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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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Tiny home living ?

I am curious to know if any of you have thought about or are currently living in a tiny home/space. Like under 500 sq feet?

The wife and I are really intrigued by the notion of living smaller. Not so much for the green aspect as it is for the cost aspect. We like the idea of having more financial freedom by not having a huge mortgage, or energy bill.

We'd also like to become more self sustaining. We have grown our own gardens before, but I think we'd like to take it further than that.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:25 AM
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Re: Tiny home living ?

My wife and I lived in very small cottage 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 living/dining and a tiny kitchen. I'm fairly sure it was under 500 sq ft, but the house is like 300 years old and made of solid stone, so we'll let folks off.

The financial side is great in that the mortgage was less than a car payment, but its hard to 'live' in that small a house.

You want friends over... Tricky. You want some space for guitars... Forget it. You want a big TV... Where you gonna put it. You need a spare room as an office.... Not happening.

If you're out of the house all the time (e.g. On deployment or working away) and almost using it as a base of operations that's fine, but as somewhere to call home if you're at all materialistic (i.e. you think more than one guitar is a good idea) it's tough.

We moved to the suburbs, have a six year old boy and have 2 cars, 3 beds, 3 baths, an office, a family room etc...

A lot more expensive and I worry about the mortgage, but I couldn't have raised a family in Yoda's place on Dagobah...

However houses here in the UK are tiny by comparison, especially to Texas. A friend of mine sold a 2 bed, kitchen/diner apartment in London for the equivalent of 1.2 million USD, and that was probably less than 400 sq feet. I've stayed in hotel rooms in Houston that were bigger than that place

Last edited by jono; 08-10-2015 at 02:31 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:46 AM
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Re: Tiny home living ?

I've kicked around the idea a lot. I like the idea of not working just to pay bills on a house I don't want to be in anyway, we have no kids and don't plan on it and I don't think we've had people over since we lived here. On the other hand I like having my own rooms and would like to be able to have people over. Maybe when I retire and my friends die it would be more feasible.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 12:18 PM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by elcid View Post
I like having my own rooms...
+1 - I need a room for my amps and guitars and CD collection and guitar books and magazines, etc... a safe haven for me and my stuff and tiny house living doesn't go well with that
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 12:49 PM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

I have a friend who's super passionate about this, currently wrapping up an environmental design degree with a long term plan of building houses out of shipping containers.

As I understand, it's more philosophical than financial - the main argument for having a "tiny" living space, as many of you seem to have discovered, is that it pretty much forces you to stop spending money on possessions. Instead, you pretty much have to own less and spend less time in the privacy of your home and more out engaging the world and having "experiences" rather than "possessions." It's essentially the antithesis of the typical American "my house is my castle" attitude where you aspire to have a huge, sprawling McMansion filled with stuff. That said, there's a fair amount of science that suggests spending money on experiences rather than things tends to lead to more happiness, although I would think this would pretty much force you to be an extrovert, which could be tough for some.

I kind of have it both ways, actually. My place is a two bedroom condo (one of which I use as a studio room) measuring about a thousand square feet, but it's smack in the center of one of the hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods in the greater Boston area, so I ALSO have a McMansion-sized mortgage. No regrets, though - I like the place, it's a very comfortable size for me that still allows me to entertain easily, and I put 5% down and was still able to refi out of PMI in just over one year because the market is so hot right now.

I think I'd struggle with a smaller space than I'm in now... but the circle of friends where I have the friend really into this and I have speculated fairly seriously about buying land somewhere and building ourselves "tiny houses" there as a vacation house. For somewhere where you go there occasionally to go out and do something - hang out on a lake or at the ocean, climb mountains or ski, use it as a base of operations for long road bike rides, etc - a small house makes a LOT more sense to me.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 01:40 PM
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by doriangrey View Post
+1 - I need a room for my amps and guitars and CD collection and guitar books and magazines, etc... a safe haven for me and my stuff and tiny house living doesn't go well with that
We certainly don't have a big house now. We have an 1100 sq ft townhouse with a 2.5 car attached garage. We have our bedroom, then I have my guitar room and a reading room upstairs and our front room and kitchen downstairs. The problem is we bought the place before the housing market crashed and are now upside down and stuck here for now.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by Drew View Post
I have a friend who's super passionate about this, currently wrapping up an environmental design degree with a long term plan of building houses out of shipping containers.

As I understand, it's more philosophical than financial - the main argument for having a "tiny" living space, as many of you seem to have discovered, is that it pretty much forces you to stop spending money on possessions. Instead, you pretty much have to own less and spend less time in the privacy of your home and more out engaging the world and having "experiences" rather than "possessions." It's essentially the antithesis of the typical American "my house is my castle" attitude where you aspire to have a huge, sprawling McMansion filled with stuff. That said, there's a fair amount of science that suggests spending money on experiences rather than things tends to lead to more happiness, although I would think this would pretty much force you to be an extrovert, which could be tough for some.

I kind of have it both ways, actually. My place is a two bedroom condo (one of which I use as a studio room) measuring about a thousand square feet, but it's smack in the center of one of the hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods in the greater Boston area, so I ALSO have a McMansion-sized mortgage. No regrets, though - I like the place, it's a very comfortable size for me that still allows me to entertain easily, and I put 5% down and was still able to refi out of PMI in just over one year because the market is so hot right now.

I think I'd struggle with a smaller space than I'm in now... but the circle of friends where I have the friend really into this and I have speculated fairly seriously about buying land somewhere and building ourselves "tiny houses" there as a vacation house. For somewhere where you go there occasionally to go out and do something - hang out on a lake or at the ocean, climb mountains or ski, use it as a base of operations for long road bike rides, etc - a small house makes a LOT more sense to me.
I have been doing a lot of reading up on shipping container houses myself. There are some cool ideas out there and I think there is even a company out of Austin that builds homes using them. I have an idea of what i'd like to build but costs are still prohibitive.

It is just my wife, two small dogs and myself. No chance of kids, I took care of that. We aren't social, don't entertain, and family hardly ever comes by so that aspect of small living isn't an issue.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:53 PM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by j.arledge View Post
I have been doing a lot of reading up on shipping container houses myself. There are some cool ideas out there and I think there is even a company out of Austin that builds homes using them. I have an idea of what i'd like to build but costs are still prohibitive.

It is just my wife, two small dogs and myself. No chance of kids, I took care of that. We aren't social, don't entertain, and family hardly ever comes by so that aspect of small living isn't an issue.
I haven't looked into it, but I can't imagine it being easy to convince any village/county/province to allow a permanent dwelling made out of a shipping container. The "Red Tape" just getting through zoning, permitting, and code enforcement would be mountainous. What the hell do you do for a foundation? And then you'd have to figure out improvements (water, sewer, power....etc.) Will you be able to locate in an area with emergency services or will you be forced to live in the middle of nowhere? Sort of a "post apocalyptic" life?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:57 PM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by elcid View Post
We certainly don't have a big house now. We have an 1100 sq ft townhouse with a 2.5 car attached garage. We have our bedroom, then I have my guitar room and a reading room upstairs and our front room and kitchen downstairs. The problem is we bought the place before the housing market crashed and are now upside down and stuck here for now.
I'm in a small place as well. Just over 1100sq. 3-bed, 1-bath, 1-car attached ranch on a crawl. It'll be the perfect size for me once I shoot all the kids and find good homes for the animals..........
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 03:03 PM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
I'm in a small place as well. Just over 1100sq. 3-bed, 1-bath, 1-car attached ranch on a crawl. It'll be the perfect size for me once I shoot all the kids and find good homes for the animals..........
That is too funny! ;oD I literally lol'd when I read that
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

i think we are going to move to small apartment and see how that goes. I'd like to pay off all my debt so we can save and pay cash for whatever we want. If living in a small apartment works then small home living will work. I am going to have to find a good rack unit so i can get rid of my head/cab. I am going to miss my cab, but it is too big.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 02:03 AM
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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Originally Posted by j.arledge View Post
i think we are going to move to small apartment and see how that goes. I'd like to pay off all my debt so we can save and pay cash for whatever we want. If living in a small apartment works then small home living will work. I am going to have to find a good rack unit so i can get rid of my head/cab. I am going to miss my cab, but it is too big.

I didn't think they did anything small in Texas. AFAIK, a "small" place in the Lone Star state is around what? 4800 sq.??
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tiny home living ?

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I didn't think they did anything small in Texas. AFAIK, a "small" place in the Lone Star state is around what? 4800 sq.??
while texas is known for it's fondness of everything large, housing has gotten much higher in the past few years. Texas has 6 of the nation's top 15 fastest growing cities. It is still more affordable than the east or west coasts, but again it is relative to wages. Georgia is where the bargains are at.
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