Author Topic: Any Tiny House Dwellers?  (Read 13873 times)

oldtoyota

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Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« on: April 17, 2014, 02:44:25 PM »
I am curious how one goes about finding land for a Tiny House. There's a community in DC that has Tiny Homes. That looks appealing.

If I were not part of a family, I would be doing this asap. It's a little more difficult when other people/opinions are involved, yet I am still dreaming that we can do this one day.

I looked online at plans. I would love to buy an existing house, but I have not seen that as possibility. Would I buy plans and then hire a contractor? I am not a DIY person when it comes to construction. Would it be best for me to suck it up and become a DIY person?




MissStache

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 03:10:21 PM »
This is a big part of my eventual FI plans- a tiny house in rural Western Virginia.  I've thought about it a lot!

I'm actually planning on designing my own, but I will hire a professional architect to mock up the official plans.  My tentative plan is to hire a contractor to do all the hard stuff like framing and putting in windows, plumbing, electric, etc., but I want to do all the finishing myself (things like painting, staining the wood, and anything else I think I can handle). 

This is still a good decade+ for me, so I'm hoping that in the interim, I will be able to make friends with some craftsmen and women who are able/willing to assist me.  My parents built their own house with the help from a lot of talented friends, and I really like the pride they have in knowing they had a hand in building the home that they live in.  What an accomplishment!


MgoSam

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 06:10:52 PM »
Internet connection slow so will google this later but what is a "tiny house?" I figure that it is a small house, but beyond that is there anything I should know?

I love the concept of having less space especially as I know that I will likely buy more crap to fill up any unused space, and that having a limited amount of space will encourage me to be selective on what I buy.

Any idea on how to know exactly how much room I will need? Right now my figure is high but I am realizing that I don't need as much space as I guessed.


CarDude

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 06:27:25 PM »
Internet connection slow so will google this later but what is a "tiny house?" I figure that it is a small house, but beyond that is there anything I should know?

I love the concept of having less space especially as I know that I will likely buy more crap to fill up any unused space, and that having a limited amount of space will encourage me to be selective on what I buy.

Any idea on how to know exactly how much room I will need? Right now my figure is high but I am realizing that I don't need as much space as I guessed.

Yes, it's basically a small house. Depending on your definitions, they may range from 100 sq. feet (or smaller!) up to around 500 sq. feet, at which point they're typically referred to as small houses, up to, say, 1000 sq. feet. But the definitions are fluid.

Regarding your second question, a good way to get an idea is to measure your current living space and experiment with living in a portion of it. Alternatively, you could look at room layouts and pictures across different square footages online.

ToughMother

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 06:33:18 PM »
I would love to buy an existing house, but I have not seen that as possibility.

Welcome from us tiny/small house groupies.  Here's a reliable site to get you started on existing tiny houses:
http://tinyhouselistings.com

bo_knows

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 06:34:22 PM »
Tiny houses intrigue me, but a sub-200sqft space just wouldn't fly for a family of 4 in my opinion.  So... I'll have to wait until kids are in college, but I think it's a great idea for couples with no kids or single folks.  The cost benefits are HUGE, especially if you've got a mind for saving/investing/FIRE.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 07:57:21 PM »
I consider myself as a tiny houser of sorts, with 5 people in 730 sqft. My DW wants a dream house that's slightly bigger, but 1,000 tops. We keep tugging back and forth, but I think the idea of a house on wheels is what bugs her, and so many tiny houses are built on trailers.

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 02:45:14 PM »
Great info here. Thanks, all! I have some more reading to do.

I still am not sure about how to get the land, but maybe some of those links from CK will have an answer.

MissStache--Maybe I'll be your neighbor! I love Wva...except for the water issues. Hopefully, the water will be drinkable in 10 years.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 02:55:48 PM »
Our house is a small house, but I love the idea of a tiny house.  I would really love to have a yurt.  All of the ones I have seen are beautiful.  I like these:

http://www.yurtsofamerica.com/?gclid=CO7RgvX16r0CFUpnOgoduiEAfg

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 03:31:30 PM »
The custom truck camper we are building is somewhat like a tiny house.   Counting the overhang it is 17 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet high.  So that is 136sq ft.  It has everything a tiny house would have...water, heat, 120V wiring, R13 insulation.


We plan to live in it full time.

elainelw

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 03:36:56 PM »
Come to the http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm at Tiny Texas Houses in October 10-12. You'll get to see some beautiful tiny houses built from salvage materials and hear some of the best tiny house builders in the country!

zachd

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 07:17:26 PM »

Cool, I'm in Austin I might come out for that fair.

Like the OP, I like the idea as well and think about it all the time.. but a. would have to convince my wife and b. don't know how to build anything

A good piece of advice I read though is to volunteer for habitat for humanity.  Volunteers build houses and you could learn the basics there hands on while helping out others who are in need of housing.  I'd also like to think I have enough friends who know how to build that they could help me out and get me going in the right direction if I was trying to build something on my own.

I think a good first step also might be to move in to a small apartment.  If you weren't cut out for living in a small place it would be better to found out in an apartment rather than after having invested time and money in tiny house.

Also, there are listings for tiny houses.. look for tiny house listings on facebook.  I mean, there are only maybe 1 every 2 weeks and they are scattered around the country but you never know.



oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 04:25:16 PM »
This article is interesting. It says the low cost of a tiny house is not as low as people say:

http://thetinylife.com/the-fallacy-of-a-tiny-house/

yyc-phil

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 04:35:34 PM »
We are in the process of purchasing a small ocean-view lot on Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands off the cost of Vancouver Island (British Columbia), with plans to build our tiny house within the next two years. At this time, we are looking at a few models but we are almost set on something that will look like this one below, with a few changes and adaptations to fit some of our requirements, one of which is simplicity of construction and materials. We will probably not build on a trailer, but on a concrete or steel piles.

http://mocoloco.com/archives/001109.php

mozar

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2014, 05:33:37 PM »
I don't think
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 11:37:46 AM by mozar »

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2014, 08:00:44 PM »
I don't think you said where you want to live but I am always evangelizing for Greenbelt, MD. There is a co-op community with 1700 units called GHI in Old Greenbelt. The smallest I've seen is 575 sq ft, but at least you don't have to build anything.

Excellent idea. I love Greenbelt. It's a lovely place, and we considered living there at one point. My main beef is that it's not close to the metro or public transportation, and I would like to reduce to one car one day. On the other hand, I would not have access to the metro if I lived in W. Va. LOL.


OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2014, 08:31:40 PM »
I don't think you said where you want to live but I am always evangelizing for Greenbelt, MD. There is a co-op community with 1700 units called GHI in Old Greenbelt. The smallest I've seen is 575 sq ft, but at least you don't have to build anything.

Excellent idea. I love Greenbelt. It's a lovely place, and we considered living there at one point. My main beef is that it's not close to the metro or public transportation, and I would like to reduce to one car one day. On the other hand, I would not have access to the metro if I lived in W. Va. LOL.

It's not that far from the Greenbelt Metro station. There's a little grocery store and a lovely old movie theater in the center of town, but you would have to leave the island from time to time for other things. I almost bought a house there once.

Miss. Takes

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2014, 12:16:27 AM »
oldtoyota, where are the tiny homes in DC you were originally referring to?

kite

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 05:34:40 AM »
We're in 900 sq foot.  Would be very comfortable in 400-500 square feet as we simply don't use half of our space.   If we had to replace or rebuild we'd go smaller.   The limit to how small would be determined by my piano and other musical instruments.   The piano is as essential to me as running water.

bo_knows

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2014, 09:01:25 AM »
oldtoyota, where are the tiny homes in DC you were originally referring to?

Might be this community: http://boneyardstudios.com/

I read about it not too long ago.

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2014, 01:58:25 PM »
oldtoyota, where are the tiny homes in DC you were originally referring to?

Might be this community: http://boneyardstudios.com/

I read about it not too long ago.

Yep. This is it.

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2014, 01:59:19 PM »
We are in the process of purchasing a small ocean-view lot on Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands off the cost of Vancouver Island (British Columbia), with plans to build our tiny house within the next two years. At this time, we are looking at a few models but we are almost set on something that will look like this one below, with a few changes and adaptations to fit some of our requirements, one of which is simplicity of construction and materials. We will probably not build on a trailer, but on a concrete or steel piles.

http://mocoloco.com/archives/001109.php

The house plan looks fantastic!

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2014, 02:01:19 PM »
I don't think you said where you want to live but I am always evangelizing for Greenbelt, MD. There is a co-op community with 1700 units called GHI in Old Greenbelt. The smallest I've seen is 575 sq ft, but at least you don't have to build anything.

Excellent idea. I love Greenbelt. It's a lovely place, and we considered living there at one point. My main beef is that it's not close to the metro or public transportation, and I would like to reduce to one car one day. On the other hand, I would not have access to the metro if I lived in W. Va. LOL.

It's not that far from the Greenbelt Metro station. There's a little grocery store and a lovely old movie theater in the center of town, but you would have to leave the island from time to time for other things. I almost bought a house there once.

I almost bought a house there too! Our main reservation was that, at the time, you could not rent out your property without community permission. At the time, we thought we might live abroad and did not want to have to sell our house if we wanted to leave the country for a year.

I find it peaceful. I'm not a fan of the market, yet I love the pool and trails!

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2014, 03:20:47 PM »
The only reason I didn't buy the house was because my mother was going to cosign on the loan, and they didn't allow cosigners who weren't going to be living there. The rather sleazy RE agent suggested we lie and say she was going to be living with me, but that didn't seem like a good idea.

Too bad -- it was a really cute house.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2014, 03:27:00 PM »
We are in the process of purchasing a small ocean-view lot on Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands off the cost of Vancouver Island (British Columbia), with plans to build our tiny house within the next two years. At this time, we are looking at a few models but we are almost set on something that will look like this one below, with a few changes and adaptations to fit some of our requirements, one of which is simplicity of construction and materials. We will probably not build on a trailer, but on a concrete or steel piles.

http://mocoloco.com/archives/001109.php

The house plan looks fantastic!

I'd like two of those back to back. One to live in, one for my music studio (for practicing and teaching).

TomTX

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2014, 07:26:20 PM »
Come to the http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm at Tiny Texas Houses in October 10-12. You'll get to see some beautiful tiny houses built from salvage materials and hear some of the best tiny house builders in the country!

$300 tickets, not including meals, etc. Ouch.

oldtoyota

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2014, 08:29:20 PM »
Come to the http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm at Tiny Texas Houses in October 10-12. You'll get to see some beautiful tiny houses built from salvage materials and hear some of the best tiny house builders in the country!

$300 tickets, not including meals, etc. Ouch.

Ouch, indeed. And that takes us back to the topic of Tiny Homes not always being as inexpensive as one might expect.

Someone on the board shared an article about a Tiny Home dweller. The TH dweller used her host's oven and, sometimes, shower. So, it seemed like she was leeching off of others and then saying how inexpensive it was to live in a Tiny House. Maybe it's 100% okay with the people whose ovens/showers she's using. Maybe she is giving something in return. Without knowing what, though, it did not sound like something I would want to do. I'd want a shower and an oven.


JT

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2014, 09:20:51 PM »
A friend of mine lives in a tiny house they've built themselves.  It's stunning with lots of wood and they've put in lead light windows.  There's a tiny kitchen and a normal toilet in a tiny (but functional) place.  The design is quite clever with its use of space.  The only issue I can see is the shower - they rely on a house on the same section (fortunately owned by a relative).

This topic is really relevant as I've recently realised I have enough assets to RE if I bought a tiny house.

Cromacster

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2014, 07:11:09 AM »
Saw this today.  Thought it might be an interesting read for those into tiny houses.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/garden/square-feet-84-possessions-305.html?_r=1#

yyc-phil

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2014, 11:08:05 AM »
Come to the http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm at Tiny Texas Houses in October 10-12. You'll get to see some beautiful tiny houses built from salvage materials and hear some of the best tiny house builders in the country!

$300 tickets, not including meals, etc. Ouch.

Ouch, indeed. And that takes us back to the topic of Tiny Homes not always being as inexpensive as one might expect.

Someone on the board shared an article about a Tiny Home dweller. The TH dweller used her host's oven and, sometimes, shower. So, it seemed like she was leeching off of others and then saying how inexpensive it was to live in a Tiny House. Maybe it's 100% okay with the people whose ovens/showers she's using. Maybe she is giving something in return. Without knowing what, though, it did not sound like something I would want to do. I'd want a shower and an oven.

If the arrangement is mutual and benefits both parties either financially or otherwise, which is the likely scenario in these kinds of arrangements, then I don't see any leeching. This being said, most tiny houses I researched were designed to be self-sufficient and included basic amenities such as shower/sink, stove/fridge, etc. And of course, tiny houses are not cheap let alone free, and their construction cost, on a square footage basis, may be higher than those of a conventional house, but the fact remains that overall, almost anyone with basic skills and the time to do it can still build a 200 square-feet house for under $10,000.

brycedoula

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2014, 12:01:21 PM »
Came across these 2 books in a bookstore yesterday:

Compact Houses & Compact Cabins, both by Gerald Rowan.

Some of the house plans were not that compact (1400 sq ft is a decent-sized home, in my Canadian eyes) but many of the cabin plans were 250-400 sq ft.

And many of the house designs were well suited to warmer climates.

yyc-phil

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2014, 01:50:49 PM »
I would love to buy an existing house, but I have not seen that as possibility.

Welcome from us tiny/small house groupies.  Here's a reliable site to get you started on existing tiny houses:
http://tinyhouselistings.com
Thanks for posting this, I had way too much fun with this site. I just wish you could search for permanent houses, I wouldn't want one on wheels.

You don't have to build your tiny house on wheels. You can put it on a standard concrete foundation, even on one with a basement if you wish. You can also built it on stilts, pier or piles. The main reason many tiny houses are built on a trailer platform is to circumvent many municipal by-laws and to avoid paying municipal tax on the property, since it is not considered real-estate if it is movable.

trailrated

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2015, 02:30:53 PM »
Make sure you get a hitch lock if you go this route! This is awful, and what is even more terrible is I could not stop laughing while reading the article.


http://www.myfoxny.com/story/27760342/thieves-steal-house

astvilla

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Re: Any Tiny House Dwellers?
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2015, 02:54:55 PM »
Make sure you get a hitch lock if you go this route! This is awful, and what is even more terrible is I could not stop laughing while reading the article.


http://www.myfoxny.com/story/27760342/thieves-steal-house

Wow that must really hurt. To steal something from someone who put a lot of sweat, blood, money and time into their home, that's just more emotionally crippling than stealing a car or computer.

I always did wonder that possibility of stealing a tiny home and what security you would need to stop someone from just hitching and driving off with it.