No the website hasn’t been taken over by Russian Hackers, they are trying though, No you haven’t entered into the twilight zone or some rift in the Space-Time continuum. But I was answering an email of a reader who asked about Tiny Houses and hurricanes. It got me thinking….
I am a very opinionated person, I love debate; What I love even more is debating an indefensible position. I like to indulge the opposing view on strongly held beliefs, so that I can see if my stance needs adjustment or potentially, I could be wrong about it all. The point is, I try not to only listen to people who agree with me on things. It is like a Christian (let’s not get bogged down by the topic of religion on this example) talking with an Atheist about God, it allows both parties to test their views, to adjust their idea and bring new thoughts to both sides. So here it goes!
Tiny Houses are completely impractical! They are too small to be a viable option for a normal person’s needs. From the get-go, you instantly outcast yourself because of social norms and influences. Social norms, regardless of if they are right or wrong, still exist and to go against them, will be to your disadvantage.
There are tons of examples of how going against the grain with your tiny house can impact you in a negative way. With your tiny house, you often have to live under the radar of building code and tax assessors. This poses a big risk if you are discovered and turned in. Potentially you could be removed from your own land; you could be charged fines/back taxes or at the very least, your neighbors could begrudge you.
Since you have to build your house and keep it on land where building codes prohibit it being there and you don’t pay your taxes because you haven’t been assessed, you are, by law, illegal. You are no longer a law abiding citizen. Your neighbors will never appreciate someone who doesn’t pay thousands of dollars in taxes, like they have to, but still uses all the services of the town/city.
Speaking of money, many people will see a tiny house as a cheapskate’s way to live. In this world, unfortunately money talks, you have to have it and without it, you can’t do much in this world. Let’s say you are a single male, you met this great girl. After a few dates, things are going well, which leads to you bringing her home. What the hell is she going to think when your car is bigger then the house you live in? Even if she goes with it, it’s possible at this point that you might have been drinking on your date, but now – as you make your way to the bed – you somehow have to navigate a tiny ladder and hope not to break your neck.
Even if she goes for it, even if she has a good time, what is she going to do the next morning? Go tell her friends. Now if you are in a hippy town, you might be able to capitalize on this, but for the majority of you, this will not be the case. That girl is going to tell her friends who will then make a comment like “so he lives in a mobile home?” or “is he so cheap he can’t afford a house?” or “he sounds immature, he needs to get his life in order”. Regardless of how great of a time she had social norms will force her to never talk to you again.
Bigger IS better, bigger house, bigger bank account, more space to store things you just have to have, and a bigger rock on your fiancés finger. If you can’t do all these things, your social and professional life will suffer. If people at work find out that you live in a house on wheels, they will think of you as homeless, a transient, and most likely think that you live the way you do because you managed your money so poorly.
Why would a person making $70k a year live in a 100 square foot house unless they were so broke that they had to? This will come back on you; your boss starts to wonder how well you can actually handle a budget, because in your personal life your finances are managed so you seem “poor”. Even if you explain it, that it was a choice, it is from so far left field that no one will believe you.
Lacking of space for key things is a huge issue. There are some things you simply have to have which take up a lot of space: a washer and Dryer, a real toilet, regular fridge. All these things take up allot of space. They are necessities and not having them is not practical. Doing laundry at a laundry mat is a pain in the ass, it costs a chunk of change and undoubtedly there is that one really sketchy person who feels the need to talk your ear off! A small fridge and no pantry means you have to make extra trips to the store for things you can’t fit, here’s to saving the environment.
The biggest concern is safety/liability. Living in a tiny house means that it is very susceptible to high winds, severe weather and if a tree fall on your roof, you’re dead! Fires can rip through the entire house in no time flat and being that it’s on a trailer; people can steal your whole house! Take this and compound it with the fact that you can not insure it, you essentially have a $20k-$50k liability.
Of course all these things don’t matter unless you have a fat bank account, because you can’t get a loan to build it. No bank will take on this loan; it is an unsecured loan because the house, in a normal market has literally no value.
So to sum it up. Living in a tiny house means several things: You are cheap, you social and professional life will suffer, which means you seemed “poor” but you are now actually are poor. Forget about getting married, because her family will never approve, and her friends will call you cheap. Your house will be swept away in a flash flood and you didn’t have insurance on it so you are out 10’s of thousands of dollars. All in all it doesn’t make a strong case for tiny houses.