Tiny House

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December 18, 2013:
A family has managed to live in a 168 square foot home for the last year, and they report that their standard of living and happiness level has improved dramatically. Additionally, they are growing more of their own food, and changing their lifestyles to be more frugal, so they are saving over $3000 per month compared to their previous lifestyle. Read more about the tiny house movement. On CNN, a slideshow shows the incredible variety of houses that are in the small range.

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The Tiny House Movement:

Surprisingly, it is technology that makes the tiny house movement possible. While some may say that living in a tiny hovel or shack was the way of the world in the past, nobody really liked it, which is why colonial homes are so large. With Netflix, iTunes, tablet computers, and miniaturized appliances, tiny houses are possible that would not be feasible just a couple of decades ago. Also, all these smug people who don't have kids can fit into broom-closet sized homes because they don't have the energy to run around like maniacs.

Why move into a tiny house?

The tiny house movement reduces consumption and possessions

Want to live in a 90 square foot house? You can buy plans and blueprints for tiny houses from companies like Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, or have a small house built for you that can be a full time residence, or an extra bedroom, artist's den, or storage space. Tiny houses are becoming part of an anti-consumerist revolution, and are also popular for people who want to live off the grid and as cheaply as possible. Because houses are so small, they cost less to heat and cool, and many of them are transportable. Less room for possessions usually means that fewer possessions are used.

Tiny HouseIn the year 2013, tiny houses have become something of a fad for the people who live in them, with lofts for sleeping and little houses on wheels that make it possible to move the home to just about any piece of empty land. In a manner of speaking, the tiny house of this decade is like the McMansions of the previous one. People are also discovering ways to downsize their entire lifestyles, and are discovering that less money goes further, so they are able to pay off old debts or save for retirement by getting a little house and adopting a different way of thinking about life. The advantage of the 2012 tiny house lifestyle is that TV screens are flat, your entire music collection fits into the palm of your hand, books can be put on a Kindle or Nook, and computers take up a fraction of the space that they once did. As long as you don't mind compact furniture, a tiny house makes for a fun alternative to consumerist living.
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One notable thing about living in tiny houses is that you are usually living off the beaten path, since you won't find too many modern subdivisions that feature elf houses among the larger properties. Depending on the age of your community, or the number of back roads and vacant properties, there may be opportunities to put your house on a fairly cheap piece of land. Naturally, sewage and/or septic considerations need to be kept in mind, so the cost of adding a septic system may in fact be double or triple the price of the house itself! As a tip, you might want to ensure that electrical and sewage hookups for the house can be easily modified for standard-size homes, in the event that you want to put your little home on the back of a truck and take it somewhere else when the price of your land parcel goes up.

In a new story, a woman made a 196 square foot home on a trailer for less than 12 thousand dollars. Parked in downtown Boise, Idaho, the home has running water and electricity. This house uses a composting toilet which uses sawdust instead of water, which might just but a dent in the enthusiasm for such homes without septic hookups.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Tiny houses are not for everyone, but for people who want to live cheaply with a smaller carbon footprint, they could be ideal. Now if they only had a tiny garage to put all the junk you don't want somewhere...