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Old 01-19-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
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My Tiny House

I was talking to a real estate professional this weekend who was quite concerned with the new trend toward "Tiny Houses"....

Seems it is actually starting to impact sales of MacMansions - and a lot of us "aging boomers" are totally over owning a status symbol that breaks the bank the back with maintenance work and costs. Seems she thought that this trend was entirely new in the past year.

I got to use the line "Well I've lived in a Tiny House since 2005. It's certified green, too. Then I told her it was an Airstream. I'm in winter quarters right now with about 18 neighbors who are pretty much the people I socialize with when I'm not out on a trip. Most are in mohos or bigger fivers, but there are a few others who have smaller units. I took her home to visit... and she nearly wept to realize there were that many people in an upscale RV camp who had eschewed conventional home ownership.

Thought she would cry.

Paula
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:32 PM   #2
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Was on a thread on this subject on another site. I much like the idea of a few sea cans under a roof structure on a large paved area. Minimal air conditioned space, but with large outdoors areas. And those screened or not screened. Semi-enclosed or completely open.

Quite a few ways to cut initial and operational costs.

And a traylah under one long edge of that roof.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:42 PM   #3
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They are still building like crazy where I live...

I have always preferred small space living. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for real estate agents in general, too many of them are more interested in their commission than they are the customer they are selling to. I know that is how they make their living but customer service is part of the job too.

Just think of all of those poor buggy whip makers that went out of business when the car took over.

Aaron
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:32 PM   #4
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Here is a picture of a tiny house notice the airstream in the back ground. You can see more of these tiny houses Tiny House Living | Tracking the Pulse of the Tiny World

Don
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:53 AM   #5
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We visited some folks in Florida who live in a community that incorporates trailer and RV storage.

They live in a condo-type residence, with a garage next to it large enough to store their trailer.....with full hook-ups.

Other sites had pads with full hook-ups, along with a small structure that included a laundry room and perhaps a living room.

It was pretty cool.....permanent residence for some, winter residence for others.

In 1985, my children and I moved into a 1100-ish square foot house I had built on a slab on a nice sized lot.

The low-rent district, I called it , but safe and affordable for a single mom with a very modest income.

In 1992, added Doug.

Still there, the house remodeled and upgraded over the years....staying in it and paying it off was one of the best decisions we ever made. For us, it meant living beneath our means, saving excess for an early retirement.

We didn't have to downsize as the kids left and we grew older, and the freed income allowed a wonderful, albeit modest, retirement life.

Small is good, for many reasons.


Maggie
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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the energy crisis in the 70's should have delivered a message about housing, but it obviously didn't as they keep getting bigger and bigger, with lots of useless roof lines running in multiple directions.
A small house is fine. A Barn is never big enough.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:59 AM   #7
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New houses in our area are bigger and getting more so. Mortgages and taxes make for a small fortune each month in payments. Ours, standard two story paid off 20 years ago, could have purchased a monster, but wanted to save for retirement, glad we did what we did, now the house is too big
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:24 AM   #8
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If I had it to do over, I would have less house and more garage.

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Old 01-20-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
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I have been trying sell my 2400 sq ft house for a few months. The market really sucks for sellers in my area. Goal is to sell the house and live in the Airstream while building a 500 sq ft tiny house on a couple of acres of land in Western NC or North Georgia. We live in a society that values conspecious consumption. I used to buy into that but at 63 it is time to downsize and simplify my daily life.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:28 AM   #10
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When I moved to Missouri for a job last year I had to buy a house fast to move my wife and aging mother up from Texas so we ended up with a house that is probably too big for us when Mom passes in the next 2 to 5 years. Having the Airstream was a major influence on the decision of a house as we wanted a level driveway long enough so I could park the Airstream to get ready for trips or perform maintenance. A two story house with 2 large bedrooms upstairs and downstairs, two large living areas down stairs with the master bedroom and the large level front driveway for the Airstream is what we ended up with. When Mom passes and we get rid of all her aging furniture the house will be mostly empty. It would be the perfect time to redecorate, replace old carpet, make some minor remodeling changes but it would also be a good time to sell it and try full timing looking for other places to possible retire. While we like the area we are living and the property has a nice backyard looking out over a park the house does need some work. It may be better to downsize and try to find a smaller house in the same area or a new location we discover on our full time journey.

Kelvin
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:55 AM   #11
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Small is beautiful

I built my own 1,800 sq. ft house and another super green and energy efficient one for my daughter and her family next door. My philosophy is to make each area do double duty (at least) and have as little useless space as possible. Passive solar, minimize North windows, keep roof lines simple and seal/insulate very, very well.
BUT I also wish I had built my garage at least twice the size, LOL.
So true...'a small house is fine. A barn is never big enough'.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
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Our Airstream adventure began when we sold our second home on the Texas Gulf Coast that we had owned for 18 years. It was a small cabin, but the maintenance and upkeep was astounding. That cabin turned into our Airstream. We have never looked back.

Other person: "I don't have enough space".

Me: "You have too much crap".
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
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Agree that you can never have a large enough barn...

Largest house I ever owned was 1800 sf, most have been right at a 1000sf or smaller. Best one was 640sf. Lower maintenance costs are a huge benefit IMHO. My Airstream will probably end up costing more to rehab than my first house did to purchase.

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Old 01-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #14
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Our house is a thousand square feet. Have lived in it for fifteen plus years. All that is needed for two. Peace jim
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #15
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As an Architect, I'm glad to see the interest in smaller, more efficient homes. I'm seeing more interest in using the Passivhaus standard which creates homes that are compact, comfortable and reduce heating and cooling energy by up to 85-90% less than a standard home. Where I live, land is scarce and expensive, so smaller and more efficient homes are beginning to make sense to a lot of people.
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:38 AM   #16
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When I started this thread I left out what I had BEFORE I got the first Airstream. I grew up in a very modest 2 bedroom one bath cape cod...

Then many years passed and I saw "This Old House" on PBS... I blame it all on them. Anyway the dear departed and I got a 5 bedroom 3 bath house with 3150 sq feet of space excluding the English basement and attic.

One day sanity finally struck as one more 20K repair loomed and the market was as hot as it's ever been. I sold the thing in December 2005, just before the market started to tremble readying for the collapse (99% luck, 1% smart).

The transition to a 22ft CCD? SO MUCH CRAP to unload. How the hell did I ever get 27 kitchen knives? Who in their right mind would KEEP 3 crock pots - all large ones?

Now I confess I STILL have a small storage locker. I've downsized that twice, and my goal is to close it this spring when I have my final yard sale. It's handy to keep a LITTLE bit of off season stuff for the Airstream... but I must admit there's still some Depression glass (service for 12 if you believe it) in pink cabbage rose. That is of course WAY too much in both weight and size to go into the Airstream, but I'm going to keep service for 4 and sell the rest and use (and break) the pretty stuff rather than see it spend another season in a box.

Downsizing was both easy and hard. The first time I did my weekly cleaning of the Airstream and finished in 20 minutes including damp mopping all of the floors... That's when it really started to make sense. And make happy!

Now I've been there, but I don't have room for the t-shirt!

Paula
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
When I started this thread I left out what I had BEFORE I got the first Airstream. I grew up in a very modest 2 bedroom one bath cape cod...

Then many years passed and I saw "This Old House" on PBS... I blame it all on them. Anyway the dear departed and I got a 5 bedroom 3 bath house with 3150 sq feet of space excluding the English basement and attic.

One day sanity finally struck as one more 20K repair loomed and the market was as hot as it's ever been. I sold the thing in December 2005, just before the market started to tremble readying for the collapse (99% luck, 1% smart).

The transition to a 22ft CCD? SO MUCH CRAP to unload. How the hell did I ever get 27 kitchen knives? Who in their right mind would KEEP 3 crock pots - all large ones?

Now I confess I STILL have a small storage locker. I've downsized that twice, and my goal is to close it this spring when I have my final yard sale. It's handy to keep a LITTLE bit of off season stuff for the Airstream... but I must admit there's still some Depression glass (service for 12 if you believe it) in pink cabbage rose. That is of course WAY too much in both weight and size to go into the Airstream, but I'm going to keep service for 4 and sell the rest and use (and break) the pretty stuff rather than see it spend another season in a box.

Downsizing was both easy and hard. The first time I did my weekly cleaning of the Airstream and finished in 20 minutes including damp mopping all of the floors... That's when it really started to make sense. And make happy!

Now I've been there, but I don't have room for the t-shirt!

Paula
Gee, Paula, you make me feel almost guilty about my little cabin in the woods. I say almost, because I need room for my stuff, cause I like my stuff. Paula, I just can't live without my stuff!

But, I'm glad you manage to make it without all those things. Paula, you are a hero to all of us willpowerless addicts of stuffness.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:02 PM   #18
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That little cabin in the woods should make a nice funeral pyre. Then you really can take it with you. 😄
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #19
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Our home for 2 soon to be 3; is 5 bedroom 4 bath my garage is equipped to hand;e 12 cars and we still can't get but 3 in the garage... We have 3100sqf per floor 3floors and we could just as easily leave in our Airstream and never look back at the little 13 room house.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:25 PM   #20
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We are planning to build a 1000 sq ft house and a 15 car garage and 1 slot for the Airstream.


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