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Welcome to the Future: New Liberation Tiny Home

This is what I’ve dubbed the “Welcome to the Future,” the latest tiny house from Liberation Tiny Homes in Pennsylvania.

The model is currently for sale, brimming with all kinds of modern, sleek, and even retro-feeling elements. I really love the funky exterior shape, that looks almost like something from the Jetsons!

Want to purchase it? Have questions? Get in touch with Liberation here. More details about the build and specifications on the last page.

Related: Modern Farmhouse Take Two THOW by Liberation Tiny Homes

Welcome to the Future: New Liberation Tiny Home

Images via Liberation Tiny Homes

The wide flooring boards are gorgeous.

I love the solid panel sliding door to the bathroom.

Wow! The steps and storage cubes are super cool.

More storage up in the loft with those modern cubes.

See the rest of this futuristic home on the next page!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.

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{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Carl April 28, 2017, 3:55 pm

    I agree it is very nice, but I just don’t understand this $50k+ part of the tiny house movement. Tiny houses are depreciating assets. They’re like cars or RVs. What you spend is literally reducing in value, because there is no land underneath to appreciate. That is why “affordable” tiny houses even got started – it was a home for $15k, $20k, etc. It’s a price so low, it makes a lot of sense, and depreciation on $15k doesn’t really matter. Once you get into $50k+ range, you can simply spend that on building a small cottage on land. While your net price is higher ($50k structure + say $80k land depending where you are), your appreciation will ultimately make it “free” when you sell it, because you’ll recoup every dollar invested, if not more. Long story short – if you can afford a $50k tiny house, there are much better housing options. Despite all that, nice house!

    • Silver Gypsy May 4, 2017, 12:59 am

      Couldn’t agree with you more. The whole point of Tiny Houses was to get and keep the cost down; to put an affordable roof over a head for those who can’t otherwise be able to get a roof over the head. But the movement rapidly got co-opted by people looking for a killing. It’s one thing to build a Tiny House that is way upscale and has a price to match if you can afford to blow the money, but in short order, high-end pricing suddenly became the norm and everyone was supposed to fall in line. If you have so much money that a THOW is actually nothing more than a recreational vehicle for your family, then more power to you. But to force high prices on every build coming along (whether it deserves it or not) is very upsetting since so many low-to-no income people actually need primary residences that they can afford. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, people who have plenty of money have plenty of options and they also have the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which caters to homes on land, to meet their every need. The rest of us are trying to avoid ending up living out of our cars or on the streets and THOWs are a real and very only solution. PS I don’t agree with you about this house, though. I think it’s a lot of money for a lot of blank, barren, cold feeling, empty space with not much by way of built-in furnishing or other amenities; hate open shelving; this is just contractors going on the cheap instead of putting in cabinets.

    • James D. May 4, 2017, 3:16 am

      Sorry but all houses can depreciate, and the so called appreciation is just a blanket ignoring of all the costs involved in owning a home…

      Someone who buys a house but needs a 30 year mortgage is going to be paying up to three times the original cost of the house, thanks to the interest.

      Then there’s all the other hidden costs of home ownership… Really, there’s a reason why only about a 1 3rd of all home owners are mortgage free, with the majority in debt and around 7% is so much debt that even otherwise valuable property will depreciate…

      Houses also depreciate if you don’t update and maintain them, while random factor of what may happen to a neighborhood can also effect the value of the house, which is one of the reasons HOA’s typically don’t allow you to do anything that may effect the perceived value of property in a given area…

      While all houses vary in price depending on how they are built, what features they have, and how much labor was involved…

      There’s also a lot of cost in building a house that isn’t usually represented to those sold already made… But often this leads to some of the hidden costs when you need to repair or replace some things in the house and/or on the property… Like a septic system can be very costly to repair or replace and when installing one for the first time you need land survey, septic permit, excavation to install it… Basically you’d be paying more just for that than this Tiny House… Before you even start on building the main house, which also needs building permits…

      Tiny Houses may be smaller but they’re still houses… Someone wants something that will provide them all the comforts of a luxury home then it will still cost to provide it…

      It’s just easier to provide those luxuries in a Tiny House as that $50K is the equivalent to a over $250K big house… Giving you things like granite counter tops, high end modern appliances, etc.

      While being a house also means these are products that will be made to fit the wants and needs of a wide range of people… Not everyone going Tiny does so simply because they want to be minimalists, nor just to be have a low cost home… There are people who already own big homes going Tiny as well as celebrities and people with more than enough money that the choice is rather for lifestyle than anything else and many of them would rather have a turn key move in ready home than something that feels like they’re camping…

      But it doesn’t mean there are no smaller and cheaper Tiny Houses… There are still plenty out there being made for less than $32K, some even down to $16K, and DIY kits for just $8K-$9K…

      So if this one is not for you then just don’t get it… Just like buying anything else, you don’t have to get the high end model…

      Besides, Tiny Houses can be made completely custom… Any good builder will offer a range of options to fit just about any budget… Just know you pretty much get what you pay for…

      Low cost means it generally can’t be used to go off grid… Options like Solar power still cost a lot and a system that can power anything in a house will still run you $10K-$15K…

      Custom Windows with Double or Triple Pane rated for low E will run a few thousand each… So you probably have to go with small off the self windows that are only single pan Low E, which run a few hundred each…

      If the house has air tight insulation then it needs to be ventilated, but if you want a HRV to retain heat and not lose it to the ventilation then that’s going to cost a lot more than a simple fan… Even more if you want a ERV to also regulate humidity…

      Many modern features cost a lot for big homes and will still be pricey for tiny homes, you’re just scaling to smaller square footage but squeezing more into a small space doesn’t reduce the costs all that much if you’re still having anywhere near what you would also have in a bigger space…

      Or you can just wait, as the market grows then more and more models will be for resale and then you can probably get a deal…

      But consider, even a pricey Tiny House will still mean you can lead a life that will be a fraction the cost of the average big home. Because it costs far less to heat and cool, it cast far less to provide electricity, it costs a lot less to clean, it costs a lot less to repair and maintain, it costs a lot less to remodel, and it promotes a more efficient and less costly lifestyle…

      Just to remodel a backyard on a big house can cost around $10K… A kitchen in a big house can cost anywhere from $10K to $50K for a high end kitchen… The average household of over 2600 sq ft will run on average over $250K before even factoring interest on mortgage, paying property taxes, and all the high costs involved with home ownership…

      Just to put that in proper perspective…

      To get a big home for $50K, it usually has to be either really old, in a bad neighborhood, or built very cheaply and will require a lot of upgrades and maintenance over the years…

      Cheaply, also means greater chance of VOCs and other toxins and a structure that may be prone to falling apart or wastes a ton of space to get those prices low… Like walls over a foot thick with cheap insulation or little to no insulation…

      So consider, some costs are worth it because it’s an investment to prevent run off costs in other areas and not everything can be directly compared in worth because they’re not all worth the same, least of all just on size alone…

  • Catherine Todd April 28, 2017, 5:41 pm

    Nice looking empty space. However, those stairs don’t look like they are to building code. Perhaps a wooden trailer pulled by a truck doesn’t have to pass the same inspection, but the fact that the steps are very hight and there is no railing on either side for most of the distance is a big NO-NO in my book. All I could think of was how soon was someone going to FALL and come crashing down!

    Also, what’s wrong with posting prices in the article? Tiny Houses are getting to be outrageously expensive, especially since they come with no land, water or septic hookup. Would be nice to know the cost when people are thinking about a purchase, along with all the other expenses involved.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee April 30, 2017, 12:58 pm

      Hi Catherine — I’d certainly add a railing to make it safer 🙂 The price is listed in the article under the pictures: “Priced at $56,500.”

    • James D. May 1, 2017, 1:35 am

      You should certainly go with what you feel is right for you but there are two main things you should consider…

      1) Tiny Houses aren’t getting more expensive, they’re just more options now… Remember, these are custom made products and like anything custom the price will vary on exactly what those custom specifications are…

      Someone wants to be off-grid, for example, it’s going to cost more than a Tiny House meant to be on-grid… Among many other examples of what causes any particular house to be priced differently from another.

      2) Remember that these particular Tiny Houses are working within the space constraints that they have to follow to remain road legal and this invariably means not all residential codes can be precisely followed…

      Specifically, residential code for stairs requires they have a minimum of 80 inches of headroom clearance for the entire length of stairs but by the time you reach the loft the headroom is usually below 50 inches…

      There’s also practicality and priority… The stairs won’t be used all the time and you still need to be able to walk around the stairs to use the living space below the loft and you don’t want the stairs to take up the majority of the available space… Or you’d have to go with a much longer trailer that will means a much higher priced house that will also be harder to tow…

      The top step also serves as a level where you can stand upright before entering or exiting the loft space, where you will be either crawling or shimming into or out of the space… and that’s a consideration that works for a loft space but isn’t what a residential stairs would be meant for, as an example of different but not worse…

      There are pros and cons to every design consideration and something different isn’t necessarily better or worse than another…

      While the design may be a compromise, it isn’t necessarily as dangerous as you’re suggesting… The lower steps are still wider and longer than the upper steps and you can usually reach and grab the rail after the second step, meaning you would only be 2-3 feet off the floor level…

      The actual risk is when descending, but the rail is placed in that critical area where the stairs are at their narrowest and the transition point between the loft and the stairs where you would be most at risk…

      Mind, often times the customer requests these designs and what is shown may not be what the final space will be for the customer because a lot of times the customer is adding things after the house is delivered…

      Lack of rails all the way down, for example, gives room for custom selves, cabinets, and other options to be added to that area and those may serve double duty as the rest of the rail…

      The other “empty space” will also be likely filled by the customer, just like any house… Just because a house may not come fully furnished doesn’t mean nothing is suppose to be there…

      Besides, residential code only requires a single rail and there is no rail requirement for the first step… So there is only a two step gap for the rail in this design, assuming the customer doesn’t add something later…

      • Catherine Todd May 4, 2017, 2:40 am

        James, there really is no reason to defend those dangerous stairs that don’t even have a full railing by saying “they won’t be used very often.” The stairs go up to the bedroom!

        I can’t spend more time discussing the pricing as it’s really out of line. People can buy a double wide for the same price as one of these tiny homes, which ARE “getting more expensive.” Customizing things with an expensive sink or open cubes for shelving, that might look “modern” in the photo but are useless for really organizing anything at all, is really not to the point at all. Spend the same amount of money and get a real small house, with land, with utilities or off-grid and then you’ve got a happy home you can stay in for the rest of you life. Adding rooms if you add children, and more.

        I am so disappointed in this “Tiny House Movement” since one of the first builders started giving $400.00 “seminars” where people paid up to sit and listen to his sales pitch and then take the one minute WALK THROUGH his tiny house demo. I couldn’t believe how they were getting taken. I feel so sorry for anyone who is going to be trying to sell this depreciating item in a few years, when people realize that it’s no fun to live quite this small when you don’t need to.

        In very overcrowded countries or very poor countries people live this small because they have to. I’ve lived in both. And I can assure you, it gets old quick. I’m a big proponent of 800 – 900 sq. ft. houses and renovate as many of these cottages as I can, and I’m opposed to the unnecessarily large 1400+ sq. ft. minimums homeowner associations put on housing, but going this small is just as much out of order. For $50,000 you can get a nice older home that needs some renovation here in North Carolina, and lots of other places around the country.

        Help people come up with ways to buy homes they can afford and live in for many years. Owner-built, home kits, 4 season tent cabins, on or off-grid… that come with LAND. That’s making a difference. That’s the ticket now. Or buy a camper van and live in a trailer park. They are already design “tiny” and work very well.

        • James D. May 4, 2017, 3:45 am

          Problem… RV’s aren’t built with the intention of people living in them full time… RV building code is well below residential and they’re not regulated so build quality can be all over the place and you are much more likely to get scammed, get a lemon, etc. with a RV…

          The cost of remodeling also means to turn one into a really livable structure usually means you exceed the cost of getting a Tiny House, which is designed intentionally to be lived in full time from the beginning and typically either meets or far exceeds residential building codes for a structure that will easily out last a RV…

          Tiny houses are also not getting more expensive, they’re just more options… Just like with any other product that doesn’t come in a one size fits all production…

          Different designs, different features, different layouts, different amount of customizations, etc all mean different price points no matter what size house…

          There are still tiny houses you can get for $16,000… They just won’t offer everything a $50,000 house will offer…

          You don’t need insulation good enough to stay energy efficient when it reaches 50 below outside and don’t need it to be air tight and thus need a HRV/ERV then you can save up to $15,000 on the cost…

          Things like custom well insulated windows run a few thousand each, it doesn’t matter that it’s a small house if you still get high end features for it but not everyone is going to live in temperate climates or have to never have to worry about extreme weather…

          Many of those early Tiny Houses were not made to be livable in any environment… Places like California, Florida, etc. typically never get cold enough to worry about such things but people living in Oregon, Alaska, in neighboring Canada, etc. can’t just settle for what works in warmer climates.

          While there’s nothing wrong if some people want luxury items in their house and use the lower costs of Tiny Houses to justify getting things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford for a big house…

          Radiant floor heating, Steam Convection Ovens, granite/quartz counter tops, real hardwood flooring, copper or zinc roofing, Steam Showers, Jacuzzi’s, etc.

          Don’t want any of those, then sure… There are tiny houses that don’t have any of that and they’re a lot cheaper…

          Price is just not determined by size alone…

          Meanwhile, people living in Tiny Houses are spending a fraction of what people in big houses are spending… So even if they do depreciate, which isn’t always true btw, people who live that life can save all the money they would have otherwise spent on a big house and end up with vastly more money than they would have gotten by any appreciation of the big house, which is also not always true btw…

          So called appreciation is mainly because of the value of land rather than the house… Tiny Houses build on foundations, which is starting to become legal in some states like Florida, will thus also appreciate… But this appreciation is only about 1% annually…

          Even low yield stocks gets you 6-7% annual appreciation… and that’s not even counting all the costs involved in owning a big home… 30 year Mortgage on $250,000 is going to cost you a lot more than a 10 year mortgage on $50,000… and you’d save on lower costs too… So in then long run Tiny Houses can be the much better investment if you want to look at homes as investments…

          As for those seminars… Yeah, some people are cashing in but that’s true of people giving seminars in general… Name something people are interested in and there are over priced seminars for them… It’s just the nature of the beast when something starts to become mainstream and has a growing market to tap into…

          There’s still plenty of free sources of information, there are schools using Tiny Houses to teach students the principles of construction, working together, etc. and donating the houses to various charities and causes like housing for the homeless… So there’s good too coming out of it…

          People in the end should be able to live how they want, so whatever choice they make should be justifiable only to them… We should just realize nothing is perfect or suitable for everyone and there are pros and cons to consider to every possible choice…

          Only looking at the pros of one and the negatives of another is not really comparing them at all…

  • Marsha Cowan April 28, 2017, 11:29 pm

    Are there any real tiny houses out there anymore? I so miss Jay Shaffer’s idea of simplicity and small. Adorable and liveable tiny cottages. Just enough, not too much. Easy to transport, easy to live in. Sigh. . .

    • Eric April 29, 2017, 12:57 am

      Well simple solution is go the Jay Schaeffer’s site. You’ll see exactly what you want to see then.

      As for me, I love seeing different perspectives. I even love the ones I hate. Because generally I’ll see something that either intrigues me, or could be used in a different TH altogether. That’s a win/win as far as I’m concerned.

    • James D. April 29, 2017, 1:58 am

      A real Tiny House isn’t limited to just simplicity or being just adorable cottages… It’s not even limited to just the concept of living tiny…

      The point of Tiny Houses is ultimately the sense of freedom, creativity and the ability to live the way one may wish… Anything else is depends on the owner and their individual reasons for wanting this type of home…

      We’re all different with different needs and preferences… So what’s real depends on the individual owner and doesn’t have to fit anyone else…

      A single person can perhaps be perfectly happy in something as small as 150 sq ft with little to no amenities, but at the same time a family of 4 may need something over 300 sq ft and enough amenities to provide for the whole family…

      Really, it’s suppose to be a home and that’s going to mean different things to different people and their individual situation… So there is no one standard that they all have to fit into.

      • Marsha Cowan April 29, 2017, 6:17 pm

        Sorry guys. . .maybe my grammar should have been more accurate. I was asking if there were any “really” tiny houses like the ones Jay shaffer used to build? You know, 16′ and under. It was a genuine question because those tiny house plans ended up with Tumbleweed when he left, yet I can’t see where Tumbleweed builds the really tiny ones anymore. I miss them, that’s my prerogative, and I am also supposed to be able to express an opinion on this site without having to the endure the reprimands of others as long as I am not being negative, ans I was not. At least, that is the way it used to be years ago when I first started writing on this site. It was a way to encourage builders of really tiny houses, mostly noncontractor’s, sometimes building for the first time, and to say something encouraging. I just said that I miss the really tiny houses that used to be featurd here, many springing up from the prototypes of Jay Shaffer. So chill. . .

        • James D. April 29, 2017, 7:18 pm

          Yes, there are plenty of 16 foot tiny houses… They don’t all look like cottages but most builders will build it to look like anything you want…

          Builders like Trekker Trailers overlap with making Campers, so most of their stuff is below 20 feet and tend to be very minimalistic, for example…

          Another example is one of ITH’s present customers building in their workshop is making a 12 foot THOW with a 4 foot extension for the loft… I believe ITH’s owner’s son is also working on a pretty small unit that’s no more than 16 feet long…

          Just awhile ago, there was a post about a $16K tiny house from Compact Cottages that also fits what you are looking for…

          And occasionally there are still people building their own… They just don’t all post about it…

        • Kathy Handyside May 1, 2017, 4:41 pm

          Hi Marsha – I’m with you on this! I miss the old Tumbleweed models like the WeeBee (that’s the model that first caught my eye when I first found out about tiny houses), the XS House, the Bernhardt, the Epu. I still have my copy of the 2008 Tumbleweed Tiny Houses Portfolio of Homes. There aren’t a whole lot of designs now that catch my eye. I really liked the Linden, but Tumbleweed doesn’t have that model anymore. And, even now, 8+ years after the advent of the tiny house movement, people are still being denied permission to live in them! What a so-called “free country” we live in!

      • Nancy Voorhoeve April 30, 2017, 12:18 pm

        Yes l agree Tiny is a concept it may fit you it really should fit many ideas . We are an older couple and while I love the idea I can not go up to the loft any more. Keep an all ages and situations attitude

    • Hunter May 1, 2017, 4:41 pm

      I’m with you Marsha miss jay’s in put on so many things
      .

  • Marsha Cowan April 29, 2017, 6:17 pm

    . . .this is one of the reasons I don’t try to comment on here anymore.

    • Catherine Todd April 29, 2017, 8:16 pm

      Marsha, don’t feel bad. My comment didn’t even get published! And I mentioned how dangerous those steps looked with no guard or hand rail, and much higher than is code… But I don’t think people were really going after you. I mis-took your comment as well, not knowing what you meant by “real tiny houses” vs. “really tiny houses.” Glad you straightened that out, and I hope you do continue to comment. I enjoy reading yours!

    • Marsha Cowan April 30, 2017, 12:46 am

      Thanks, James, for the info. I have to admit that I am not familiar with all the builders you mentioned, as lately, I have been overworked and not keeping up with things as I used to. I will look them up. Thanks again.

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee April 30, 2017, 12:43 pm

        We love and appreciate your comments, Marsha! Please keep it up. We try to post about as many DIY builders as we can whenever we see or hear of them, to make sure there’s a good variety on the website. If you ever see something, please send it our way!

  • Sherry Wood April 29, 2017, 6:26 pm

    I like this house. However, aren’t most state hwys (Texas and west) allow you to pull a wider house….like 10ft or 12ft with just a permit from the state for a nominal fee like $50.00? It makes sense to build the extra wide tiny house, because the state fees are so minimal because most people are going to stay in a place for longer periods of time.

    • James D. April 29, 2017, 7:36 pm

      Costs may be higher if you need to higher an escort service for the move and if over 50 miles it can easily go into the thousands then…

      But there’s lots to consider when moving something that big… You have to make sure there’s nothing lower than the height of the house the entire route and that includes things you might pull into like gas stations as well as the overpass but stick to the truck routes and it should be pretty safe…

      However, it doesn’t stop with the road and you have to also consider the conditions on your property you’re placing it on… Since many going tiny tend to also go very urban, this means they are more likely to run into things like soft ground, mud, loose earth, etc. and a heavy house being towed usually quickly means one very stuck tow vehicle…

      Preparation costs like laying a gravel road may be part of the cost of the move to get it on site safely or you may need to rent something like a tractor for the final 500 feet of the move… along with other issues like making sure the house gets level and any additional supports you may need for the house…

  • Sherry Wood April 29, 2017, 6:28 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say keep the tiny home to a width that only a permit is required and NO escort service.

    • James D. April 29, 2017, 7:43 pm

      Escort requirements can vary from county to county… and it also depends on how heavy it is and what the road route you will be taking is rated for…

      Also, you may need multiple permits if traveling between states as each state issues its own and is just valid for that state…

      Along with time table as the permits may be valid for only a certain number of days…

      So it has to be pretty well planned out…

    • Bigfoot April 30, 2017, 10:24 am

      I’m in no way familiar with every states regulations but in most (probably all?) you will need an escort for a 12′ wide. Over a dozen years ago I helped someone haul a 12′ wide from south to central Florida. I was the escort!
      You don’t have to hire a commercial escort. Just need to comply with a few easy rules. Wide load banner on the wide load itself & a wide load sign on the escort with a flashing amber light. Very inexpensive to set up.

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee April 30, 2017, 12:35 pm

        Yes I also think you’ll need an escort. Thanks for sharing your experience, Bigfoot!

  • keepyourpower April 29, 2017, 8:26 pm

    This THOW is a work of art! Beautiful craftsmanship!

  • DIANNE KNOX April 30, 2017, 1:24 pm

    Where in the world is the fridge and the stove?

    • James D. May 1, 2017, 1:59 am

      Looks like they left it for the customer to install, there’s a space below the the counter top in the area opposite the sink area where a under counter fridge can be placed and has a outlet for it to plug into on the lower back wall of that opening… Along with another outlet above it that can be accessed for anything on the counter top…

      Chances are the customer is probably going to use this as a rental property and if they’re doing a B&B then they may prefer to do the cooking for the customer and may only put a hotplate for renters basic needs… Or it may be intended as a guest house…

      Not everyone who gets a Tiny House actually intends to live full time in them…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 1, 2017, 2:49 am

        Yes sometimes customers have specific appliances that they found and will install later 🙂 In this case, since the home is for sale, it’s for whoever buys it to choose.

  • DIANNE KNOX May 18, 2017, 6:48 am

    Where is the fridge?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 18, 2017, 3:39 pm

      It might be under the counter on the left side 🙂

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