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Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:01 PM

Anyone on DU live in a 'tiny house' . . .

or know someone who does?

The concept fascinates me. Although my house is modest by American standards, about 1500 sf, I can't imagine living in a house measuring 500 sf or less.

My house has only 2 bedrooms and (I hate to admit it) 2.5 bathrooms. I could easily make do with 1 bath, but the price was right, in the neighborhood I wanted, and I was tired of searching for a home.

I watch the tv shows that feature tiny homes and I applaud the people who are building and buying these houses, many of whom are married and have kids! I think it shows great commitment to sustainability, recycling and conservation.

But I don't know if I could actually live in a tiny house. I'm not exactly claustrophobic, but I have an utter disdain for tight spaces. Like all of my family members, I'm rather tall and it makes me uncomfortable to be in small spaces, especially those with low roofs.

Anyone here have any experience with "tiny homes"?

89 replies, 8139 views

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Reply Anyone on DU live in a 'tiny house' . . . (Original post)
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 OP
KatyMan Dec 2015 #1
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #4
Warpy Dec 2015 #33
laundry_queen Dec 2015 #37
AngryAmish Dec 2015 #55
Bluenorthwest Dec 2015 #71
yeoman6987 Dec 2015 #76
CrispyQ Dec 2015 #82
leftyladyfrommo Dec 2015 #2
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #6
Basic LA Dec 2015 #46
TexasProgresive Dec 2015 #3
hobbit709 Dec 2015 #7
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #8
laundry_queen Dec 2015 #38
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #42
Trailrider1951 Dec 2015 #60
hobbit709 Dec 2015 #5
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #9
hunter Dec 2015 #61
mnhtnbb Dec 2015 #10
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #13
mnhtnbb Dec 2015 #15
ladyVet Dec 2015 #80
mnhtnbb Dec 2015 #84
FLPanhandle Dec 2015 #11
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #14
mnhtnbb Dec 2015 #16
FLPanhandle Dec 2015 #17
Kaleva Dec 2015 #44
closeupready Dec 2015 #73
FLPanhandle Dec 2015 #83
MineralMan Dec 2015 #12
kentauros Dec 2015 #18
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #29
kentauros Dec 2015 #39
herding cats Dec 2015 #19
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #41
jwirr Dec 2015 #20
Pakhet Dec 2015 #30
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #52
jwirr Dec 2015 #66
greytdemocrat Dec 2015 #21
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #47
shanti Dec 2015 #50
tammywammy Dec 2015 #22
dumbcat Dec 2015 #23
Bonx Dec 2015 #24
EX500rider Dec 2015 #25
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2015 #26
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2015 #36
Bluenorthwest Dec 2015 #72
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2015 #88
LiberalArkie Dec 2015 #27
Warpy Dec 2015 #28
SheilaT Dec 2015 #31
LeftyMom Dec 2015 #32
wickerwoman Dec 2015 #54
LeftyMom Dec 2015 #65
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2015 #34
PADemD Dec 2015 #35
Liberal Veteran Dec 2015 #57
KT2000 Dec 2015 #62
Starry Messenger Dec 2015 #40
Kaleva Dec 2015 #43
shraby Dec 2015 #45
Liberal Veteran Dec 2015 #48
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #49
HereSince1628 Dec 2015 #58
wickerwoman Dec 2015 #51
Hoyt Dec 2015 #53
VanillaRhapsody Dec 2015 #56
safeinOhio Dec 2015 #59
easttexaslefty Dec 2015 #63
madville Dec 2015 #64
Matariki Dec 2015 #67
Sheldon Cooper Dec 2015 #68
SammyWinstonJack Dec 2015 #69
dembotoz Dec 2015 #70
elias49 Dec 2015 #74
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2015 #75
snacker Dec 2015 #77
Runningdawg Dec 2015 #78
mattvermont Dec 2015 #79
ladyVet Dec 2015 #81
1939 Dec 2015 #85
olddots Dec 2015 #86
Blue_In_AK Dec 2015 #87
Rocknrule Dec 2015 #89

Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:11 PM

1. <tin foil hat> I still think

the tiny house thing is all about the 1% getting us used to small, mobile houses so we can all be migrant workers.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:25 PM

4. I have wondered about that too!

Also, I tend to think its a knee jerk reaction to the McMansion phase, and probably just a fad. But the people who are embracing the concept seem to be committed to sustainable living, and I can't help but applaud that.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:43 PM

33. It's certainly about diminishing expectations

but the old time Rom people used to live in similar accommodations without any real problems, clutter affixed to the outside on hooks and nails. Frontier America lived in small cabins with sleeping lofts.

Short term, people with paid for tiny houses will be able to save after they pay off any student debt, something people trying for the American Dream with the house in the burbs and the hour long commute to work won't be able to do. Long term, the inability to store things like a professional wardrobe might limit their career opportunities.

Personally, I find the tiny houses to be an introvert's dream, the entertaining capabilities limited to 2 or 3 people, max.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:50 PM

37. I'm quite pro-tiny house for environmental reasons

but that thought has occurred to me more than once. right along with you.

I get the same feeling when all of those articles pop up concurrently that talk about how great renting is as well.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:45 PM

55. I have a good wife, 2 young kids and employ ten people in my law practice.

 

I dream of living in a van and caddying at Bandon.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 04:30 PM

71. I have big trouble with the idea that people who seek to make everyone else be migrant wokers

 

would go to any trouble to get their victims 'used to it'. I hear that a lot. It makes no sense. Those who wish you ill do not give a shit if you are 'used to it'.
Plus most tiny houses are not in fact mobile, motor homes are and they have been around for decades.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 06:04 PM

76. Mine is 2300 square foot in the Florida home

 

Holy cow at first I thought it would be big enough since only living there about 3 months a year but it gets small real quick. The home in Maryland is 3300 square foot where we live 9 months...that is more manageable. 1500 square foot? Couldn't imagine.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:29 PM

82. Yesterday I saw them advertised as "Granny Pods" on FB.

I guess some people are setting them up in their backyards for their parents.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:16 PM

2. My house is 750 Sq ft. I could live in less easily.

I use 1 tiny bedroom as a junk room so my actual living space is probably 500. It's plenty for me. It's a kitchen, living room and bedroom and one very small bathroom. No garage and no basement. But I am just one person. Two would be crowded.

I love those tiny houses. You can hook them up and move around. I can't do that with my house

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:29 PM

6. I love the tiny homes too!

I think the creativity that goes into the use of small spaces, as well as their multi-functionality, is incredible! The people designing and constructing tiny homes are incredibly talented.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 06:36 PM

46. Mine is 850, plenty big for one.

But when I think back to it being full of people - wife, kids, kid's friends, our friends, occasional visiting relatives, plus always a dog or two - I can't imagine how we did it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:17 PM

3. Does 3 adults and one spoiled kitty in a <1000 sq ft count?

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:29 PM

7. Two adults and 4 medium to large size dogs in under 950 sq. ft. here.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:29 PM

8. I would say that qualifies!

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:55 PM

38. That's pretty good

I think I could live in a tiny house by myself. Maybe not less than 150 sq ft but certainly 200 sq ft.

I currently am a single parent with 4 kids (well, technically one is now an adult) and 2 dogs in a 1500 sq ft duplex and I feel a bit cramped. I blame it on the kids. Why must kids have so much stuff? And why do schools keep sending it home to me? lol. Then I feel like an ogre...hey, dear daughter, you know that wonderful art project that takes up the entire kitchen table...the one you spent all week working on just for me, and how beautiful it is and how much I love it and it means so much to me...can I throw it out? LOLOL.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 06:15 PM

42. I feel your pain.

When my daughter was in undergraduate school, as an art major, she built a life sized man out of chicken wire, then covered him in flesh colored band aids, as his skin. She left him in my small apartment when she went back for her junior year.

That f*cking thing creeped the sh*t out of me, sitting at my kitchen table, judging me every night when I got up to pee.

My solution: there was a hospital near my apartment. Late one night, my friends and I got a little drunk and left that f*cker on a bench on hospital grounds. We thought the public would view that f*cking thing as public art. I don't know what ultimately happened to that creepy piece of sh*t.

See, I didn't actually throw him in the trash, but that F*cker wasn't judging my life choices at midnight anymore.

My daughter said she was cool with it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:18 PM

60. Dear God, that is the funniest thing I've read in ages

Thanks for all the ROFLMAO!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:28 PM

5. My books take up more space than those teeny houses.

I've been in bigger jail cells than some of them.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:31 PM

9. Yeah for you and your books!

I'm an avid reader myself.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:34 PM

61. Yeah, we have thousands of books too. We could open a library.

Well actually we are a library of sorts. They circulate among friends and family, and some never come back.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:34 PM

10. I never have any trouble renting our 484 sq. ft studio garage apartment

within walking distance of the UNC campus.

It has 9 ft ceilings, programmable thermostat for a/c and heat, a full kitchen (full size refrig/dishwasher/range), stacked w/d in a bathroom with shower, and I bought two armoires that tenants could move around and arrange however they wanted for closet space. The tenant who is there now is a law student--in his second year--and probably will stay for his third year. So--he will have spent three years out there. It also has three stained glass windows. But I won't let more than one person rent it. I think two
people would go nuts out there without any space to get away from the other person.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:46 PM

13. Your apartment sounds lovely!

I think young people are much more willing to embrace smaller spaces. And educated people as well. Most of us in America have way more space than we need. I know I do. I think the next generation will lead the way In sustainable living.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:54 PM

15. I suspect the next generation will be forced to live in smaller space.

We built that apartment--to my design--and it was used by my
son for his drum studio until he was college age. I had kind of hoped
if he went to UNC (which he did) he'd live out there so we wouldn't have
to pay for dorms/apartments, but it was too close to home for him. At least
the $$ we got in rent for it helped to pay his living expenses!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:03 PM

80. I've probably driven by your house!

{Imagine that said in a suitably stalker tone of voice. }

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Response to ladyVet (Reply #80)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:31 PM

84. I've had three people in the neighborhood ask me recently--when out walking my dog--

if the apartment was available! It's a cute place on a dead end street.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:40 PM

11. In about 6 years I will be retiring onto a sailboat





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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:47 PM

14. Jealous!

That is gorgeous!

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:56 PM

16. Are you going to sail? The Caribbean? Or just keep it in a marina?

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:00 PM

17. The first destination is the Bahamas then go from there.

Probably do the Caribbean over 2-3 years.

After that, whatever and wherever I feel like going or staying.

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 06:22 PM

44. Wow!

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 05:23 PM

73. Years ago, I worked on a boat one summer -

 

Middle-aged English couple on a houseboat parked on the Saone River in Burgundy - we cruised upriver a ways; I got off in Lorraine province, and they planned to go on to Eastern Europe, but this boat WAS their home, year-round. I don't think you can do anything like that in the US, but you might be okay doing it, as you allude to, in the Caribbean.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #73)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:30 PM

83. Many people do live in boats here in the US

There is a great website for people living in "Shantyboats"

http://shantyboatliving.com/

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 04:45 PM

12. Not since I moved out of the dorm in 1964.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:01 PM

18. I don't, though I would prefer there were more "small" houses.

My 2/2 apartment is about 950 sq.ft. and I could easily live in a house of the same size (assuming garage sq-footage isn't counted.) Tiny houses are just too small for me and all of my stuff, beyond the books and other media. Honestly, I like to spread out

I used to read TreeHugger.com and tiny houses are the rage there as well as other cool modular houses (including shipping containers.) However, they are based out of Toronto, and it seems like most of their stories on such houses are for Canada, or don't tell us what the local codes were for the places in the US for those houses featured. Some cities/counties here simply do not accept tiny houses or modular designs.

It would be great if we could just submit our plans to the local authorities and the only thing they looked at were engineering and hygiene safety. But, the developers and building contractors also get a say in what goes into the local codes, often to protect their business over us 'uppity' independents.

There are some great house designs out there for small and efficient living. First though, we need to update the local codes to the 21st century

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Response to kentauros (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:34 PM

29. Agree 100% about the code issue.

I spent 25 years as a land planner before drifting to aviation planning. Most city/county codes do not take into account alternative housing.

I live in New Orleans. A couple local builders are trying to construct tiny homes in well established inner city neighborhoods here. They have had surprisingly little resistance because they plan to build in areas with 'shotgun' houses, on very narrow lots in historic settings. Although there are aesthetic issues to work through, the lot size doesn't seem to be much of an issue in New Orleans.

On the tv shows I have seen, the tiny homes are planned mostly in rural areas. Or they are mobile homes that you can take with you if your neighbors give you the boot. Suburban America is no where near being ready to accept tiny homes.

Cuz, get off my lawn!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:55 PM

39. And suburban American, as well as urban neighborhoods,

are perfect places for smaller homes. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is the mindset of "I've just paid $200,000 for this lot, so I'm damn sure going to use every possible square foot of space on it! Bring on the McMansions/Lofts/Condos!" And there's then no yard left to soak up rain or just beautify that 5000-sq-ft box you built.

I've never seen anyone tear down a perfectly good small/medium-sized home in order to build smaller. It's always "bigger is better." People don't seem to even want a yard or garden any more...

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:01 PM

19. I do.

My friend and her hubby live in one. They just had a baby, too. They fit fine in it still. I think she said it was less than 400 square ft.

They've built a nice covered, screened in porch in the front of theirs, which makes it seem more roomy when the weather is nice.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:59 PM

41. From what I have seen and read about them

having useable outdoor space makes a huge difference. If you live in a climate where you can be outside for a good part of the year, you can sometimes double your living space. My idea of heaven!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:02 PM

20. Years ago I was honored to be invited to visit the home of

Jay Shafer who owns Tinyhouses.com. He lived in a 3 story tiny house himself. We entered on the 2nd story which housed a kitchen and living room. Near the door we entered was a ladder on the wall leading to the loft which was a bedroom with beautiful skylight windows. The third floor was a basement with another living room, bathroom and sauna.

I fell in love with that tiny houses at that minute. Lately my children have been talking about helping me finally after many years to get my own. We are talking about taking a 12" X 12" shed and remodeling it into a home. If I can make it work it will have a tiny loft for my great grandchildren to sleep in plus a twin be with trundle. It is going to be extremely tiny but I am living in one small room right now. Much of what I own would still fit in that little house. Finally I am getting the dream I have held for 43 years. Plus a screened porch and a lake view.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:34 PM

30. Years ago I started looking into one as a way to retire w/out

having to worry too much about keeping up a big house and a mortgage, but now that tiny homes are all the range, they've been priced out of MY range

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Response to jwirr (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:36 PM

52. I don't know if I could handle the ladder to a loft

but, even though I live in a modest home now, I mostly use just 2 rooms.

I think I could adjust to a smaller house, as long as I commit to getting rid of stuff I don't use on a daily basis.

I think the idea of getting rid of "things" and going small would be very freeing.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 01:03 PM

66. I ended up homeless and started moving in with family that

got rid of a lot and as I have moved from one to the other family member I got rid of more.

When I designed the tiny house in my first post I did it with keeping what I have now.

As to the loft - that is added in to allow my great grandchildren to stay over night in the Tiny House.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:05 PM

21. They make good TV fodder

But IMO are just a passing fad.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:01 PM

47. I too tend to think it's just a fad.

But the idea of getting rid of all my unnecessary junk and downsizing is very appealing. I also kind of like the idea of no mortgage.

If I were to sell my house, I could easily afford to buy a tiny home and make the mortgage go poof! Enticing idea!

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:32 PM

50. i think so too

if one wants a small, moveable home, there's always the standard motor home/travel trailer. i hope to buy one someday.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:08 PM

22. I'm thinking in a few years of building one in the backyard

A guest room & office. My house is a two bedroom one bath. I'd like to build a little guest house, I have plenty of space in the backyard. It would have a bathroom and maybe a mini-kitchen area. Room for a queen sized bed and then I could also have room for my study.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:10 PM

23. Too many hobbies and a love of tools

is my problem. The wife and I live in a 2100 sq ft four bedroom home. All the rooms are used for multiple hobbies. My attached garage and separate workshop/shed are all full of tools and equipment to take care of the 1+ acre and play with the hobbies. My library takes up half a bedroom.

Sometimes I think about downsizing to something smaller, but I am (so far) not willing to give up any of my hobbies or their related "stuff." Maybe when I get older ......

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:14 PM

24. I think it would be easier to consider if I was a foot shorter

beds, couches, chairs, tables, counters and fixtures already seem small and awkward to me.
and I will crack my skull on your chandelier.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:17 PM

25. I lived in this for 4 years...

.....Coachman Lamplighter truck camper......with my gf and 2 60lbs dogs
16'x8' 128 sq ft...but no where near that much floor space

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:27 PM

26. My girlfriend inherited some land on Catalina Island

 

She is contemplating plopping one of these on it:

http://karoleena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/The-Bow-by-Karoleena.pdf

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:47 PM

36. cool! would be stunning on Catalina

 

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 04:43 PM

72. That's worth inheriting, I love Catalina particularly the little visitied interior.

 

Having a place there would be great.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 15, 2015, 01:47 AM

88. We will have to see what transpires

 

The best thing about the property is it has it's own well, although she doesn't know whether it's legal to use it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:28 PM

27. I have 600sq ft and can't imagine anything bigger now.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:31 PM

28. They look very attractive to me because there is so little to clean

but tiny houses can't house floor looms and spinning wheels and fleeces, so much for that. I live in a starter house with 750 original square feet with a badly done reno of the attached garage for another several hundred square feet. It's just a series of boxes, badly designed.

I upgraded from a trailer of about the same size that was well designed but in the wrong location, too far from work and shopping. It was a honey for the money, with a mortgage that quickly fell below market rental rates.

It wouldn't be that big an adjustment going to a cabin with a sleeping loft and I could probably shoehorn my smaller loom into it. I know I don't want anything bigger. As I pointed out to my dad when he said he hoped I'd move to a better neighborhood when I inherited his money, living in one of those big barns means cleaning the damned thing and no thanks.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:40 PM

31. I have about 900 square feet

 

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, three skylights.

I could use a bit more space, because I do things like crochet, so I have a very large yarn stash, embroider so lots of unstarted embroidery projects, make a bit of jewelry so I have the stuff for that, also. Plus lots of books. Lots and lots of books. And no, I'm not about to go totally electronic. Plus, I still have my wedding china, which I pull out on occasion and means a lot to me. Oh, and I write science fiction, so I have printouts of what I write, and that takes up space.

Those who live in tiny houses must not have any hobbies, don't own CDs or DVDs or real books. I cannot fathom living like that.

In reality, if my 900 square feet were better organized, I probably wouldn't need more space. No plans to buy a bigger home.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:43 PM

32. I don't know how people in those things make room for pets or hobbies.

I have 1400 sq ft, and with 3 cats, a mastiff and two moody young humans that's a squeeze, especially when the girl is mooning about with boy trouble- then I'd rather like to banish her to another floor, if it existed. :/

As is I can't wait to put up a shed- I don't really have enough garage for all of my shop equipment, and I'd like to clear space in there for a chest freezer for my garden produce.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:44 PM

54. I went on a tour of an eco-village

where all the houses were about 600-700 sq ft but they'd arranged them really smartly so everyone still had privacy and a bit of a garden to call their own.

They had a communal wood shop, garden allotments with a communal tool shed, a communal gym, library, art and music room, etc. I found that really appealing. I'd like to get into woodworking at some stage but the cost of buying all the tools puts me off and I don't want to buy a house three times bigger than I really need just to store a lot of tools I'll only use once in a while.

Here's the link if anyone is interested:

http://www.earthsong.org.nz/design/buildings.html

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #54)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 09:02 PM

65. Yes, tool lending libraries and shared shop spaces are great. I wish my community had one.

I lucked out with my tools: my best friend's grandparents lived across the street, and last year when her grandmother decided she couldn't live on her own anymore she asked me if I'd like her late husband's tools out of their garage. That man had a Sears card and wasn't afraid to use it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:44 PM

34. I rented a tiny bungalow type place for two years..maybe 300 _ 400 sqr feet

 

It was a bit claustrophobic because the space was divided into tiny rooms. Tiny bedroom, tiny living room. Tiny kitchen eating area. Quality of life would have been better without the walls..if it were designed like a studio or loft.

The tiny homes I see on tv today are beautifully designed

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:46 PM

35. What I don't like about the tiny houses I've seen on TV

There doesn't seem to be an emergency exit, only one entrance door. How can the occupant escape a fire? Many years ago, I saw one of those old aluminum house trailers catch fire; and the person living there just managed to get out the door before it was completely engulfed in flames.

Climbing to a loft bedroom would be very difficult for a handicapped person or a person who has had any surgery.

I would also be concerned about the stability of the building in a severe wind storm. What wind speed can they withstand? Hurricane Sandy's 90 mph wind gusts took off my porch roof.

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Response to PADemD (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:52 PM

57. Stability shouldn't be too big a concern if built well.

If it is basically a trailer in everything but name, I agree. If you built one not designed to be mobile, you could do things like build into the side of a hill or build them up as strong as a safe room.

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Response to PADemD (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:49 PM

62. and most of those tiny houses

on TV are for sale. Always wonder why.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 05:57 PM

40. Yes, it's called an apartment. ;)

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 06:22 PM

43. Frugal living and tiny may not go well together.

I have a small 900 square foot home with a full basement and unattached garage on a 50' x 100' lot. I could live in a smaller home but then I'd run into problems on where to store garden produce which I've canned or frozen. There'd also be lack of space for items bought in bulk when on sale. The basement works great as a storage area, a place to hang dry my clothes and is a conditioned workshop. I'd miss that.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 06:35 PM

45. I live in a "too large" house, but any we might want to downsize to

must have 2 bathrooms. We have 2 now and I must say, it has helped avoid accidents on the carpet.
When you get older and have to go to the bathroom, it seems to be right now...not when the person in there finally comes out.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:10 PM

48. I hope it becomes a trend.

The idea that everyone needs a small mansion with an open concept floor plan, 2-3 car garages, walk-in closets, 1:1 bathroom ratio, with a bonus room and a man cave just sort of encourages excessive waste (filling up a house with things you don't ever use and heating/cooling more space than you ever need). I mean, who needs a 100" television if you are sitting 3 feet away from it?

I don't know if tiny homes are the best answer, but they are certainly a better concept than overly large homes. I have in-laws that bought a big house and while they love the house in the abstract, as they enter their later years in life, they find that a second floor master suite with no bedrooms on the first floor isn't exactly working out so well one of them just recently had a stroke and now has problems navigating a flight of stairs.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:21 PM

49. Agree 100%.

Families are getting smaller and many people are choosing not to have children at all.

In my mid-50's, I'm not all that old, but I'm starting to have problems with my knees. All bedrooms are upstairs.

Plus I hate the idea of having a mortgage. Although my house is not very large, if I were to sell it, I would easily be able to afford a more modest home, mortgage-free.

I also find the idea of having a more environment-friendly house very appealing. Many of the newer tiny houses have green features that are not found in traditional homes.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:06 PM

58. SO loves the idea... me not so much.

I imagine not having a private space to escape into...and immediately start thinking I'd end up spending most of my time somewhere else. Being locked in a tiny house with the Kardashians and "housewives" on television would be terrible.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:34 PM

51. I have experience with tiny apartments.

Just after I graduated I lived in a 350 sq ft apartment. It was basically a bed, TV cabinet, kitchenette, bathroomette and some narrow walking space winding around them- a tiny bit bigger than an average hotel room. Can't exactly recommend it, but I was able to save up for a better place. The worst part was having no storage space and feeling like a hoarder even though I didn't have that much stuff. When I moved, everything I owned fit in six boxes but in that place I was constantly tripping over everything or having to empty a whole cupboard to get to the pan I wanted.

It's not too bad if you're a social person by nature (which I'm not) and the complex also offers good communal spaces like a garden, function room with a larger kitchen, games room, etc.

I'd consider a tiny house on a relatively big plot where some of the garden could still be used as living space and there was a reasonable sized shed for storage and other people were reasonably far away. The actual worst thing in that apartment was my neighbour who would have screaming parties until 3am on weeknights.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:43 PM

53. If they were in desirable locations where you can walk to things, would love one.

 

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 07:51 PM

56. lived in a 35ft 5thwheel for 12 yrs...does that count?

 

I loved it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:14 PM

59. Just downsized from 2,500 to 950sq/ft.

From 3 floors to one, from 14 rooms to 6, from 3 baths to one.
Just me and the cat. Still trying to get rid of a lot of crapl

Taxes went from $2,000/year to $550, insurance from $1,000 to $381.

It's great, being older I have fewer places to look for my glasses, wallet and keys. Takes an hour to tidy up, not all day. I did go from a 1//4 acre to 2 and a half and have two detached garages.

Loving it. Could go smaller, but this is the house I found for the price I wanted to pay.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:52 PM

63. I did a big chunk of my life

Born on a military base & mobile homes were standard issue.
As a adult, poor to middle class, more mobile home. I've never lived in anything larger than a thousand ft.
It was more than enough room for 2 children & 2 adults.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 08:56 PM

64. I'm in 1100 sq ft now

Just me and an 18 year old son that occasionally crashes there. I plan on downsizing at some point, maybe around 700 sq ft, 2 bedrooms and 1 bath probably. I do want more land though, currently have 1 acre and want want to get something on at least 10.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 01:08 PM

67. I think those showcases of 'tiny homes' are fantasy

As soon as you try to cook in one of them, or do any actual living in them, I'm sure the limitations become apparent.

Not sure whether the craze is being driven by people's fantasies of being able to get away from life's complications or a more sinister motivation of getting the proletariat to accept living in closets

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 01:10 PM

68. When I was single and had no kids, I lived in a little 1920's style bungalow.

It had a LR, BR, bath, and combo kitchen/dining area with a little alcove for a washer/dryer. I think it totaled around 650 sq. ft. It was a single family dwelling, with a huge and very private backyard. It was perfect for me at the time, and I could easily live in a similar space again.

I just don't think I could handle the tiny houses. I don't need a ton of room, but I do need separate rooms. I don't want to do all my cooking, eating, sleeping, showering/toileting, and leisure time in the same 10 x 12 space.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 02:47 PM

69. For the past three years, I've lived in a 34 ft Class A motorhome with three slides, by choice.

We sold our 1868 sq ft home and everything we own, bought the motorhome and hit the road. We're retired but have heard from people of all ages who are living this lifestyle while earning an income whether they are static or nomadic.

We love it and have no desire to return to living in a sticks and bricks house. It did take some getting use to living in such a small space but after three years it doesn't seem all that small and it's easy to keep clean.

LESS STUFF MORE FREEDOM.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 04:06 PM

70. lived for a couple years in a converted 1 car garage...it was big enuf

have a very old travel trailer parked in a campground where i never spend enuf time during the summer

currently have a 900 ft condo that i inherited. it feels big to me
I DO like the small heating bills
i DO like the lesser taxes and insurance
I DO like that cleaning does not require a cast of thousands
I DO like that the wifi signal is strong anywhere in the place

I am fascinated by the folks to convert shipping units into homes but i am not handy enuf to try
something like that myself....changing the old light bulb is as far as i go

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 05:53 PM

74. No. Screw 'tiny houses'. Do I have to shop at Dollar Stores too?

 

Seems to be all about "You're middle class. Get used to living with less."
F*** that. I've worked hard for 60 years to keep my 3-bedroom home in rural NH.
I built a workshop for myself - 20'X12'.
I built a cabin in my 4-acre woods - 8'X12'.
I'll keep what I have, thank you.

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Response to elias49 (Reply #74)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 05:57 PM

75. Alrighty then!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 06:13 PM

77. 1300 square feet, but

we've raised 4 children and one dog here...with one bathroom. The children are all grown now, but when they're home for holidays and visits, we often have 8 people (sometimes 10)and one dog staying here. We manage quite well.

"But you know, love grows best in little houses,
With fewer walls to separate,
Where you eat and sleep so close together.
You can't help but communicate,
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss.
Love grows best, in houses just like this."

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 06:35 PM

78. We just moved

to our new home. Before we lived in 500sf (two people, 1 dog, 1 cat). It was enough room, but we wanted our own house. We didn't have the money to build so we looked for a real estate agent, who understood what we were looking for. LOL some peoples idea of small - We ended up with a 1200sf house. 3 rooms are empty, it echos. It was one of the smallest houses we were shown. We got a bargain, paid cash and we hope in 10 years we can sell for a profit and build the one room @600sf cabin of our dreams. I grew up in a 2br house with 7 people living there, in college I shared a 1br apt in NYC with 6 other people. We had a sleeper sofa, with a loft bed over it. We worked/slept in rotation, like on a sub - at any one time, usually only 3-4 people would be home.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 06:47 PM

79. I went to high school with Jay

His business was Tumbleweed Houses. He sold that and is now Four Lights Tiny Houses http://www.fourlightshouses.com
Great guy, great product!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:25 PM

81. I've mostly lived in small houses/apartments.

Not "tiny", as in the tiny house movement, but small. Grew up in houses too small for our family of eight, and have lived in whatever I could get later, with a husband and two kids, and later no husband but three kids. And we all have stuff.

Currently, I'm in a single wide trailer, four bedrooms, two baths, combined kitchen/living room. About 1000 square feet. We've been renovating as we can (opening up the two main rooms), but there still isn't enough room for four adults and two dogs. We have a house guest at the moment, so that makes it a little harder.

At least it's paid for.

I don't want a huge house, but I'd like to have another 500 square feet. I have my hobbies, and I like some solitude, so it would be nice to have more room to put my stuff in, where I could be on the computer or watch TV without someone walking behind me all day. And a separate laundry room. Gods, I would love that.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 07:49 PM

85. Early 1960s

50' X 10' mobile home. Me, wife, and two toddlers. Fortunately we were too young and too poor to have accumulated much stuff. Two 24" wide closets in the master bedroom and one 18" wide closet in the kids room. Sleeper sofa in the living room for company (when and if).

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 08:46 PM

86. where will our servants sleep ?

 

Americas too big acomidations started with the credit/lending scams .
I would rather have quality instead of cheesey quantity anyday .

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 11:37 PM

87. Not now,

but I did live in a 12x12 guest house for eight months when my oldest daughter was a baby in 1972. It contained her crib, my single-bed mattress on the floor, a rocking chair, and a hot plate. It had bay windows, which is where I stacked our clothes. I also lived in a fairly small studio apartment in San Francisco for a while and loved it.

We just bought a Little Guy camper trailer which is tiny but perfect for our camping purposes. No more setting up tents in the rain. Yea!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Tue Dec 15, 2015, 09:08 AM

89. I know someone who's building one

Her blog about it can be found here:
http://copebecktinyhouse.blogspot.com

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