In the spirit of sound money, sound living within one's means and preparing accordingly, how many of you have considered a small house? The term "small house" is actually a specific genre of housing which are under 500 sq feet but some creep up into the 800+ range. There are also tiny and micro homes which are even smaller than small. Still with me?
It's a newer movement which I've followed since before I took the red pill and the products, ideas and complete homes have continued to improve over the past few years. Tiny home enthusiasts are a smart, resourceful, determined and excited bunch trying to escape the modern paradigm. Sound familiar? This movement started about the same time as the housing bubble was fully baked. They knew something was amiss but so few of us drill it down to the core. Tiny house enthusiasts understand a 30-year death pledge is way too much life to spend for shelter. The true price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
While under 500 sq ft is a bit too small for me, I get a lot of great ideas from these people. Some of the small house manufacturers build homes up to 1200 sq ft so there is something for most everyone. I won't post the individual blogs I have read, but there are some great ones out there which chronicle the experience of building and living in one. Some of these houses are actually built on small trailer beds so they can be portable and stay under building code radar yet they are complete stick framed modern houses only smaller, a lot smaller.
So if you're really looking to take it to the next level or abhor the thought of being tied to a mortgage, I hope some of these links will provide you with the same inspiration they have for me. There is a philosophy with living in a tiny home, much like our shiny. I hope you check it out.
Here are a few links I have on this. Some of these are just too cool.
Tiny House Blog
Tiny House Design
This is Jay Shafer. He is one of the pioneers of the "tiny house" movement. He owns Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.
In my area the "tiny homes" are under 400 sq ft. and built on a steel frame and wheels (easily disguised) therefore eliminating building and hookup fees. Prices range about 40-60K but I think they could be built for less. Buyers right now seem to be people looking for a small rental in their backyard or an office or guest quarters.
I know one person who just purchased a used tiny home. She is losing her 4K a month ranch to foreclosure but owns the 10 acres next door so is putting on a tiny home - never wants a mortgage or debt again. These homes are great if you have property where you can do a lot of outdoor living and have small out buildings.
Small house doesn't work for me. Maybe if I were single, but not with a family. I am considering an off grid earth sheltered home though.
We are currently looking for a small piece of land to escape to and downsize into. We are in our mid 50's and currently working on getting his last "youngun" through 3 more years at William and Mary College. My two are grown and gone already. He still "works for the man" but after I left my estimating and project manager job in '09 after being cussed out and threatened by "the man" we decided that we've had enough of the system and as soon as the last youngun is through college we are shrugging and living a life at poverty level i.e., not paying anymore taxes to support those that won't.
What I have been researching is the idea of combining a couple of small cabins (approx 300 sq ft ea) grouped together on some land and making use of outdoor living areas such as a grilling/canning/outdoor brick oven kitchen. I'm thinking of one small cabin for sleeping quarters and full bath for the 2 of us and another small cabin for the indoor kitchen/living/half bath/utility room kind of thing. This is just to start with, but eventually we will have to add additional sleeper/efficiency units for those family members that refuse to "get it" about where we are headed as a society (namely, my younger sister and her family) and for my aged Mother who currently lives in Oregon because I don't see social security lasting much longer for her let alone any possibility of the 2 of us seeing ours.
Bobbi, I too like the idea of several small units for different purposes. The only time I need AC is for sleeping so I quite like the idea of a standalone bedroom unit.
I posted a link above to Cabin Fever, but here is a specific page on their site which shows different layouts possible with their units. Click around their site. There is pricing listed for each of their units and the possibilities are really endless with these. By doing what you propose, you could purchase an all-in-one studio unit and add additional units as funds allow. I love this idea and is where my head's at as well.
I quite like the L shape two units can give. Once you have that, there is always the possibility of adding a third unit to complete a "U" shape. I can picture a screened deck courtyard in the middle, ultimately giving you a little bit of everything.
Also, google "dog trot" house plans. Dog trot, is a name for a breeze-way between two buildings but all under one roof. May be an option for you.
Yes! this is exactly what I envision as well, the courtyard/breezeway concept of connecting the small units. I will definitely do a search for the dog trot concept. And also agreed on the power-saving features of small cabin units. We are on the same page there with air conditioning for the sleeper unit only. We are planning on the courtyard/breezeway concept for shaded areas for afternoon siestas/rest periods during the heat of the day during the summer months.
It seems most of these small houses are illegal due to zoning.
Basically, few people want to live around poor people because they think they cause troubles. I've lived in a few poor neighborhoods and there's truth to the stereotype. So one way to limit who your neighbors are is to zone the place and put up strict building codes which make it difficult for people to live in affordable housing.
I know some states (Maryland was one) used to have counties without building codes, so that things like this would be possible.