The Tiny House Craze
As a Realtor, I get to see a lot of houses. I see a lot of great houses and a lot of houses where I literally wouldn’t even walk in the front door. Most people would think that I would want one of the many multi-million dollar homes that I have seen. The kind with sitting rooms and libraries, billiard rooms and guest wings. Not so much. I downsized in my last move and if/when I move again, it will be smaller than the current one. There is only so much time in a day and I don’t want to spend it doing tons of yard work and house cleaning. There is much to be said for paring down. Most of us have things in our closets, cabinets, and perhaps in our attic that we haven’t used in years. Would we miss it? I know I wouldn’t. So much of what is “important” to us can be transferred to digital files and kept in a cloud to access online without the need for boxes of pictures and videos. I am reading “The 4-hour Work Week” In it, author, Tim Ferris, talks about getting rid of unnecessary stuff prior to living abroad for a time. If you really want it, you can buy it again when you return. I am starting to feel that way on a daily basis. Our lives can get cluttered by so much stuff that we can feel that we are in a constant state of chaos. So, on that note…
I am not a TV watcher, however, I have a caught a few episodes of HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” and have to say that I am intrigued. I would love to have a house on a lake for vacationing. The main problem with a vacation home, however, is the maintenance and upkeep. If you have it for vacationing purposes, the last thing you really want to do when you’re there is do house projects and honey-do lists. In a tiny hose, there would be so much less to maintain, the utilities would be a lot less, and you could spend more money on a better piece of property (with a better view and lake access)!
Technically a tiny house is less than 400 square feet and can be on a foundation or on wheels. There are also small houses that are between 400-1000 square feet. There are a multitude of styles – there really are very few limitations. There are ranch styles, yurts, cottages, contemporaries, cabins, container boxes. The list goes on. Most are made for 1-2 people but I have seen some that families with multiple children live in. You can customize your tiny house to have top of the line materials and feel like a tiny king or queen or you can keep is super simple – and super inexpensive. You can have porches, rooftop decks, outdoor showers, outdoor kitchens, sunrooms, etc. The tiny house requires creativity with space planning. Do you have 3 cats? Where are the litter boxes going to go? I’ve seen a solution for that, as well as a ladder walkway for them. Do you have a rabbit who likes their privacy when they eat? Do you sew and need space for material and trimmings? Do you work from home? Are you claustrophobic? (Haha – I don’t know if tiny house living would be for you but with a lot of windows, you could probably make it work.) Basically, if you have a need, it can most likely be accommodated with a little creativity.
There are a ton of resources online if you are interested in getting more information on tiny houses or interviewing builders. If you are already an owner, I would love to see pictures of your tiny house and how you solved some unique special challenge. I don’t know if I will ever own a tiny house on a lake but I know I could furnish it with all the extra stuff in my current home, so, even if tiny house living is not for you, maybe it will make you think about living simpler.
Photos courtesy of Simon Howden and vectorolie at freedigitalphotos.net
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. Wife to Robert, “Mom” to Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.