The Simple Life: Tiny Houses!

Source: nicolas.boullosa on Flickr

This post is the beginning of my series on Minimalist Housing, focusing first on the Tiny House Movement and it’s product; Tiny Houses.

My Introduction to Tiny Houses

When I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, I began to realize that I needed to find an inexpensive,  “alternate lifestyle” style of housing. All of my friends were either renting or had pulled out a mortgage to live comfortably in nice, 3 bedroom 2 baths homes in the suburbs.

Unfortunately I wasn’t quite on board with Minimalist living, in fact at this point I had no idea what that even meant (and I had never heard of tiny houses either). But I did know that my low income job as a warehouse manager wouldn’t allow me to pay electricity bills even with the help of Utility Saving Expert, let alone buy a house in the suburbs. And I saw rent as throwing away money that could be used to acquire an asset (I think a bit differently of this now; in some situations it’s better to rent for a time).

So I pored over the internet for hours in my free time, trying to figure out how to dodge a massive monthly expense on a house I couldn’t afford in the first place, and still live well in a house that I was proud of. I wasn’t above buying an inexpensive trailer for $3,000 and skipping out on a mountain of debt while I raised funds for a nicer home, but my wife didn’t enjoy that idea, so it was back to square 1.

And guess what? We found a beautiful home that we bought outright – no mortgage, no debt, no interest – just cash. I’ll get into more detail on that later, but I want to explore some of the options I found in my research; houses I’m still extremely interested in buying as a part of my interest in simple, minimalistic, alternate lifestyle.

This post will cover Tiny Houses, and I plan on writing about other alternate housing options such as; yurts, storage container houses, tepees, straw bale houses, and many more in upcoming posts!

Tiny Houses

There’s been something of a movement in real estate and alternate housing that people are calling the Tiny House Movement. I think it’s in response to debt, mortgages, and unwise consumerist behavior, which many people see as a problem in America. The call is to a more basic lifestyle, at least when it comes to spending, which helps people take their mind off of money, to focus on more important things.

So Tiny Houses have become the solution for many people; especially singles, college students, and individuals who don’t require much space.

One of the most fascinating things about these houses is the inspiring creativity put into the design of these houses, and the variety as well – some of them are deep but short (single story), and others are tall two story homes with limited depth. They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, but the common factors of them all are:

  1. They’re affordable: some require a “Tiny” mortgage, but most can be bought with a one time payment.
  2. The monthly upkeep is minimal: The space to heat or cool is small, so those bills are low, and some people even use solar power as the main source of electricity, which brings costs down even more.
  3. They’re mobile: They don’t look like modular homes (probably because of the perceived social implications).

Here’s a gallery of Tiny Houses to give you an idea of what they look like:

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