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Video Report on the Tiny House Movement in Asheville

An interesting video report by WLOS News 13 on the current tiny house movement in Asheville.


The story features 22-year-old Ruby Beg who is a college senior building a 144 sq. ft. tiny house on wheels with her boyfriend, Landon. It’s taking them about $14,000 in materials and about a year of labor on their spare time to build.

One of the best stories you’ll find when watching this video is how a builder built a $700 tiny house in the woods for a client where she lived simply and free in it for about 20 years.

The video story below also features Teal Brown who is the owner of Wishbone Tiny Homes who says his business is growing very fast. Please enjoy and re-share below. Thank you!


Related: 16′ Custom Wishbone Tiny Home on Wheels

Video on the Tiny House Movement in Asheville

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Holly Morrison February 11, 2015, 9:26 am

    This is really cute and it’s always inspiring to hear about younger people going “tiny.” It’s so incredible that we are still having to fight with bureaucracies to build small homes! This is one of the very ugly sides of capitalism and the need to keep people in debt and owning more than they need or want. Ok rant over. For now 🙂

    • Dawn O February 11, 2015, 2:44 pm

      @Holly Morrison, couldn’t agree more. It’s part of why I’m so disappointed in what I see as a growing trend of businesses forming to cash in on the growing interest in tiny living. I’m all for people working towards the success and integration of tiny homes in the current environment, but it’s sad to see the prices climbing higher and higher.
      Stand by for more “McTinies”………..

      • Candide33 February 12, 2015, 3:03 am

        I agree, the thought that people are trying to get rich off of poor people is always disturbing to me too. Hopefully no one is falling for it and the builders of the $100,000 tiny homes will have to eat the start-up costs and go out of business. There is nothing wrong with making a profit off of something, the problem is people who are trying to make 300% or more profit, that is just unadulterated greed.

        When you can buy a conventional home on an acre of land for the same price as a tiny house with no place to put it that is just insane.

  • Karen R February 11, 2015, 3:12 pm

    Telling the truth isn’t ranting, Holly. We are in a battle with York County, Virginia (ironically, part of The Historic Triangle where freedom began!) about our relatively spacious tiny home. Government is terrified that people will live wisely and simply, reducing tax payments. Please go to Change.org and search for us, Karen and Tom Rogers. The county is actually suing to have the variance we were granted overturned, something they haven’t done in over a dozen years!

  • Asher February 11, 2015, 3:26 pm

    I was wondering whom the other man in the video is? He’s the gentleman that built a tiny home in the 70s.

    Thanks,
    Asher

    • Larry Vickers February 12, 2015, 8:36 am

      We built the 10×14 house for a friend in the North Florida woods in 1974. Our friend, who had been a newspaper reporter, moved in and returned to school at FSU where she became a botanist. Big move for her to exert her freedom, big success for us to see the fruits of that effort. The tiny I am finishing today is a design challenge but the dollar cost is way over 40 years ago. Still: Freedom!

  • tah February 11, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Here’s the link to the Ashville Small Home Advocacy Committee for those interested: https://www.facebook.com/AshevilleSHAC

    Hopefully, their action will spur other groups around the country.

  • Sue Wilkirs February 11, 2015, 5:20 pm

    960 sq.ft. is NOT a tiny house. Many of us Sr.Citz. bought our first ‘subdivision’ house in the ’70s and they were 900 sq.ft. with 3 bedrooms!

  • Gil February 11, 2015, 5:58 pm

    I fully believe in the Free Market; however, what is being done to “us” by political processes to force us to live in a certain way is inexcusable. If I want to build a 400 square foot house, why does some zoning hack get to enter into the decsion based on size? As long as it meets the UBC, local political forces should abate.

    Unfortunately, local governments are bleeding us of cash by forcing outrageous minimum sizes to feed their tax hunger and builders and banks trap us into a lifetime of interest payments for a stucco box built out of 2x4s which then traps us into unfulfilling jobs and a life that just passed by.

    I say enough. Let’s get off the bus.

    • Jane on Whidbey February 21, 2015, 1:45 am

      Hear, hear! I’ve got your back!

    • Hunter May 21, 2015, 4:15 pm

      Gil, i’ll stand with you and any other people who have had E.N.O.U.G.H of government sticking their noses where it does not
      Belong . !

      • Jonathan May 22, 2015, 1:22 pm

        I right there beside you on your passion live small comfortably with headache of possession we are coerced, brain washed, or politically motivated to Buy, Buy big, spend, spend big all for the bottom line the United States a country I stand with proudly, their, GDP.

    • Annie Stewart May 21, 2015, 5:04 pm

      Gil, I so totally agree with what you’ve so succinctly said! I want to live tiny, like 400 sf, but the codes are a real hindrance, and what is that their business anyway? I want to get out from under this system before life passes me by. I’m not getting any younger, you know!

  • Elle February 11, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Good luck Ruby, you go girl! Good decision to not elect to go to ‘mortgage prison’ and for rolling up your sleeves and getting down to the business of building your own home. I can’t imagine what a wonderful feeling it must be to retreat to a lovely sanctuary you built with your own hands (I look forward to finding out!). I know you’ll be in heaven.

    I too think it’s great that our younger generation is joining the TH movement and can choose not to live crammed into a house with 5 other people or so because rents are generally so outrageous -and that’s without the security deposit, first and last, yadda, yadda. College students can choose not to live on campus and not contribute to the unnecessary, ever-increasing costs of tuition AND trying to keep a roof over their head, and can spare their parents to some degree from the pointless (other than greed) out-of-sight cost of a college education.

    I don’t think the TH movement is going to slow down or go away anytime soon. With the number of people and now architects and builders getting on-board with this, I think we’re going to see some positive changes in residential zoning and planning, codes and ordinances. Too many people are not only desperate for a roof over their heads but fed up with banks, corporate greed and bureaucracy dictating everything about how we live down to whether we’ll pull the t-paper from the front or back depending on whether our address is odd or even.

  • Annette February 11, 2015, 11:44 pm

    Where is Asheville what state? You did an excellent job of being sure not to mention it.

    • Paula February 12, 2015, 3:24 am

      North Carolina

    • Jane on Whidbey February 21, 2015, 1:13 am

      Truly, your nasty little comment doesn’t deserve a reply. If you’re too ignorant to know, then perhaps you’ve never heard of Google?

  • Kitty February 12, 2015, 10:44 am

    Great news that progress is being made in Asheville, NC. I don’t know as that will ever happen in Mississippi. There are too many “small” minds here that think BIGGER homes is the only way to go. As a “sixties plus” couple who have been married for almost 50 years, we have decided that we definitely don’t need this large house on a large lot that we are having to pay too much in insurance and taxes on for space that we never use.
    We would love to build a small home of 800-900 square feet on a small lot, but not in this area. We have found several lots that would be great for our needs, only to be told that they are zoned for 1700 and larger square foot homes. The only way you can build smaller here is to buy at least two expensive acres several miles outside the city limits, where you have to install a $5,000 to $10,000 septic tank, and possibly a water well if you aren’t fortunate enough to find property on a community water system.
    Yes, I know there are composting toilet systems, but as we get older, who wants to have to bother with that. Not me-and I certainly don’t want to have to haul in our water. If not for all my grandchildren being here in MS, I would be in Texas or possibly NC.
    I do think it’s great that so many young people are going in to tiny homes. It’s never a good thing to start your life off in debt-especially the kind you get when buying a large home on a suburban lot somewhere or renting a house or apartment with only a handful of receipts to show for your money spent.
    Keep up the good work Tiny House Newsletter by keeping us informed.
    I guess there’s always hope that “someday”, small and tiny homes will be accepted everywhere-probably not in my lifetime though.

    • Jonathan May 22, 2015, 1:16 pm

      I enjoy and learn of the complexities I will have to endure if my dream comes true. I am bidding my time, not sitting on my Laurels for the T. H. growth to get some motion. I am GUILTY of living large, I have a tool for everything, I have a stock of hardware a store would be proud of. I live in a 4 bedroom house furnished, I would have a very hard time down sizing. The point is living small is what I want. I want to get rid of my excellent antique collection. I would hope to sell my toys, some tools the hardware. I do not go to a store anky more to buy parts, well I am stretching it. This old plumbing 1950’s is out dated.
      Keep getting it I am here quietly watching hoping to downsize in everything. I would be much HAPPIER IN LIFE.

  • Jane on Whidbey February 12, 2015, 4:36 pm

    I’m growing increasingly frustrated with the news coverage of younger people as being the only ones who are living in tiny houses. I’m 64, and just moving into mine, after several years of being disabled and having to rent. I now have my own roof over my head, and, although I rent land, I will have a space for my own garden, as soon as I can get out and dig a little. Look at the statistics. Many tiny homes are owned by women, alone. We are a nearly invisible demographic, as I see it. I get so very excited when I see an article about older women in the tiny house crowd. The loft is fun for the grandkids, and my bed is on the ground floor.
    C’mon. Let’s hear more from and about the ladies!

    • Jean February 17, 2015, 1:24 am

      I am a single lady who is 63. I have lived in my camper for 13 and 1/2 years and love it. It is a 1971 Park Model…..which means I am on the county water and sewer system. I also don’t have built in furniture.
      Living alone serves me well.

      • Jane on Whidbey February 21, 2015, 1:48 am

        I know! Don’t you just love living alone, after all those years of living for others? Whew!
        Good for you! It took me longer to get here, but I’m in, now. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Happy to be here, at last.

        • Jean February 24, 2015, 9:14 pm

          Jane on Whidbey….I do love living alone but I am not really alone. I have 2 inside only kitties. My cats and I enjoy bird watching.
          I still work but enjoy being debt free and independent and save all I can. It is easier when you live tiny.
          Glad you got “here”! 🙂

    • Denise February 20, 2015, 11:17 pm

      Thank you, Jane! I’m 61 and about to embark on getting my own TH. I’m tired of paying rent and I really, really only want to live in a small space. My body is not interested in cleaning or walking from room to room that much any more. And I have the same plan for sleeping down and the loft for comany.
      I am happy to hear that I’m not alone because, as you say, it seems like the young are the only ones featured that are doing this.

      • Jane on Whidbey February 21, 2015, 1:53 am

        Denise, I hear you! I designed my house just for me. I guess I went through about 40 floor plans until I got it to where I wanted it. Now, I get to live in a place that I designed for myself, and built to those specs. What a miracle. I wish the same for you. By the way, I’d be happy to share my floor plans and design with anyone who wants it. There’s a full bathroom in the middle of a home that has a 6′ long kitchen at the back end, and an 11×8′ living/bedroom at the other end with French doors and a shed roof. Just let me know if you’re interested. fms at the domain of myway.com

  • Kitty February 13, 2015, 9:44 am

    Way to go, Jane on Whibdey! Yes, small and tiny homes do make sense for so many older adults, many of whom are like my husband and myself-just tired of trying to “keep up” a larger property, not just physically, but also monetarily. We would like to be able to have a better retirement and not have to spend so much on upkeep here. Small and tiny homes will allow more people to be able to afford their own home as land and housing prices have gotten so expensive in this country.
    I read the article and looked at the website for The Village of Wildflowers in Flat Rock, NC. I would love to see more properties like that around the country, but that would allow tiny homes as well as the park model RVs that the Village of Wildflowers allows. There is a great need for that, in my humble opinion. It would also be great if you could lease a lot rather than having to pay $50,000 for one as the Village of Wildflowers requires. Certainly, everyone cannot afford that, but would love to have a place with that sense of community.

    • Jane on Whidbey February 21, 2015, 1:43 am

      Holy crap! $50k? That’s awful! We’re still working on this one. I’m from the age where I seriously considered living in a commune in the 70’s, but I needed a well-paying job so I could pay off my college loans. Then I got caught up in marriage, motherhood, divorce and survival.
      Now, I’m disabled by fibromyalgia, caused by multiple chemical sensitivity, and have months of almost normal functioning, interrupted every winter by episodes of being bedridden. I’m particularly ill at this time.
      We are the Boomers. We need to get together again, as we did in the 70s, and kick some conservative, negative ass. We need to reclaim the right and just way.
      We’re bigger than ‘they’ are. Let’s go!

  • Ruby Beg February 24, 2015, 6:43 pm

    Hello!! This is Ruby here, the girl in the video! Thanks for all the support everyone, I’m so happy to finally be cheered on, it’s been a rough ride being a young girl with very little building experience taking on such a big project. Before I got this far most people just doubted me and thought I was crazy for taking on this project. It’s a tiny house but its not a tiny amount of work!
    For this story, Wishbone Tiny Homes just decided to refer the news team to me and my project but they didn’t cover my story just because I’m young. I agree that the stories of younger and older people should be covered because tiny living can apply to all ages and genders! It’s really up to the builder to put their project out there and share it so if your younger or older, male or female, post your pictures, videos and stories!
    What does tiny living mean to you?
    For most of my life I’ve lived in unstable situations, in college dorms, or as a traveling nomad. When approaching graduation I desperately wanted a place to call home, so I decided to build one. Tiny living for me is about self sufficiency, financial freedom, and having the security of a home I can call mine.

    <3 Ruby

    • Annie Carr May 21, 2015, 4:37 pm

      This is wonderful, Ruby, and I wish you the very best of luck!

      I am 53, and trying to save for a smallish school bus to convert into a tiny home on wheels. Adventure awaits!

  • RESA May 21, 2015, 3:16 pm

    A very thoughtful response, Ruby. Tiny living is for anyone who chooses. It’s really about making the determination to be self-sufficient and living within one’s means, using only what one needs, and setting priorities about what one really “wants.” I think you are on a path that will lead to a happy life.

  • Lisa E. May 21, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Yaaaaayyy, S.H.A.C.K!!!! We need change we can live with! 😀

  • Debbie May 21, 2015, 11:36 pm

    I am 60 years young now, and am very serious about a tiny home, but I have been looking, and the only places that allow them are places I do not want to live. Why is that? I think it is our God given right to live where ever we chose. I do not like throwing money out every month on rent, and having nothing to show for it. I live alone with my cat, and draw my widows SS benefits. I would like to go back to work, but to work, and live in the same area, again is not where I wanna live. I want to live someplace different. At the moment I live in Missouri, and have not been able to find anyplace to have a tiny house to live in.
    I think we need to get together with the other S.H.A.C.K. and have a group of us in each state trying to get the laws changed to help everyone.
    Thanks for listening to my RANT, and congratulations Ruby for hanging in there.

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