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Old 09-08-2023, 02:41 PM
6,452 posts, read 3,971,294 times
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Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
A "tiny-house" is what used to be called a starter home, where the goal is less the housing at the time, but long range goals.
I always thought of a "starter home" as a not-large house... maybe only has two bedrooms and so might not be adequate if more than one kid comes along, etc. I've been hearing about those my whole life. Whereas I think of a "tiny house" as a recent thing, one of those "our house is 400 square feet!" things.

Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Poor people have been living in tiny shacks and rooms throughout history. It's only been in the last couple of decades that "tiny homes" have become trendy, and "van living"has only been trendy for the past few years.
Yes, precisely. It's a trendy "tiny home" (or apartment) only if you *choose* to live in it/have it specially built for that purpose... otherwise you're just "poor."

I've wondered, though, if this trend has been fed so people stop expecting regular-size houses/apartments, or so regular-size houses/apartments can then go at a premium because they're larger than the new minimum-- "Hey, this apartment is 500 sf! It's large!"

Old 09-08-2023, 04:34 PM
Location: Prepperland
19,018 posts, read 14,193,756 times
Reputation: 16740
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
I see places like this and there is mention of building a loft or something overhead. That's when it hits me that you can't take this space into your final years. You may end up in a nursing home anyway, but having a bedroom on the ground floor allows you to stay in that house for a much longer time. A tiny home space may only be for a certain time period of your life and then you upsize. IMO, there are more practical ways to live.

Personally, I would only have a small space if there was a benefit to me. Living cheaper would probably be one of the few reasons I would do it.
LOL - the "loft" / bunk bed is for sprightly guests or g'children.
Old 09-08-2023, 04:55 PM
Location: PNW
7,492 posts, read 3,223,452 times
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Originally Posted by Lillie767 View Post
I think that many people believe that "too much space" is just slightly more than they have.

My house is about 2000 sq ft.

I think that is just the right amount of space for the life I lead.

Space for entertaining family for holidays and space for visitors to stay when they visit.

Yes, this.

For years I have hosted visiting friends and family and I have rescued animals because I have a certain amount of space. Because I started working from home part time back in 1999 I bought a house with a den. If you are WFH full time and not taking up office space and not commuting and contributing to the CO2 problem is that really worse? I installed very high efficiency systems and appliances back in 2010 and so I dropped my usage off a cliff pretty much.

At first 1,750 square feet seemed monstrous, but, over time it grew on me and I like the storage space (the garage is really 1 1/2 instead of 2 cars -- not sure how the builders get away with that). If money were no object I'd take a single level, slightly larger 2,000 to 2,200 sq ft place with a three car garage (and high efficiency everything). I live in a climate that has, at least historically, kept me indoors a large majority of the year (which would be harder with almost no space because I also have exercise equipment, etc). I garden which doubles as exercise a lot of the time. Well, I became significantly hobbled, I still do what I can.

Yes, I can get a tiny studio and not have friends, family and pets to deal with. But... ??? You know, maybe when I'm 80 I'll go that route as I still have some life left in me. I might have been personally better off going that route from the get go; but, it's never been just all about me (it's been about what fits my capacity for life over a certain period of time). My last five years on the planet I'd still probably want 900 to 1,200 sq ft 2 br / 2 ba though. I was not born at a time when people were warehoused dormitory style in high rise buildings; however, our house itself on 1/3 acre was pretty small by today's standards.

I previously rented apartments and had one or more roommates and I was also previously married and lived in less space in that scenario also. I did refer to myself as a minimalist in the past (and I still am that related to the stuff factor). Minimalism was kind of a natural occurrence due to my situation. But, life has a tendency to evolve.
Old 09-08-2023, 04:58 PM
Location: Prepperland
19,018 posts, read 14,193,756 times
Reputation: 16740
Before "glorious socialism", many folks lived in a multigenerational situation, often in a large house. In one sense, they were "bigger" than the alloted space in a 'tiny house' but if you considered how small the bedrooms often were (no closet, too), they might fit the definition (on a personal level). And the womenfolk stayed at home, so kids and elders weren't cared for by strangers. Or shunted to "warehouses" to slowly decay.

I remember one large family who lived down the street, that was composed of 7 children, 2 parents, several aunts and uncles, one statababa (grandmother). In retrospect, it was amazing that all those people were living off the salary of the husband / father. They were cash poor, but very happy.

I think a modernized version might be something like a core house, with attached apartments / suites, that can accommodate a dynamically changing family. And as one ages out, move to one of the efficiencies, and let the heir(s) take over the core house.

I often cringe when I see "luxury" mansions that are designed for glitz, but wasteful in functionality. (Or just plain McMansion ugly)
I can recall seeing old mansions (or plain large houses) being chopped up into apartments, with awful results. It might be nice to design large houses to reconfigure into rentals, right from the start.

IMHO, we're approaching a change where suburban sprawl becomes too expensive, and consolidation of population in villages, towns, and cities becomes the new norm. And with that, a renaissance of urban rail transit, so automobiles are no longer a necessity. It might turn out that the single family detached housing paradigm will fade away, being too expensive and wasteful for the remainder of the 21st century.
Old 09-08-2023, 05:06 PM
Location: Northern California
130,099 posts, read 12,078,224 times
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In my 20s I lived ina tiny apartment,with a Murphy bed, no oven just a hot plate & an under the counter fridge in the hall for a kitchen. Shower only. It was fine.Probably 400 sq ft Now I live in a 1200 ft home, with my husband & cats. I could go smaller but have no desire to move. Sometimes DH says lets get a storage unit, & I say no, we can donate it or toss it before I will pay for storage.
Old 09-08-2023, 05:41 PM
Location: Middle of the valley
48,518 posts, read 34,815,517 times
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Everyone travels to my house for one of the holidays. 6 more adults, and 7 extra dogs. During that time my house feels very, very.... small.
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Old 09-08-2023, 06:44 PM
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,656 posts, read 13,969,723 times
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Originally Posted by Wile E. Coyote View Post
Yes, this.

For years I have hosted visiting friends and family and I have rescued animals because I have a certain amount of space..
Same here. If it came to it, I could set up 12 isolation "Daktari" rooms (rooms and closets made to that).
Old 09-08-2023, 06:44 PM
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
11,085 posts, read 17,532,479 times
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After my divorce in '98, I bought a 400+ sq. ft. house for $7500. So small that my gas heater messed up so i heated the house every winter with a burner on my stove. Plus I loved having a house payment of only $143/month! When my present wife and I were dating, her daughter saw my house and said, for Christmas, she was going to get me a box of Miracle-Gro to see if I could grow a second room on the house. lol When I moved to another town 70 miles away, if I had had the money, I would have loved to have sold just the lot and had my house hauled to where I was moving. New place had a 3/4 acre lot and that would have made a good shop in the back of the back yard. Good thing I didn't since we didn't stay there.
Old 09-08-2023, 06:49 PM
2,050 posts, read 993,379 times
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Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
I currently live in a 680sqft home by myself. I find it to be just right in size for my lifestyle. I have seen homes that have 700 sqft bedrooms and it leaves me scratching my head as to why. I use my bedroom to sleep; why would I need 700 sqft to do that?

I cringe at the thought of heating and cooling square footage I don't need to. I am sure the county tax office LOVES people with 5000 sqft + homes too.

It is not that I am poor that I live in a small house; I just don't like wasting money.
I like this attitude and feel the same. I've almost always lived alone, and am a life long renter because it's easier for me. I currently live in a 600sf apartment and sometimes feel like it's too big because I don't even use the bedroom...I moved my bed into the living room under a window that catches morning light. Prior to this I lived in a 300sf cabin with a sleeping loft. That was perfect for me.

When I look back on my life I see a pattern of living in rather small, private dwellings - casitas, cabins, private apartments (not in a complex). Easy to keep clean, and easy on the budget. It also keeps people away, "sorry, I don't have room." Maybe part of my choice is due to environmental conservation concerns, but mostly I just like living in a small space. I would love to do the barndominium setup, and run my business there while living in a small apartment upstairs.

I once rented a 3BR house because it was dirt cheap. I lasted a year and moved to a smaller place that was more expensive! I frequently got scared at night in the the bigger house, always worried that an intruder could be hiding in one of the rooms. Since I didn't use the extra rooms at all I ended up sealing them off and locking the doors, and set up my living quarters in the main room/kitchen area.
Old 09-08-2023, 09:30 PM
Location: PNW
7,492 posts, read 3,223,452 times
Reputation: 10648
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
Same here. If it came to it, I could set up 12 isolation "Daktari" rooms (rooms and closets made to that).
Oh, Tamara, I could never do the whole wild kingdom thing you got going on. .
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