Author Topic: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?  (Read 34282 times)

Villanelle

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #100 on: April 03, 2016, 06:18:30 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

BlueHouse

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #101 on: April 03, 2016, 07:34:43 PM »
More houses on one lot is great! Higher density in already urbanized areas is how you reduce sprawl pressure on the periphery, make it more likely public transit will be viable, and increase the odds of the walkability of a neighborhood, because services will want to locate themselves near more people. In my area everybody wants to reserve funds to preserve 'open space' but all they have to do to reduce development of farmland is upzone existing single-family areas in the inner suburbs.
But they aren't building small space multi-units but a couple of 4000 sf houses for one small family. Plus making the area much more unaffordable for regular working class and even middle class people who have to move far out of town to get affordable housing (and causing even a larger building boom of lower cost housing and services in periphery areas) and commute long distances in for jobs. Now if they took those same lots and build a couple or 3 small houses or small apts/condos then I'd totally agree with you.

They are building two houses on one lot, but only one family will be using the lot? That's bizarre.

However, building dense market-rate housing increases the availability of housing where there's demand. The people moving in to those homes would be driving up demand someplace else, and when they move out of whatever unit they were in to their new unit, they're increasing availability to low- and moderate- income people. Restricting building of new housing because it causes "gentrification" does not help the poor.
Yes, one 4000 sf house for the parents and a second 4000 sf house for the kids. It's the American Dream ;-)!!

I meant one small family for each house. These are people who are generally upsizing from already existing smaller homes, condos or apts that are already located in the urban area. They aren't downsizing but are really trying to live large. And many of the tear downs are done from older smaller multi unit dwellings that are on the large single lots (several small cottages on a lot) so they are often decreasing available housing.

In addition the type of large houses they build are huge and have a big environmental impact to tear down and build as well as very high energy requirements to heat and cool. I'd rather see 8 1000 sf townhomes or 16 500 sf apts being built than 2 mcmansions. Of course if I lived in that neighbor hood I'd rather just continue to see small 700 sf single story homes being built even if they divided up the lots.

Sorry for going mildly OT but are there parking rules for these new double McMansions?  Do all the newly added residents park on the street?
yes each house has to have at least a 2 car garage I believe. Although most people park in their driveway or on street and use the garage for storage.
In DC, it has become popular for developers to buy an older row home, stick 1-3 additional floors on top of the existing structure, convert to 3-4 condos, then sell for $600K+/unit.  Proponents say it creates much-needed additional housing, while opponents say it only creates higher prices for all housing, leaving the poor further behind, while further stressing out infrastructure.  There is no parking available for the increased density.  DC's zoning and regulations aren't really keeping up with the challenges yet, and we're seeing shoddy and unpermitted work, illegal demolition, and really poor design that takes away from the historic nature of the neighborhood. 
To see just one example of a new "Pop-up" pissing off a neighborhood, just google "V Street Monster"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-notorious-piece-of-washington-real-estate-struggles-to-find-buyers/2015/01/03/6402d9e0-8ad2-11e4-9e8d-0c687bc18da4_story.html

GuitarStv

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #102 on: April 04, 2016, 11:49:57 AM »
I like the idea of a tiny house, but you really need to be in a mild climate. I can't imagine being stuck inside one of them because of rain or snow for weeks at a time. You have to be in a place where most of your living happens outside.

Thank you for saying this. Another point: I live in Manitoba, where it's -40 C in the winter. I NEED to have a variety of clothing/footwear to live where I do, ie decent winter boots, parka & other cold-weather accessories. Things items take up not-insignificant space, which is at a premium in a tiny home. And summer clothes are needed as well, obviously. I feel like a tiny home makes sense in places like California or Texas, where one could get away with fewer clothing items.

Also: you need to live near a grocery store, because you can't buy in bulk and work out of a well-stocked pantry and chest freezer in a tiny house.

You should live near a library if you like to read (or I suppose only read Ebooks)

You should have hobbies that are either outside or in another location - forget setting up a sewing table in a tiny house, for example.

The stuff of living takes space. You can either live with the space (slightly larger but not McMansion house), outsource it (library/outdoors/etc), or buy new every time you need something you can't store.

Generally I think the small house thing is less appealing when you live in a place where it's pretty damned cold for 6 months a year.  It forces you to actually live in your small space ALL THE TIME, whereas in a warmer climate you can chill outside much more often.

Gerard

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #103 on: April 04, 2016, 11:56:30 AM »
I think the original point being made about people in other countries living in tiny spaces was to show that there's no inherent reason for humans to need 500 square feet each.
There is also no inherent reason to eat meat, drink alcohol, drive a car, have a bicycle, etc. Could be "proven" in the same manner you just proved that more space is not needed...

Yes. As in, "lots of probably-not-completely-insane people have a pretty good life doing without X, so clearly the absence of X isn't that much of a hardship, and the need for X is a social construct." Which is all that I think/hope is needed here!

Rollin

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #104 on: April 04, 2016, 02:04:26 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

maco

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #105 on: April 04, 2016, 02:16:05 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement
Huh, that says up to 500sqft is generally accepted as "tiny." I always mentally put the line between Tumbleweed's trailer tiny houses (up to ~200sqft) and Tumbleweed's cottage plans which are ~300-800sqft. Having an actual foundation, versus wheels, being a big factor in the distinction, in my mind.

If I'd had the scratch to buy land and build, I'd have wanted a 1 bedroom Harbinger.

Villanelle

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #106 on: April 04, 2016, 03:19:01 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.   

soccerluvof4

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #107 on: April 04, 2016, 04:01:21 PM »
I wasnt going to go back and read three pages on this but I do think while there might always be "tiny" houses that will be a small demand However i do feel there will be a growing on going demand for smaller homes .

mm1970

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #108 on: April 04, 2016, 05:59:41 PM »
Hard to tell if it's a fad or not, especially when they vary so much.  I've been following the Tiny House Movement (and get the mag) for years now, and I think they are adorable. Though I'd probably never live in one.  (4 people in 1146 sf is small enough for me.  No garage, no basement, no attic.)

You've got families in them, because it's all they can afford. 

You have hipsters.

You have elderly or sick folks who lost their homes.

You have people trying to save money.  I have two friends who lived in converted buses for a couple of years each.  It's similar.

You have people who built them themselves - in which case it was a definite learning experience, and often much much cheaper.  It could be a necessity, or just a great hobby.

Then there are the super high end ones.  I cannot imagine paying $60k for one (even though per sq foot, it's the same as a house here, once you subtract land).

I think they can be a great option depending on where you live and your life at the time.  There have always been people living on the fringes, in small spaces. College students, people living in vans or RVs, the elderly, the poor.  And if you are able to "move up" then more the better - you can Air-BNB that sucker.  Bigger than many hotel rooms.

As an aside, I lived in a trailer for a bit in HS, and several family members live in mobile homes. It's very common in my rural hometown.  It's less common where I live now - there is a bit of a stigma.  But also, most of the parks are not owned by the mobile home owners.  You pay space rent, and it's easily $1000 a month.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #109 on: April 07, 2016, 07:44:19 AM »
Trailer homes have been around a long time; it doesn't fundamentally change simply because the occupants have graduate degrees and a blog.

This is one of the all time posts on this forum.

Anyway, I think the tiny home movement is somewhat my generation's over-dramatic/knee jerk response (I'm 28) to growing up in huge homes where much of the space wasn't used.  I'm probably wrong, but I think my generation was one of the first where a decent plurality of us grew up in what this forum calls "McMansions" (could be wrong, but it's my understanding that most of these homes were built since 1980). 

I personally grew up in a 2,500 square foot home with a finished basement (so basically 3,700 square feet). We had a guest bedroom that was maybe used 3 or 4 times my entire time living there (20+ years), we had a "piano" room that was never ever used, we never used one half of the basement, and our bedrooms were comically big (to the point that I had a couch in mine). In total, I think we maybe used 2,000 square feet of the available 3,700.

Not only did we not use much of the space, but we grew up watching all the time, effort, and money it takes to maintain such a big house.

So when I was shopping for a home, I didn't want a big house. My fiance and I qualified for up to a $300,000 house (I live in a LCOL area, and this meant we could get a beautiful 3,500 square foot house). Our realtor was shocked when we ended up getting a 3 BR ranch that is 1,100 square feet and has an equivalent sized basement. 

Bottom line is that I think there's a whole generation of people like me who don't want to pay for something they're not using (in terms of time, effort, money, and maintenance).  I do think, though, that the tiny home movement is just reverting to the opposite extreme from McMansions, which I believe is equally unsustainable in the long term.

Rollin

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #110 on: April 07, 2016, 08:27:15 AM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.

My trailer used to live in during college days was about 185 sq. ft. Worked well for me!

GuitarBrian

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #111 on: April 07, 2016, 10:03:53 AM »
An interesting thread...

I lived in a normal house during the summer until I was 8. The last 19 years has been a combination of living in small spaces.

I have spent most winters living on our sailboat. Not sure the exact s.f., but it is 33 feet on deck, and 12 feet at it's widest point. All but the last 2 years we were a family of 4, and my dad's goal was as remote as possible. Many months we were on the boat with no option to go ashore, for days/weeks at a time. We have spent a total of less than a month at a dock or marine since we moved on the boat, when I was 4.

Part of what helps is we have 3 living areas. The main cabin, with 2 settees (built in seating), a large fold up table, 2 bunk beds and galley. The cockpit, with settees for 6 people comfortably. And the aft cabin. Which has a larger than full size bed, and no seating. Lots of storage everywhere... under every bed/settee cabinets and shelves etc. There is a bathroom with a door in front of the main cabin, then more storage (sail locker), then more storage (chain locker). With 4 people (2 teenagers, 2 adults) it was fine. I don't remember thinking we needed a larger space. We had guests a few times, as many as 4+(our 4)=8 for a week or so... it was getting pretty tight on board during those times.

We can carry a lot of a things, 2 inflatables, a sailing dingy, full dive gear for everyone, fishing gear, 2 outboards, a complete extra diesel engine, 220 gallons of water, 160 gallons of diesel, multiple head sails, storm sails, spinnaker, compartments full of extra gear and spare parts along with enough room for clothes and personal belongings, food etc.

It takes a concerted effort to keep things put away and pickup up, so as not to overwhelm everything.

You always had to get rid of something if you wanted to buy something new...   


During the summers I lived in an RV (34' Airstream trailer) in the mountains of southern colorado. In a lot of ways, there is less room in the trailer, even though it has a larger foot print, you don't get the deck, or really separate areas.... but, you can always just walk out the door to get away.

We started traveling playing music full time when I was 14, my brother was 12... my parents bought a cab over camper, to use as their "room" while the airstream was our living area. We did that for 10 years.

My parents are now living in a house (dad is rebuilding a '69 jaguar xke), I parked the airstream, and I have downsized to just the camper. 8.5 months a year, with the boat being the other 3.5 months.

With 2 of us living in the camper (brother and me) it works, we are very limited of what we can bring, but the simplicity of being able to drive to our shows, play, then drive straight to our next show, stopping wherever, is great. According to my measuring we have 68sf of space, plus a queen size bed over the cab. We have a kitchen with stove, bathroom with shower, hot water, refrigerator, couch with table, and the aforementioned queen sized bed. There is a real lack of storage, and space utilization is good, but not perfect.

In cold weather, it does OK... We spend 2 months a year hunting above 10,000 feet in Colorado, plus visit the PNW for Nov/Dec... Condensation is better of the stick built camper vs the aluminum airstream.

The Airstream was $11,500 (in 2008), the camper was $3,500 (in 2004), the boat... well... it is a boat. Currently it costs about 3k a year to maintain.


I am shocked by the prices I see on these tiny homes. And new RVs as well. Especially the class B vans, $120,000+? for less room than my camper? No 4wd? I guess someone is buying them, but I struggle to see the value. Even at a theoretical 50% off, used price... Plenty of options for 1/3... 1/4... even 1/10 the cost. I see the same trend with tiny homes... lots of pre-manufactured options for much less. Especially considering land isn't included, and they suffer from the same zoning laws.

Villanelle

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #112 on: April 07, 2016, 02:23:32 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.

My trailer used to live in during college days was about 185 sq. ft. Worked well for me!

And I've said that I think they work for single people, or maybe couples, and generally for a limited time.  "I'm gonna live in this 200sqft place for the next 1.5 years while I pay off student loans."  Very different from "This is my long term living plan" or "I have a spouse and two kids, and this is our forever home." 

I'm certainly not saying there is no scenario where these truly tiny homes would work. (Maybe we need a new term.  If tiny is 500 and under, perhaps "minuscule homes" or "micro homes"?)  I just don't think there are enough scenarios for enough people for enough time (and in enough climates to help without door living space) to keep this bubble afloat.  $50k for a 250sqft place?  Nope, not going to last.

onlykelsey

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #113 on: April 07, 2016, 02:27:02 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.

My trailer used to live in during college days was about 185 sq. ft. Worked well for me!

And I've said that I think they work for single people, or maybe couples, and generally for a limited time.  "I'm gonna live in this 200sqft place for the next 1.5 years while I pay off student loans."  Very different from "This is my long term living plan" or "I have a spouse and two kids, and this is our forever home." 

I'm certainly not saying there is no scenario where these truly tiny homes would work. (Maybe we need a new term.  If tiny is 500 and under, perhaps "minuscule homes" or "micro homes"?)  I just don't think there are enough scenarios for enough people for enough time (and in enough climates to help without door living space) to keep this bubble afloat.  $50k for a 250sqft place?  Nope, not going to last.

I think 250 square foot places are always going to cost more than 50% what a 500 square foot place costs.  Part of it is that a lot of the costs of building are not the expanse of walls, but addons that you need regardless of size (outlets, windows, tile, a sink, etc).  There's also the well-known phenomenon of land not having rational value... I can't remember what it's called.  Usually, you make far more money selling 100 .5 acre lots than one 50 acre lot.  The value of space doesn't adjust linearly.

Villanelle

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #114 on: April 07, 2016, 04:39:50 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.

My trailer used to live in during college days was about 185 sq. ft. Worked well for me!

And I've said that I think they work for single people, or maybe couples, and generally for a limited time.  "I'm gonna live in this 200sqft place for the next 1.5 years while I pay off student loans."  Very different from "This is my long term living plan" or "I have a spouse and two kids, and this is our forever home." 

I'm certainly not saying there is no scenario where these truly tiny homes would work. (Maybe we need a new term.  If tiny is 500 and under, perhaps "minuscule homes" or "micro homes"?)  I just don't think there are enough scenarios for enough people for enough time (and in enough climates to help without door living space) to keep this bubble afloat.  $50k for a 250sqft place?  Nope, not going to last.

I think 250 square foot places are always going to cost more than 50% what a 500 square foot place costs.  Part of it is that a lot of the costs of building are not the expanse of walls, but addons that you need regardless of size (outlets, windows, tile, a sink, etc).  There's also the well-known phenomenon of land not having rational value... I can't remember what it's called.  Usually, you make far more money selling 100 .5 acre lots than one 50 acre lot.  The value of space doesn't adjust linearly.

The cost to build is not the same thing as the cost to buy, especially once they are used, and once the market becomes flooded with them.

It may cost 70% of what it cost to build 100% more, rather than 50%, but I don't think there are going to be people willing to pay that, which is kind of the point.  There are a lot of these being added to the market because it's a tread. When the trend dies, there is going to be a glut of these places.  Even if it cost $30k to build them, people are only going to pay what they are worth to those buyers.  And the buyers are going to have a ton to choose from, after these people who moved a 4 person family into 200sqft realize they can't continue on that way, and they are going to have to be priced to sell, not priced based on what the buyer paid, or on what it cost to build them. 

The cost to build the space may not go up linearly, not nor does the cost to buy used stay based on the cost to build.  If there are a thousand $40,000 builds on the market, they are going to have to sell  for $25k (or whatever).  And that goes back to the OP, whcih asked about the market fading out.

I think people buying these at the elevated prices (because they are popular right now) are paying for a trend.  It's like buying the It handbag.  You overpay because it's popular, but you will never get that value out of them long term because the trend shifts and you are left with a $20,000 purse that you can sell for $5000. 

onlykelsey

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #115 on: April 07, 2016, 04:42:52 PM »
Not needing 500 sqft per person is different than maybe needing more than 75-100sqft per person, which is what many of the tiny houses offer a couple or family.

I think some in this thread are conflating tiny house and small houses.  Maybe that is in part because there aren't official definitions of either, but to me, anything over about 300 or 350 is small but not tiny.  500 sqft is a small home.  200sqft is tiny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_house_movement

From that link

"There is currently no set definition of what constitutes as a tiny house, however a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home." So your thread agrees with me that there is no official definition of "tiny"

To me, and maco and many others, 500 is small but not exceptionally so, and it it has to be exceptionally so for me to consider it tiny.  I think 500 sqft, especially for 1 person, is definitely livable indefinitely.  200 sqft?  Probably not for most people. So I think that the "tiny house movement" of houses 300sqft and less is will probably peter out pretty quickly.  The 400-700sqft market might continue on just fine since I think that is sustainable for many more households.

My trailer used to live in during college days was about 185 sq. ft. Worked well for me!

And I've said that I think they work for single people, or maybe couples, and generally for a limited time.  "I'm gonna live in this 200sqft place for the next 1.5 years while I pay off student loans."  Very different from "This is my long term living plan" or "I have a spouse and two kids, and this is our forever home." 

I'm certainly not saying there is no scenario where these truly tiny homes would work. (Maybe we need a new term.  If tiny is 500 and under, perhaps "minuscule homes" or "micro homes"?)  I just don't think there are enough scenarios for enough people for enough time (and in enough climates to help without door living space) to keep this bubble afloat.  $50k for a 250sqft place?  Nope, not going to last.

I think 250 square foot places are always going to cost more than 50% what a 500 square foot place costs.  Part of it is that a lot of the costs of building are not the expanse of walls, but addons that you need regardless of size (outlets, windows, tile, a sink, etc).  There's also the well-known phenomenon of land not having rational value... I can't remember what it's called.  Usually, you make far more money selling 100 .5 acre lots than one 50 acre lot.  The value of space doesn't adjust linearly.

The cost to build is not the same thing as the cost to buy, especially once they are used, and once the market becomes flooded with them.

It may cost 70% of what it cost to build 100% more, rather than 50%, but I don't think there are going to be people willing to pay that, which is kind of the point.  There are a lot of these being added to the market because it's a tread. When the trend dies, there is going to be a glut of these places.  Even if it cost $30k to build them, people are only going to pay what they are worth to those buyers.  And the buyers are going to have a ton to choose from, after these people who moved a 4 person family into 200sqft realize they can't continue on that way, and they are going to have to be priced to sell, not priced based on what the buyer paid, or on what it cost to build them. 

The cost to build the space may not go up linearly, not nor does the cost to buy used stay based on the cost to build.  If there are a thousand $40,000 builds on the market, they are going to have to sell  for $25k (or whatever).  And that goes back to the OP, whcih asked about the market fading out.

I think people buying these at the elevated prices (because they are popular right now) are paying for a trend.  It's like buying the It handbag.  You overpay because it's popular, but you will never get that value out of them long term because the trend shifts and you are left with a $20,000 purse that you can sell for $5000. 

Maybe.  If you're buying a tiny home instead of some other home, then it seems like you are paying for the trend and may take a hit.  But I wonder how many tiny homes are bringing people in to the ownership market who otherwise would not have been able to get in.  Demand coming from those people is unlikely to fall.

But agreed that the trendy thing definitely influences prices, especially on the highend prefab things.

redbirdfan

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #116 on: April 07, 2016, 09:59:57 PM »
I was REALLY into the tiny house movement.  I had to let the idea go because it just wasn't practical.  Composting and/or incinerating toilets are not something I want to deal with on a regular basis.  I don't think either one is technically legal.  Another issue with tiny houses is that it's nearly impossible to find a place to put them in urban areas.  I didn't want to live in a tiny house that caused me to have a 45 minute commute.  I also didn't want to have to live in a RV or trailer park (and pay for both the tiny house and rent for the land).  I love the idea of the tiny house movement but ultimately decided on a 400 sq ft condo. 

Cassie

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #117 on: April 08, 2016, 12:21:40 PM »
I think they make more sense as vacation homes if you can afford to buy the land.

tct

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #118 on: April 08, 2016, 02:12:23 PM »
While I'm not interested in living in a trailer or 300sqft home, the tiny home idea does resonate with me. I'm planning to downsize my current home to my own idea of a tiny home (1000-1500 sqft)

Albert

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #119 on: April 10, 2016, 03:29:47 AM »
If you are only going to have 400-500 sq ft anyway then a city apartment in or close to downtown is probably a better choice.

purple monkey

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Re: How long until the tiny home movement fades out?
« Reply #120 on: July 17, 2016, 07:16:48 AM »
Trailer homes have been around a long time; it doesn't fundamentally change simply because the occupants have graduate degrees and a blog.

This is one of the all time posts on this forum.

Anyway, I think the tiny home movement is somewhat my generation's over-dramatic/knee jerk response (I'm 28) to growing up in huge homes where much of the space wasn't used.  I'm probably wrong, but I think my generation was one of the first where a decent plurality of us grew up in what this forum calls "McMansions" (could be wrong, but it's my understanding that most of these homes were built since 1980). 

I personally grew up in a 2,500 square foot home with a finished basement (so basically 3,700 square feet). We had a guest bedroom that was maybe used 3 or 4 times my entire time living there (20+ years), we had a "piano" room that was never ever used, we never used one half of the basement, and our bedrooms were comically big (to the point that I had a couch in mine). In total, I think we maybe used 2,000 square feet of the available 3,700.

Not only did we not use much of the space, but we grew up watching all the time, effort, and money it takes to maintain such a big house.

So when I was shopping for a home, I didn't want a big house. My fiance and I qualified for up to a $300,000 house (I live in a LCOL area, and this meant we could get a beautiful 3,500 square foot house). Our realtor was shocked when we ended up getting a 3 BR ranch that is 1,100 square feet and has an equivalent sized basement. 

Bottom line is that I think there's a whole generation of people like me who don't want to pay for something they're not using (in terms of time, effort, money, and maintenance).  I do think, though, that the tiny home movement is just reverting to the opposite extreme from McMansions, which I believe is equally unsustainable in the long term.
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