As I have stated on a couple of previous posts, I am quite taken with some of the tiny house designs that I have come across on various websites.

The are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and “green”.

Here is the reality of the situation.

To order a prefab tiny house is very expensive. Think 50000 to 80000 dollars. You of course have to have somewhere to put it. And in the short term, utilities have to be hooked up until you can figure out how to live “off grid”. Thousands of dollars there.

So there is an older mobile home for sale here in my area for 5000.00$. But it has to be moved. I would have to buy land and move it. Have it hooked up to utilities and have a well and septic. So all told about $50000.00 as a very conservative estimate. And then it would have to be gutted and redone to suit my minimalist lifestyle interior design tastes.

As a comparison my current apartment is in town and close to all amenities, including work. I can walk everywhere. I have easy access to the freeway. At a cost of 400.00$ per month.

So why would I put myself in major debt(at 40 years old) when I could invest every penny I make and have a hope at some semblance of an early retirement?

And if I want a different apartment I can always move.

So that is the tiny house reality. It is super fun to look at tiny houses and tiny home designs, but at this point in time, as a person who lives a minimalist lifestyle, it is not practical to consider it.

My minimalist living is about keeping things simple.

Spending less, saving more.

Having more time for me.

My current living situation supports that in spades.

Please comment. Thanks.

“Live Simply”


12 thoughts on “Tiny Houses. The Reality.

  1. This is the reality, all right. What you’d have to do is keep looking for a site which had already been set up for a trailer so the water and utilities and sewer/septic have already been taken care of. They are out there. But the downside of of trailers is instability in storms (tornadoes) and short longevity. The worst part of the tiny house deal is what happens when you get older–will it be livable if you have mobility problems? Can it be sited where emergency services are available? I love the little houses, love the whole idea, but damn they are an impractical luxury when all things are considered.

  2. Yeah, I totally agree. It’s all very cute, but people don’t take into account the cost of it all. and where would you put it? most places nowadays don’t really accept these tiny houses and it costs a heck of a lot to get your own land and sort it all out.
    and although tornadoes aren’t a problem in the UK, i sure would have a problem in heavy snowfall!

  3. Hi Mark. My husband and I currently live in a mobile home which we would like to sell so we can move back into an apartment! The mobile home was the only way we could afford to buy a home here in California, but we have decided it was a big mistake to tie ourselves down this way! And with upkeep, insurance, and taxes, the cost is a lot more than just the monthly mortgage (which is fairly small, but we’re still paying interest) and the space rent (we’re in a nice family park). We think we could pay rent for a pretty nice apartment that would still be a bit less than we are paying (in total) for housing now. We can forget the taxes, self insure (we’re minimalists, so don’t own a lot anyway), stop worrying about upkeep, live closer to work and church, and be mobile at the drop of a hat. You’ve got it so right.

    1. Yes, in a lot of ways home ownership is not really all it is cracked up to be. people go on and on about building equity and so on, but there is a lot to be said for NOT paying taxes, not paying interest and not having the upkeep! I’ve “owned” two. Non stop stuff that needed to be done. My brother, who is 36, has always rented and has invested a lot of money over the years. He’ll be a multi millionaire by the time he is 55. He probably would not have been able to do that if ha had purchased a house.

      Thanks so much for commenting.


  4. I am often amazed at how housing projects keep popping up around us: new developments, slicing up farm land or wild natural environments in the name of ‘eco-friendly / minimalism’. At the same time there are plenty of houses all over the place with for sale signs in the front yard. Surely those who are genuine about cutting back, in a personal and global way would not consider increasing man’s footprint on earth but rather use what is already developed? ‘Eco-friendly’ golf estates with mansions splayed across them – that’s another one that gets me!

  5. Mark
    Excellent work.
    A few words in defence of ‘small spaces’, you do not have to ‘buy’ a prefab unit.
    Build your own, it will be what you want. It will suit where you live (hot/cold) and save as energy costs rise. It is a lot easier than you think, get some skills, invest in yourself.
    You will have the opportunity to produce your own food and be more active and healthy. You will not need expensive ‘hook-ups’ (I assume this means utilities). A bit of creative thinking can overcome any problem.
    If land costs are high get together with like minded people and form a co-op, even more opportunities for savings and the benefit of ‘support’.

    Not wishing to put a downer on your brothers ‘investment’ plans, I have yet to see anyone but the investment company bosses come out ahead.

    Kind regards, Peter.

  6. So much has been written about tiny houses…99% make it out to be pure bliss, it’s good to see someone point out the negatives. But I will say that I know many renters, only one invests his supposed savings. Taxes, maintenance, and insurance are a burden but rest assured the rent money more than covers the landlords expenses. Equity is nothing to sneeze at, it can change your financial health in a very good way.
    Minus cases of very poor market timing, owning usually makes solid financial sense. However I fully concede that home owners are tied down to their homes for many, many years before selling to cash in on that equity. Renters are much freer in that sense.

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