at the height of the real estate boom and that home is now worth 1/2 of what they paid. Sometimes homes here have even gone down by MORE than 50 percent!
It looks like those days of buying a home and having it double or more in value are about over - unless I am mistaken and there is some miraculous recovery, but things in real estate are looking pretty gloomy right now!
This one little corner of the real estate movement seems to be thriving, and that is the movement to MUCH smaller homes, "Tiny Homes" as it were. Some of these homes could fit into some people's living rooms!
Now some people do buy these to live in, but others are using them as alternative housing and to fulfill needs, such as a need for offices, studio's and extra bedrooms, since these tiny homes can be cheaper than building a traditional addition onto a home. Another use for tiny homes is for when aging parents move in with a young family, or in a reversal, when young people find that they need to move back into their parents homes. These tiny houses can really provide an effective solution!
This new kind of frugal, downsized living has been described by Jay Shafer, 46, co-founder of the Small House Society as "un-American, in the sense that living small means consuming less." He goes on to say "living in a small house like this really entails knowing what you need to be happy, and (then) getting rid of everything else."
The homes built by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company really value quality over quantity, and they strive to make sure that not one inch of space is wasted. These homes can be hooked up to public utilities, and they range in price from $40,000 to $50,000, but cost less (up to 50 percent less) if you are handy and can build your own. Imagine having a home for just $25,000! You can purchase plans to build them and do it yourself if you are so inclined.
Tumbleweed's business has increased tremendously since the housing crisis began. Five years ago, they would sell about 10 blueprints a year, they now sell about 50 of them per year. There are workshops held all over the country helping people to discover how they can live in a tiny home like this, and they are attracting audiences of about 40 people in each place they are held.
These little homes are built with high quality materials, including better insulation than the insulation used in a conventional trailer home, but they still have wheels on them and can be moved anywhere a person wishes to move.
They can truly be an answer to the alternative housing needs faced by many people today and they can also be very economical to own. A typical utility bill is under $100 for an entire YEAR! There are many other tiny housing companies that have sprung up over the last several years in response to the increased demand. I imagine they will continue to thrive as long as there is a need and demand for smaller homes like these.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company ~ Another Excellent Hub On The Subject, And The Tiny House Company Website
- The Tiny Homes Movement: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Leads The Way
A look at a movement away from large homes, which is growing in popularity across the country.
- Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
Tiny Houses from 65 to 837 square feet. Buy house plans and build it yourself, or buy ready made houses delivered to you. Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Houses set the standard for small house living.