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.


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