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Old 03-15-2017, 07:35 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
3,437 posts, read 5,760,071 times
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Hubby and I have been in discussion about tiny homes on frugality vs condo. We currently have a nearly 1200 sqft condo at $1300 a month. Very cheap for where we are (they usually run around $1700). While in discussion with my father who travels the country in a 5th wheel full time.

I don't think owning a tiny home would actually be much cheaper than a regular home but anyone want to chime in? Yes you don't have a mortgage for most of them but in its place you're adding lot rental (some up to $1000 a month if you plan on staying in one place longer term), gas, electric, food etc. With this being a fairly new movement also there aren't tons of places allowing these structures to come onto their lots. It feels like whatever you're saving in rent you're making up in lot rental and gas alone. Am I the only one who's thinking this way?
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:42 AM
 
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If you have to pay lot rental, what's the difference from a mobile home park?

I think the "tiny house" movement is much more about reducing one's focus on possessions than about reducing housing expenses. Most of the accounts I read also involve living in the back yard of a relative and using the relative's house for things like washing clothes, taking baths, etc.

Without doing the numbers I suspect the lowest housing cost is to buy an actual house, very small, in a low cost of living area, taking a small mortgage and paying it off ASAP. Even the smallest conventional house will have features that the "tiny house" doesn't, like normal sized kitchen appliances, a complete bathroom, and a washer/dryer.

I grew up in a 2 bedroom 1 bath house of 930 sq.ft., for example.

The other candidate for lowest housing costs, I expect, is the mobile home on a lot you own outright. But again I haven't done the numbers.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:46 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
3,437 posts, read 5,760,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
If you have to pay lot rental, what's the difference from a mobile home park?

I think the "tiny house" movement is much more about reducing one's focus on possessions than about reducing housing expenses. Most of the accounts I read also involve living in the back yard of a relative and using the relative's house for things like washing clothes, taking baths, etc.

Without doing the numbers I suspect the lowest housing cost is to buy an actual house, very small, in a low cost of living area, taking a small mortgage and paying it off ASAP. Even the smallest conventional house will have features that the "tiny house" doesn't, like normal sized kitchen appliances, a complete bathroom, and a washer/dryer.

I grew up in a 2 bedroom 1 bath house of 930 sq.ft., for example.

The other candidate for lowest housing costs, I expect, is the mobile home on a lot you own outright. But again I haven't done the numbers.

Yes I agree with this except while watching programs and reading articles the number on reason for tiny home living seems to be lower expense and not so much giving up possessions. I believe the latter part could be achieved without moving into a tiny house. Many people practice minimalism in normal housing. I agree many simply live in peoples backyards in order to pull this off. Making me suspect if they didn't have this option they couldn't afford to do it.

Last edited by Sweetbottoms; 03-15-2017 at 08:03 AM..
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:35 AM
 
12,404 posts, read 9,203,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
Hubby and I have been in discussion about tiny homes on frugality vs condo. We currently have a nearly 1200 sqft condo at $1300 a month. Very cheap for where we are (they usually run around $1700). While in discussion with my father who travels the country in a 5th wheel full time.

I don't think owning a tiny home would actually be much cheaper than a regular home but anyone want to chime in? Yes you don't have a mortgage for most of them but in its place you're adding lot rental (some up to $1000 a month if you plan on staying in one place longer term), gas, electric, food etc. With this being a fairly new movement also there aren't tons of places allowing these structures to come onto their lots. It feels like whatever you're saving in rent you're making up in lot rental and gas alone. Am I the only one who's thinking this way?
Tiny home living isn't necessarily cheaper if you adhere to the out-of-control federal, state, and local red tape. In fact the regulations not only massively inflate the prices of construction and utility hookups, but they make anyone who tries to do it, on top of a lot of construction workers, into criminals (even if not prosecuted). This applies even to traditional construction industry workers, since the industry is so highly regulated that mistakes that everyone makes are criminalized.

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonie.../dp/1594035229
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:13 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,001 posts, read 25,765,271 times
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Maybe it is cheaper if you own the land and didn't have to pay for a place to put it? If you are paying lot rent to have a place to put it, I think the cheapest lot rent around here is $500-$600 a month and for that, you are living in a mobile home park.

Purchase price seems way high for what you are getting. For 1/8 of the money, you can buy an excellent travel travel trailer with slide-out, a much better floor plan, and that is light enough to tow with your own vehicle so you don't have to pay a trucker to move your tiny home.

What I see with the tiny homes in my area is that they look fime for about the first two weeks. Then storage bins start to appear underneath them. Very soon, stuff is piled all around them and they start to look like trailer trash. There is no place for stuff, so to live in a tiny home you can't own anything more than one frying pan and 3 changes of clothing. You have to either eat out or buy food 2 days at a time. I don't consider grocery shopping 3-4 times a week to be a simplification in lifestyle.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:38 AM
 
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I saw the show Tiny house and saw on average people paid 30K for tiny house. You can find a real house in many cities in Midwest for that price with backyard & basement. No need for mobile house. I wish the focus is on moving to low cost area and maybe smaller house like they had 50 years ago. Show that people don't need 2000+ sqft home
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,003 posts, read 1,696,518 times
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I don't know much about this, but the whole premise seems ridiculous to me. In addition to the cost of building the house on a trailer, one needs a pretty beefy truck to move it.


If one is going to be moving around a lot, I'd think some sort of travel trailer is a better choice. On the other hand, if staying put it seems like a small house on conventional foundation is a better choice.


Cheapest would probably be camping, living out of a pickup or car and moving around often enough to be legal, or at least not attracting attention. I do like camping, but wouldn't want to do it 365 a year.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:05 PM
 
11,383 posts, read 6,428,699 times
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Seems like a 500-950 sq ft "regular house" may be seen as a cracker box whereas a "tiny house" is cool and chic because it's new, portable and hippyish. I'd personally take a 700-1000 sq ft "regular" house because I imagine the resale value on tiny homes is pretty bad. If I want a portable home, I'd buy a used motor home.

If you must live in an area where even the most basic homes are $150k+, a nicely finished tiny home for say $80k may not seem so bad even if it'll be worth $40k in 5 years.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:10 PM
 
11,383 posts, read 6,428,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
I don't know much about this, but the whole premise seems ridiculous to me. In addition to the cost of building the house on a trailer, one needs a pretty beefy truck to move it.


If one is going to be moving around a lot, I'd think some sort of travel trailer is a better choice. On the other hand, if staying put it seems like a small house on conventional foundation is a better choice.


Cheapest would probably be camping, living out of a pickup or car and moving around often enough to be legal, or at least not attracting attention. I do like camping, but wouldn't want to do it 365 a year.
The needing a truck part is a biggy that the shows usually leave out of their final cost. A reliable full size truck (preferably a diesel) can easily cost $25-30k and get ~12 mpg towing a tiny house (I'm guessing 10k pounds loaded up with furniture and stuff).
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:11 PM
 
11,701 posts, read 16,450,382 times
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How does an elderly couple get up a steep ladder to go to bed? What happens when someone is incapacitated be ist a cast, medical issues, ... ?
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