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Family of 5 Living in 850 Sq. Ft. Small House (Video)

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In this video based post you’ll get to see how a family of five lives in an 850 sq. ft. small house that’s 100 years old. And if you do the division, that’s only 170 sq. ft. per person. So if you really wanted to, you can say that they’re living tiny, right?

But it’s really more of a ‘normal’ small house with fenced in yard (which is great!). They even bought a shed that they’ll later on be turning into a tiny house to use as a guest house later on. You can get the full story from Talya Rose in the video below so you can learn how and why they’re living in this little home as a growing family.

I think they made a great decision for their life long-term because it seems like this house will work well for them for many years to come if not for the rest of their lives. What do you think about families and tiny houses? In your opinion, should they go tiny or go small instead? Please share your best thoughts in the comments below. Thank you.

Family of 5 Living in 850 Sq. Ft. Small House


Images © Talya Rose

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Images © Talya Rose

Video: Family of 5 Living in 850 Sq. Ft. Small House

Being a stay at home mom comes with some sacrifice. Living off of one income is tough but we are a family of four who are making it work. We just moved from a 1600+ sq ft house into a 850 sq ft house in order to get our mortgage from $1680 per month to $460 per month. The financial freedom is amazing but living with a growing family into a smaller home produces some challenges but we are up for it. This is my first video on living in a small home but there will be more to come in the near future. In this confession, I discuss our initial thoughts and feelings on the move and the lifestyle change we have encountered in simplifying our lives and getting out of debt. It is all a matter of putting things into perspective and being grateful for what you have. (Source)

What do you think about families and tiny houses? In your opinion, should they go tiny or go small instead? Please share your best thoughts in the comments below. Thank you.

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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!
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    February 4, 2015, 10:10 am

    From the article: “We just moved from a 1600+ sq ft house into a 850 sq ft house in order to get our mortgage from $1680 per month to $460 per month.”

    Bravo! and Bravo!, again for this family!!! I know that we just recently read/watched a video about another “Family of Five” that are living in 440 sq.ft. versus the 850 sq.ft. of THIS house but we ALL have to live by what works for US and to “Heck!” with what anyone else thinks!

    Cutting both their square footage and mortgage in HALF is what The Tiny House Movement is all about!

    Lead By Example, Young Family! It was delightful to get to know you and rest assured that for your family, YOU made the right decision! <3

    • Trish
      November 3, 2015, 12:28 am

      Yes square footage was cut in half, but actually they are paying about a QUARTER(!!!) in mortgage payments. That is amazing.

  • Nancy
    February 4, 2015, 11:05 am

    I am thinking my family was way ahead of the times! Four of us lived in a tiny motor for about six months, and before that, five of lived in a pickup camper for a few months! I LOVED living tiny! I loved having no excess baggage! But circumstances dictate a lot of things! Bravo for this family. Their lives are better off without the trappings of expansive space they have to fill!

    • Alex
      February 4, 2015, 11:26 am

      Thanks for sharing Nancy! 🙂

  • Cahow
    February 4, 2015, 11:23 am

    ~gasp!~ “My beans are boiling over!” Bwhahahahhahahaaaaa!

    I was SO charmed by the first viewing of this video tour with Talya that I left few comments in my first post. But, after viewing it twice more, here’s some additional thoughts.

    1) ANYONE that is NOT charmed by Talya and her video and her attempts to create a video with her children in tow, has the heart of a Grinch! I rarely ever want to personally know the people in any of these videos but I’d place Talya at the very TOP of my list of “People I’d LOVE to Know!”

    2) Yeah! A piano in a tiny house!!!!!! We also have a piano in our 800 sq.ft. house as all three of our adult kids play it and when one or more stops over for a visit with dear ol’ Mum and Dad, we all get together and play and sing. So very nice to see a tiny house that didn’t attempt to “throw the baby out with the bath water” in an effort to go tinier than they needed.

    3) Sad, but telling, that Talya had to make reference to those wretched zealot “Tiny House SNOBS” that say that you have to live in 125 sq.ft. to say you’re living in a tiny house. Yeah, I know who those snobs are, too, Talya! Not only did Talya and her husband adopt her special needs sister, but, they plan on having another child, too. You Go, Sista!!! Piss on those radical despots that DEMAND freedom from all laws that they hate but want to institute THEIR laws about what size house we should all live in!

    4) “A bathroom that Indiana Jones would like.” LOL First time EVER I’ve seen a bathroom inspired by Indiana Jones…LOVE IT!!!

    5) Talya: if you are reading the comments, it’s too late to do anything about it NOW<, but in the future, regarding your retaining walls to keep the hills at bay, I have two suggestions as an architect. a) If you used timbers, the cost is far cheaper than brick & mortar. You can find used timbers all over the place and when they are held together with rebar, you can disassemble them, as needed, if the hills move. b) Rather than a straight vertical build, the walls should be 'stepped' back, with a slight slope TOWARD the hill. This will alleviate the pressure that will inevitably happen as a result of the hills continuing to crumble and press against the walls. With a straight vertical, there is no strong base and they will eventually fall.

    Your "out-takes" or "bloopers" of trying to make a video of your home were hilarious!!!! I wish your entire family THE BEST OF LUCK!!!

    Truly, one of the MOST joy-filled tiny house videos that I've ever had the pleasure to watch!

    • Alex
      February 4, 2015, 11:26 am

      Thanks Cahow 😀

      • Cahow
        February 4, 2015, 12:43 pm

        Right back at ya, Alex!

        I hope that you’re basking in *GLORY* for that article you published yesterday! WHAT a response you got!!! 😀

    • Gina Piscitani
      November 2, 2015, 5:05 pm

      Cahow, I so enjoyed your comments towards Talya, her beautiful tiny house and her adorable little munchkins. She is a very personable young lady, sweet and funny, too. We don`t find many people like this anymore. I`m so glad I got to see this video and read your comments too. Have a great today!

  • Johanna
    February 8, 2015, 7:52 pm

    congratulation’s .. Your hard work I know the work and respect the fact you did a beautiful job. I myself have restored 4 old homes myself , by myself and know the back breaking work , but love that goes into it…It makes u feel all cozy when u sit back and take pride in what u accomplished…
    Great Job!

  • Sarah
    February 13, 2015, 10:33 pm

    This is great! I have 3kids and am compiling and designing my own small home. I love to see people who are doing what they think is best for their family. To me the tiny house movement is amazing and if there is only one of you 100sq feet maybe fine, but with a family I would go crazy 😉 . I think a small house is perfect for most people trying to live intentionally and responsibly with their resources.

    Alex thank you so much for putting all this together. I have so much fun looking at the articals and reading everyone’s responses.

  • Victoria
    November 2, 2015, 5:11 pm

    This is adorable. You have room for a piano – but does this house have a washer/dryer unit? Mortgage is $460/mo.? I have to be financed and parked. I live in Okaloosa County, FL.

  • Jen
    November 1, 2016, 8:26 am

    I was very impressed. I could not believe you got so much into that small space. I’m so used to having 30 years worth of accrued “stuff” (that I NEVER, EVER SEE), that I’m inspired to do two things:
    1) PURGE PURGE PURGE every single thing that no longer pertains to my life, and
    2) look into finding out how to build a home for my daughter. She’s seeing a guy rather seriously, and whether or not that works out, she does need her own space — not her bedroom in our home! I’ve known people with cheap single wides, but if we could make something much nicer and less lethal (I’ve read a lot about the resins, etc.), I’d rather offer that. Problem is, HOW do I learn how to do something like this? And how much worse will it be that I’ll have to find people that can do the building? (I was thinking about hiring knowledgeable individuals for each part, instead of a builder who will charge much, much more.)

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:09 am

      Hi Jen, For your purging, you should check out our class on that at tidytotiny.com 🙂 And if you could build yourself with recycled materials, I’d say you could build a house for under $20,000, but if you are looking for a finished product, I’d budget $35 to $40K. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Angie
    November 3, 2016, 12:29 pm

    One thing a lot of people don’t think about when judging how much space is small enough for a house, is how much time you will be spending there. One article I read said that the size per person (or big animal) should be roughly 100 sf each, so as to give everyone the freedom to not be on top of each other. But the other factor the author pointed out is you may want to consider increasing that space if you work from home, or homeschool…because you’re doing more than just home stuff. So as a family of four, potentially growing in the future, that homeschools, as well as has home business (one, but potentially a second in the next couple years), it’s just not feasible for my family to be in a trailer long term. The bare minium I would consider is 400sf, but that’s not accommodating for a growing family, not to mention the fact that we have a definite winter season where expanding to outdoor living isn’t an option for at least a third or more of the year. So, for my family, as this one, 850 sf IS small, if not tiny. It’s certainly a right-sized house. Our plan is to go no larger than around 1,000….which, when keeping in perspective, some people think is unreasonably small. 🙂 I LOVE it when you include homes of this size in your spotlights, because there aren’t enough. If we ever get ours built, I will definitely be submitting pictures for you!

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:11 am

      Please do! I think your points are awesome! Tiny can be a very relative term 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Karyn
    November 3, 2016, 12:51 pm

    I loved this video- especially you trying to film while watching your children- LOL! You have an awesome home- you’ve made great use of space and it’s so pretty!

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:11 am

      That it is 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Janet
    November 3, 2016, 3:31 pm

    I love these sheds, cabins, garages that can be totally finished and “Rent to Own” in the period of 3-7 years. I’m only one person, but am looking at some of these around the 300 sq ft range. I don’t want to live in 120 sq ft. If I can have something like this for less than the cost of “THOW,” I’m fine with it. Living smaller and living tiny both accomplish the same thing – less carbon footprint. Live happy, save money in any way you want.

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:12 am

      Totally agree, Janet! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Phillip
    November 3, 2016, 4:29 pm

    What a happy, joy-filled video. It not only made my day but gives impetus to move in that direction with confidence!

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:12 am

      I am so happy to hear that Phillip! — Tiny House Talk Team

    November 3, 2016, 9:48 pm

    Very nice…! I loved the kids, it was her yacking that drove me crazy…. LoL…! So I can’t really comment about the house, because I had to turn the video off… Lol…! But best of luck any way….!

    • Natalie
      November 4, 2016, 9:13 am

      Haha…oh Zachary 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Sarah
    November 8, 2016, 8:49 pm

    This was an enjoyable read and watch. My family of 6 (soon to be 7) live in a 80m2 house (about 860sqf). We have had to be clever with storage and none of us have lots of ‘stuff’ but we would rather have the closeness and greater financial freedom that living small has afforded us. The ‘sacrifice’ of extra space and ‘things’ is worth it for the lifestyle we get to have as a result 🙂

    • Natalie
      November 9, 2016, 6:35 am

      Wow Sarah that’s so inspirational! I always wanted a larger family and want to live tiny. Thanks for sharing 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

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