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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Tiny Houses

Recently, I saw an episode of House Hunters on HGTV about a woman in Los Angeles searching for a tiny house. I mean like really tiny. She had $70,000 to spend for both house and land and her real estate agent had about $35k to $40k earmarked for the land, so the house had to be around $35k.

There were no pre-existing homes that they looked at. What they did was go to manufacturers and check out what they had available. Stop number one was a yurt. Seriously. A YURT! And the house hunter said she didn't want her kitchen or bathroom indoors, she wanted them outside so she could use the space for other things. Outside. Her kitchen and bathroom outside, but with real plumbing.

The model yurt she looked at had a bunch of upgrades--like real windows and doors. The standard yurt comes with flaps only. The model also had a bamboo floor and wasn't half bad although certainly not something I'd choose to live in.

Stop 2 was a house made from earth and concrete and looked like a Hobbit house or something a fairy would live in. It had a separate pod for the bathroom and kitchen and bedroom. The house hunter found the bedroom pod claustrophobic and there wasn't room for a lofted bed. Oh, and she'd have to build the house herself after paying $1600 for the class on how to do it. There was another cost for the plans and yet another cost for the kit to use.

Stop 3 was a tiny house on wheels. This space was much more liveable than the first two, IMO. There was a loft, a bathroom and a shower and the house could be moved if you wanted. It was seriously small, but nice enough that you could use it as a camper or something.

After seeing all three options, I said to the TV: She's going to pick the yurt. And sure enough, she did. She bought a used yurt--as if the new ones weren't bad enough--and she had flaps. No windows. No doors. The property she bought had a corrugated building (mostly open to the world) that she was going to add a bathroom and kitchen to because she really meant it when she said she didn't want it in her house.

The thing I kept thinking of besides the size was what about security? Do you really want to chance some person just showing up and deciding to spend the night there whether you like it or not? Do you really want to chance someone coming by and stealing all your stuff? I just couldn't imagine living like that, especially after the show was broadcast and it's open knowledge she's living out there alone in an unsecured tent/yurt. Yikes!