77 reasons TO live tiny…Part 1

Hello, hello!  I found this interesting article in The Oregonian that lists 77 reasons NOT to live in a tiny house.  You can read the full article here.  And while I agree that some of those 77 are an issue I will explain the tiny side of things.  My comments will be bold and in blue after the list of reason.  This might get interesting… =)

Here is the intro to the article:

“Are tiny houses a big idea whose time has come?

Each time a story is published about tiny houses, naysayers weigh in. They comment that tiny houses are a big mistake.

We start with the most important objection:

Reason #1 that tiny houses are a big mistake: Living full time in a tiny house on wheels is illegal in Portland and most cities. Just ask Claire Teasdale and Bennett Frazier, who were booted out of their tiny house by the city of Portland after a neighbor complained.

Trulia, the real estate database, offers other reasons buying a tiny house isn’t a good idea:

Ok, so this one I will 100% agree with.  However, zoning is changing in many cities and I even talked with my current city and if I take the right steps, can live within city limits.  (quick reminder on those steps: 1. I would need to adhere to all setback requirements, 2. get inspected to make sure I’m built to code – this is the killer because they would have to rip out the drywall – 3. I would need to be tied down 4. I would have to tie into the utility system and 5. I would have to be the only residence on the lot as the city does not have zoning for ADU’s. 

Reason #2: It’s a fad fueled by reality TV shows.

Actually, I think tiny houses were around BEFORE the TV shows started filming them.  I know I looked into living tiny in 2010/2011 – way before the tv shows started airing shows and when the pricing was reasonable AND there were only a handful of builders.  So in reality I think TV shows have made them more popular.  At least now when I say tiny house people know what I’m talking about, unlike a few years ago when I was discussing the idea. 

Reason #3: It’s an unproven niche market and a risky investment.

hmm, I will have my house paid off in 2 to 2.5 more years and then be 100% debt free with a roof over my head….(a post is coming soon about this!).  My plan eventually is that this will become my vacation house so I don’t know if this was a risky investment for me.  A niche market – yes I agree.  Tiny houses should be built according to the occupants needs and lifestyle. 

Reason #4: You can still live small by adopting a minimal lifestyle at home.

I agree with this, however, as someone said to me recently, if you have space to store stuff you usually fill it up.  Example:  If you have an attic and a basement, instead of recycling or sending that old recliner to Goodwill, you might store it in the basement because you MAY one day want or need it.  I do not have space to store stuff so I can easily make a decision to recycle or trash something. 

Reason #5: Buyers are few and restraints are many.

ummm, maybe because I’m in the tiny house community and talk to a lot of people who are looking to buy or build, I’m in the wrong place to say this but I think buyers are plenty.  Not sure what they mean by restraints but if building to codes is a restraint then traditional houses also have those same restraints.  Parking a tiny house is a restraint. 

Reason #6: Supply is high but demand is small, and it might take a long time to re-sell.

Yes, re-selling might be an issue.  I have no experience in that so I can’t give an opinion, however there are quite a few tiny house builders now.  When I started this process, again in 2011 there were 2.  Now, at least 50 were at the tiny house conference last summer and I know more and more keep popping up – all over the country.  people wouldn’t be opening/starting a building business if there wasn’t a demand…. just saying. 

Reason #7: It’s not that marketable; people desire space, bedrooms and bathrooms.

I can’t speak for other people but that’s not EVERYONE and if you market it appropriately by showcasing the sustainable features of a tiny house it can be marketable.  I think they just haven’t found the right marketing folks.  This is also a realtors point of view and tiny houses aren’t considered a “house” thus they don’t have a commission with a tiny house. 

Reason #8: The vast majority of tiny homes can accommodate only one or two residents.

I agree with this one. I don’t know how people live in tiny houses with multiple kids and/or pets. I would struggle with more than Blue and myself. 

Reason #9: It’s hard to entertain or host overnight guests.

Disagree.  While I haven’t had any guests overnight I have entertained a few times.  I can fit 10 people inside my tiny house – and we’re not crammed together!  I can also cook a full meal and have 2 people sit down at a table (ok countertop) to eat. 

Reason #10: Want to have a party? You’ll have to rent a venue or move outdoors.

Isn’t this the same as reason #9?  Disagree.  I’ve had multiple parties. 

Reason #11: It’s too small even for a vacation residence.

Disagree.  Check out Air B&B.  There are tons of tiny houses you can rent and there’s even a tiny house community listed in Oregon as well as tiny house hotels.  

Reason #12: An average home allows buyers to grow into it and keep it long term. A tiny home limits the lifestyle.

Disagree:  I plan to use mine as a vacation house after I “outgrow” it.  If I do “outgrow” it before it can simply go into a backyard and be an ADU/granny flat/studio, etc. 

Reason #13: A tiny home on a piece of property could be a temporary shelter while a larger home is being built and then be used as a detached guest house, but the architectural features would need to match the main house.

Says who???  If there is an HOA then yes, you would need to get the plans approved but where else would that be an issue?  The design side of me says yes, they should be complimentary but that doesn’t mean they have to match.  Using the elements and principles of design can create a cohesive look without matching.  

Reason #14: The concept of downsizing sounds nice, but be honest: We have a lot of stuff and we can’t rent storage space for it all.

Design storage into your tiny house!  Hello, bike garage! =) 

Reason #15: There’s no easy way for expansion.

umm, 2 tiny houses connected with a breezeway?  I think there is room for expansion if you get creative. 

Reason #16: You can’t take up a new hobby that needs large equipment.

I might agree with this one somewhat.  Unless you design the tiny house with the storage up front it would be hard to incorporate it into the building later.  However, I do have a lot of storage under the trailer that is currently just unused space. 

Reason #17: Without a garage, where do you store tools for home repairs or to fix your car?

Do I need to say this again…bike garage. 

Reason #18: If you need to rent a storage unit, you waste money and gas, driving back and forth to it every time you need something.

Minimalism baby!  No need for a storage unit….and once again, bike garage! 

Reason #19: It’s a tight squeeze if you want a cat or a dog. Where does the litter box go? Dogs don’t like being confined.

Catio and cat-walk!  I honestly don’t think Blue minds.  He LOVES the stairs (and his catio), he likes laying in the loft with is little paw hanging over the edge, and his litterbox isn’t a problem.  If it was a dog, I have no idea.

Reason #20: If you have a baby, your small house is now too small.

I would agree….but many people think that with their traditional house too. 

 

So what do you all think???  I’m curious about a non-tiny house dweller who’s not a realtor.

Ps. Don’t worry! the rest will be answered in a follow up post. =)

 

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