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Grandmother Moves to 610 Sq. Ft. Cottage to Simplify Family

Right now I’d like to show you this 610 sq. ft. cottage by New Avenue Homes and tell you the story behind it.

When the homeowner’s daughter and her family were in need of a change she invited them to move in to her larger main house since they’re a growing family with two children.

This way, grandma can see her grandkids every day without having to drive anywhere, and she can live simply in a 610 sq. ft. cottage with less maintenance.

I see it as a total win-win because her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren get to be nearby. And they can share the costs associated with the entire property since they’re on a shared lot. It simplifies all of their lives.

As for the 610 sq. ft. cottage, it has a two bedroom design (one room is used as an office), kitchen, living area, and bathroom. To me this story is important because we don’t always have to go the extreme of a ‘tiny’ house to enjoy the benefits of a simple life. Please enjoy, talk about it in the comments, and re-share below.

Grandmother Moves to Small Cottage to Simplify Family Life


Images © New Avenue Homes

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Related: Woman Builds 265 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage for Extra Rental Income

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Related: 480 Sq. Ft. Small House For Sale in Palo Alto by New Avenue Homes

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Images © New Avenue Homes


Related: Woman’s 469 Sq. Ft. Tiny Cottage Studio with Loft

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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!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Comet
    October 3, 2014, 1:10 pm

    I LOVE this! With a (very) few tweaks I could def live here!!!

    And I LOVE that this person has STUFF—that no one tried to make these pics look like some sterile hospital room—we all know we NEED stuff—and the pics of-say-the paper towels on the washer—this IS how we REALLY live!

    Good for Granny!!!!!

    • Alex
      October 3, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Thanks Comet! Great point. I like that too. It’s very realistic, isn’t it

  • Martha
    October 3, 2014, 2:21 pm

    I like the house very much and could easily live in it. It is every bit as big as a small apartment that I have rented, and one person could live comfortably here.

    • Alex
      October 3, 2014, 3:23 pm

      Thanks Martha! I think even more than one could comfortably live here but great for someone who still wants some indoor walking space and ability to work in the extra room as an office, hobby room, or whatever.

  • alice h
    October 3, 2014, 2:30 pm

    It’s not always necessary to have a separate building. Our 4 generational, 6 person family bought a single family home and carved out 3 separate living spaces from the ridiculously large place. Everybody has enough room and we all benefit from sharing resources. I get to be available to care for grandkids and my mom, my mom doesn’t have to go to a senior living facility and the grandkids have plenty of opportunity to learn stuff from the “oldies”. Also handy when you’re out of eggs or milk, somebody’s bound to have some you can borrow. Though we each have our private indoor and outdoor spaces we can get to each others’ places indoors and share a large yard.

    • Alex
      October 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

      That sounds pretty awesome, Alice! Thanks for sharing!

    • Paul
      December 10, 2014, 10:50 pm

      Alice H, perhaps you could send in pics of how you have done this… pretty hard to visualise on what you’ve said. This could be an option me and my family could utilise.

      • alice h
        December 11, 2014, 2:08 pm

        It took a while to find a place that would work without major renovations but we found one with enough bathrooms and expandable plumbing for kitchens and a layout that was easy to block off 3 separate areas. Essentially we had to add a couple of new walls and doorways to break up the space and add two new kitchens. It breaks down to a large basement room with ensuite and separate entrance for me, that also has a door into the rest of the basement with shared laundry. We added a kitchen to the big room to make a studio apartment. The main floor of the house has one entry hall with a door on the left at ground level leading into the original living room with two bedrooms and bath down a hall and another room that was made into a kitchen for my parents. Up a short flight of stairs from the main entry is a door leading to the original kitchen and dining room (now a kitchen/family room) which my son and his family use along with the second floor bedrooms and bathroom. Both upper apartments have doors that open to the basement stairs so we can all connect without having to go outside. The stairs going down from my son’s area to the basement used to connect with a small hallway going to my parents’ area so that’s where we separated their two apartments and that’s where we all connect, at the top of the basement stairs. Hope that makes sense.

        Everything was done with permits and to code with a plumber and electrician but the carpentry work was done by family and friends.

  • Athena
    October 3, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Okay, it’s official–I’m old. This “house in the back yard for Mom to live in” is as old as the Victorian era…literally. Minneapolis/St Paul is lousy with em’. They’re a great thing to rent, too; you’re not paying for space you don’t need/won’t use.

  • Mame
    October 6, 2014, 6:25 pm

    A terrific small home! I believe for my purposes, being just one person, I would prefer to move the kitchen to the office space and, as an open concept, set the ‘office’ up in the area of the present kitchen; it would be less choppy. Space-wise, there appears to be plenty for full-time living. If two were living there then I could easily see that a separate office space would almost be necessary to allow each person some personal space from time to time and cut noise level while working on paperwork, etc. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful small home with everything there to accommodate independent living for senior, with the idea of help available in the main house when required 🙂

  • Sonia Munson
    April 22, 2015, 7:16 pm

    This is indeed great and I would love it too…but with the zoning laws rarely can two houses occupy one piece of land where I have lived…it’s even difficult to buy property that already has two houses on it…banks don’t want the risk.

  • Barbara Alden
    January 4, 2016, 11:33 pm

    How does one open the refrigerator with the table and chairs in front of it?

    • Angela
      July 8, 2019, 2:01 pm

      There is plenty of clearance for the door to open. In the picture, a chair is pulled out from the table, you would simply put it back up to the table before opening the door. When the lady is there by herself, she is not going to be simultaneously sitting at the table and opening the refrigerator, and she likely sits on the other side of the table, anyway. If there are people over, you would move the table so that all sides could be used, in which case it would not be close to the refrigerator.

  • Angela
    July 8, 2019, 1:17 pm

    Love this idea. I read a story a while ago about something like this. An older woman had a daughter who had left a bad marriage and had two young children and was supporting them alone. The father, who had wanted out of the marriage as well, just abandoned his children, never saw them again, and paid no support. The daughter was really struggling to pay the bills, and it was just a sad situation. This lady had lived in her home for many years and the mortgage was all paid off. She thought about having her daughter and kids move in with her, but she knew that would not work out well, and her daughter didn’t want to do that, either. There was an old “shed” out in the backyard that had been built when the house was built. It was meant to store tools, yard maintenance supplies, etc., but this lady went to work, hired a contractor, and together they built a cute and cozy tiny house for her to live in, and her daughter and grandchildren then had a house to live in, rent-free! So, she got to see her grandchildren any time, her grandchildren got milk and cookies and grandma right in the backyard, and her daughter only had to pay the various costs of home ownership, minus the mortgage. She and her kids had a secure place to live. What you’re featuring here is a bit nicer and larger than what this lady had, but I love the idea of generations living together, giving support to one another, and everyone has their own space and their privacy.

  • Marcia
    August 12, 2019, 9:07 am

    and the office could actually have a smaller footprint to allow a grand who wants to “run away to gramma’s a safe haven for a few hours, days, weekend! Smart!

  • e.a.f.
    December 6, 2019, 8:29 pm

    this can work very well. however, there are downsides. One, if there is another sibling they can get their knickers in a knot because the other one has the family house to live in and they’re left with market conditions. this e.g. works well in this story, if there is only one child and her family. This can create problems with other siblings.

    Adult family member moves into parent’s home, to share costs, etc. and then sets out with spouse to finally get rid of parent, who is then living in a dump because the kid or their spouse, wanted it all. saw this happen more than once when the parent moved into the lower floor, or another smaller part of the house.

    My advise is always consult a lawyer when going down this road. You never really know your family members until there is an estate to settle or land to have.

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