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Tiny Houses Suck!

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….

just say no

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.house maaze

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.tiny-house-inside

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.

Tiny House Tour

fencl

Laura’s

overview

Laura has done a really nice job of using every square inch of her apartment, with a very fresh and earthy feel, her 250 square foot apartment is a great example of what you can do with little.

from bedroom

Laura’s done a great job injecting style and color into such small space! We particularily love how she used some office drawers to add some extra storage in the kitchen. We also love the use of a chaise at the foot of the bed. It gives some formal seating, and because it doesn’t have a full back and arms on both sides, keeps things feeling open and not too heavy.

kitchenIt is really amazing how effective design and a touch of style can bring out a space to seem so much bigger!  The one downside I see is no oven or dishwasher.  Though with one person this isn’t too big of a hassle to do your dishes in the sink.  At times, I like to have the ability to use really hot water, such as a cutting board I cut chicken on, boiling water just lets me sleep a bit easier.  Otherwise her kitchen is great, plenty of storage and it is pretty open.

floorplan

details bedroomSource: Here

Tiny Loft House

overview

I am often asked if couples can live in Tiny House, the answer is yes, but it takes some special people.  This couple both lived in Tiny Houses, one 800, the other 550 square feet.  They moved in with each other and we able to still downsize to 426 feet.  They didn’t give too much up either, with effective styling and design, they were able to make  a home that was small but could hold allot.  They have a whole wall that is storage that a large curtain covers when needed. High on the walls, they hang extra chairs, these folks know how to maximize height!  When coming to the design, they say “Our best advice is to consider the value of each improvement. Go cheap where you can, but invest where you should.”

hangin chairs

Notice the chairs hanging in the upper right!

storage

stairs

River House

house far
Sitting at 600 square feet, this house uses reclaimed Douglas Fir and reclaimed concrete (no idea that they could do that). It is interesting because the architect stated he wanted to maintain the current environment, blending the house with its surroundings. Some how large swaths of concrete was they way they choose to do this….I don’t really understand it, but regardless, I like how it turned out. I am a sucker for exposed concrete and large expanses of widows, this house both!

living room windows open

One thing that they did really focus on was not to disturb the site when building, typically step one of building a house is usually to level the lot plus 500 feet in every direction, build it up with extra dirt, then drop a house on it, this was done in a manner where the ground wasn’t touched except for the actual size of the concrete pad. It was well worth it, leaving a house that seemed to sprout from the earth itself.

living room inside

The house utilizes all green materials, with beautiful reclaimed Fir and large windows and clouded doors, the light flows through the house and, in turn, the house seems to flow outwards making it seem larger. The windows look custom to me, I have never seen windows like these and the way they open them is unique.

kitchen

This house is pretty amazing, being that it is 600 square feet, it has two bedrooms, a bath, living room and kitchen.

outside seating

window detail

hall

Source: here