I must apologize to everyone who let me into their Tiny House for photos, and granted interviews, etc. Things have taken longer than I’d planned. There was an abundance of material from THJ, and I’m finally getting a handle on it all. Thanks for your patience.
I’ve been interested in Tiny Houses for a couple of years, now. For many, they represent a new kind of American Dream. Holding the promise of Financial Freedom and Maximum Personalization, their allure is self-revealing. The majority are built Green and Sustainable, which makes them even more attractive. With costs ranging from under $20,000 (DIY), to $85,000, Tiny Homes present a way to have the things you want in a home, on a smaller scale, with a much lower price tag than a traditional house.
Interior of a Tiny House from 84 Lumber. They’re getting into the market in a big way, offering Tiny House kits, that can be assembled, then moved to your location, or built on-site.
Those of you who know me, will understand why I was excited to get my Media Pass for this event. It meant I could arrive early, stay late, and generally hobnob with the people who are making things happen.
On Thursday afternoon, before the Friday opening, the scene was kaleidoscopic. Food trucks were arriving, golf carts buzzed around the place, big trucks hauled in their Tiny House payloads. Like a kaleidoscope, there was color and action everywhere, and it was difficult to know where to focus.
By evening, most people had their THs in place, and staged for visitors.
On Friday, visitors began to show up early. One couple I spoke with owns land in Southern Colorado, and was thinking about a pair of Tinies, to use as guest houses. Others were looking for affordable retirement homes. Almost everyone is enamored of the mobility of a THOW (Tiny House on Wheels). To them, lower upkeep costs and higher mobility translate to extended independence, expanded location options, and more liquid funds.
Tiny Houses are not without drawbacks, however. Some municipalities are reluctant to accept them, referring to zoning laws and restrictions that may or may not apply. RV parks can be troublesome, as well, not knowing how to treat Tinies.
Before you get to that point, though, there is the question of moving your Tiny. Weighing in between 13,000 and 20,000 pounds, you’ll need a half-ton truck, or larger, to haul it around.
Whether your TH is on wheels, or on a foundation, there’s also the issue of how to insure it. As far as I know, only a few companies offer applicable policies, and many of them are not pursuing the market.
Byron Fears, of SimBLISSity, with friends.
Overall, I’d say the Tiny House Jamboree was well worth the visit. With a large slate of speakers, and a very impressive turnout of builders and other vendors, there was a lot of information available. What impressed me most, though, was the feeling of community that one got.
While it may be tempting to stereotype these folks, it would be a mistake. Certainly, some of them are on a subsistence budget, choosing to live tiny and own something, instead of paying rent to a landlord. Others, though, hold higher paying positions, and have made the choice for any number of reasons. They may want to sock money away for tuition, international travel, or retirement. In the end, the reasons are usually fairly similar. They dont want to be tied to a 30 year mortgage, or to a particular place. They feel that, over time, the money they save will be well worth the sacrifice in space.
A theme that echoed through all of the conversations was, Try before you buy. If you’re thinking about building, or purchasing a Tiny House, you really should stay in one for a while. Air BnB has listings for Tinies, you might also check Facebook groups, and MeetUp.
To summarize, here are some takeaways from the Tiny House Jamboree. For the right person, a Tiny House can offer many opportunities, including possible financial gain, and freedom to move. They arent, however, devoid of problems. You need to do your homework, to see if Tiny Living is for you.
For more images, keep an eye on the YouTube channel at VagabondStew. There will be a slideshow, very soon.
YouTube resources – Living Big in a Tiny House, relaxshacksDOTcom, Life Inside A Box
Facebook – Tiny House People is a closed group, so you’ll have to request membership. It’s the best TH group that I know of.
Television – HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, FYI’s Tiny House Nation
There are also a few documentaries that might be good for you. The first is a film titled, Tiny. It was the spark that got me interested in the Tiny House movement. The other is Small Is Beautiful. Again, I dont know where you can find it. You’ll have to check Netflix, Hulu, or whatever, to see if it’s available.
There’s a short film on Vimeo, titled, Living Small
YouTube hosts We the Tiny House People.
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Keep your Dream on…