June 3, 2014

Tiny Houses Are A Stupid Idea

I'm sorry but I can't hold my tongue on this topic any longer and I have to go on a rant.  

I think "Tiny Houses" are a really stupid idea.   

Oh look, its a tiny house!   How cute!    Lets rebel against consumerism and live in a tiny house.  It will be like playing house when we were kids but in a super duper cool clubhouse!   Instead of spending half a million on a McMansion that only lost 80% of its value back in '07 we can instead live in this a large sized walk in closet called a house.   All for the mere cost of $57,000!  


No no no.   

OK I get it.   Tiny Houses are cute.   Peoples houses are 'too big' because you know we live in America and every year the size of a new home goes up and we like big stuff and we need somewhere to store all our big stuff.   Americans spend too much on housing so cutting back makes sense.   So, the Tiny House is introduced and seems like a great idea to many.    In fact its not a bad idea per se.    Living in a smaller house is a good way to save money.   

Various reasons that Tiny Houses annoy me...

  • If Tiny Houses weren't cute they'd be called shacks.
  • Tiny Houses are way over priced.   When I see companies selling built houses they are much too expensive for what you get.    Or you see stories of someone who built it themselves for a more reasonable $10,000 level cost... with 100's of hours of labor and discount products, etc.  
  • Someone invented this idea a long time ago and they called it mobile homes.   Look into it.
  • You know you can buy a used trailer or RV for a mere fraction of the cost of a new Tiny House in most cases?   If you really wanna save money then live in a trailer.  Sorry the press won't cover your story about living in a van down by the river cause its not a cute Tiny House but you'll save a lot more money.
  • Where ya gonna put that Tiny House?   On someone elses land?   On your own buildable lot?   When housing is expensive the largest factor there is really the land.   If you've got free land to park a Tiny House on then you're getting subsidy from someone or mooching off free land.    What about zoning?   Does your city allow trailers parked on someone elses lawn?     If you've got a buildable lot to put a Tiny House on then you should just sell that valuable land.   The cost of the land that a Tiny House sits on is a huge factor in housing costs and is generally ignored entirely when touting the benefit of a Tiny House.   
  • Being Tiny doesn't really save much at all versus simply being small.   Seriously, why live in 200 sq ft when you can get 600 sq ft for a little more?
  • The whole concept is an extreme over reaction.    People go from over spending to living in a shack.   Why not just cut back in a reasonable manner?
  • Lastly, you know if you can't afford housing where you live then one option is to move somewhere more affordable.   I'm not saying the entire state of CA needs to pack up a U-haul and head off to Texas  here either.   But if you really can't afford to live where you are then there are cheaper places.



  1. It's probably tough to get hookups too. At least in an RV, you can drive to an RV park once in a while.

  2. It's about time someone said this!! I'm getting SO sick of those articles about people who downsized to a tiny house. Tiny houses ARE STUPID!!

  3. What about APARTMENTS! ?

  4. This statement from your article sums up my view on this ridiculous tiny-house fad: "The whole concept is an extreme over reaction. People go from over spending to living in a shack. Why not just cut back in a reasonable manner?"

  5. Could not agree more!!! Thanks for posting this. :)

  6. I will move into a tiny house when the CEOs of Sallie Mae (who owns his own golf course), Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum and , uh, the Koch Brothers, all move into tiny homes. These must of course their only residence. Otherwise it is a scam. So righteous that average people in the U.S. "sacrifice" and live in a shoebox while the Greedsters keep sucking us dry, our bridges fall down and we ship trillions for endless wars.

  7. Unfortunately you're wrong on many accounts. Where a person lives is a personal choice. I am seriously thinking about a tiny home. Hookups are limited. It will be solar powered. Built by myself. I willbe debt free. Land? Where I live tiny homes are allowed. I ddon't want things. I live rather simply. A tinyhome is perfect

    1. I like tiny homes too, but they are simply unrealistic. Lets say you are an avid motorcycle or Cyclist. Where are you going to work on your bike in the winter? Outside in the freezing weather? Tools going to go? Esp since people are going small to avoid costs. Some sports require more space

  8. I have bought several fixer upper homes for $50k or less. They needed repairs but came with water gas plumbing and all their wiring. What's more they were all 800 sq ft or bigger. What is happening to our youth when no one wants to have a fixed place and a neighborhood? Why do they want to be childless hermits walking the earth? Why don't they want to contribute to taxes? Aren't they the uber altruistic ones always voting to tax the rich? Pay your share you deadbeats and buy a real house!

  9. my wife and I are researching the tiny home thing.....
    from what I have discovered it can be a benefit or a burden based off your current situation.
    if you already have purchased a house and are established in a community (job,school,etc) it doesn't seem to make much sense to try and swing a mortgage and all your bills while building what is essentially an overpriced custom rv. however if your a college kid or the like and you have the free time and support of your family go for it! it could be a step towards independence. if your on the fence you could always fork out 400$ per person for a 2 day workshop with no hands on or visual examples to go off of.......

  10. I don't get it either. My wife and I live in a 1200 sq ft house and we are running out of space. I have several hobbies where I need a workshop and we would like to have a dedicated guest bedroom. This seems like it would be pretty cool for a college student, but it just seems like a glorified rv to me.

  11. Some excellent points. Compare the typical shrunken Craftsman house on wheels with a used 30' Pace Arrow and the tiny home loses on all counts but cuteness.

  12. You can buy a pretty big pimped out used travel trailer for 50K. Even 25K will get you a really nice one if you look around with sliding pop outs and it's truly portable and towable and not some half baked scheme. Tiny houses are overpriced and ridiculous.

  13. I lived in a brand new 32 foot trailer for a year while working out of town. 440 square feet with plenty of storage. Had its own master bedroom and a residential style bathroom. Total cost: 23k Sold it: 25k Crazy to buy a tiny home with less than half the space for twice the cost. Plus, that trailer was cool!


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