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Is the Tiny House Trend Dead?

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Have we reached peak tiny house? These days you can hardly turn your head without bumping into some kind of micro dwelling. A slew of reality shows like Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House, Big Life, and Tiny House Nation are documenting the joys and trials of the downsized life. Last year a Portlandia skit poked fun at the micro home trend (their tiny house featured a fold-up kitty litter box and a mini-library for “alone time”). There’s even a thing called “tiny house regret” for those who convert to the micro life only to realize they can’t quite swing it.

Between the pop culture takeover and the realities of downsizing, some are wondering if the tiny house is close to joining MySpace and Crocs in the land where trends go to die.

But even if the whimsical HGTV tiny home does have an expiration date, there’s evidence that the current tiny renaissance is just the first wave in a much broader micro movement.

Is the tiny house trend dead?

Is the Tiny House Trend Dead

That’s because the surge of interest in micro homes is rooted in socioeconomic trends that go far beyond a passing fascination with clever design and fold-up furniture. Mortgages and rent consume an ever-greater proportion of income; quality, attainable housing is dwindling; urban populations are growing; half the US population is single; a quarter of the population lives alone; and younger generations want flexibility instead of 30-year mortgages.

Small living can offer more financial freedom, more mobility, a lower environmental footprint, and an emphasis on experience over stuff. Frankly, those are attractive offerings—especially for recent college grads, single professionals, and retirees.

Read the full story here: https://kasita.com/is-the-tiny-house-trend-dead/

What are YOUR thoughts?

What do you think? Are tiny houses here to stay or is it just a fad? Is the trend dying or is it growing even more?

Let’s Talk in the Comments!

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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!
{ 95 comments… add one }
  • alice h
    July 21, 2016, 4:42 pm

    Like most things that seem to pop out of nowhere and take the world by storm there’s a gradual winnowing out of those who lose interest for whatever reason and a core of those that find it works for them in some form or other. Attempts to contain the concept to a narrow definition are a waste of time. Things will settle out along a spectrum and hopefully rules and regulations will sort themselves out over time to accommodate the new reality.

    As annoying as “trends” can be they at least serve a useful purpose in bringing concepts to the attention of people who might not otherwise run across them. The early adopters also serve as the vanguard that makes it easier for the rest of us to go the same way. As long it’s someplace you really want to be.

    • Alex
      July 21, 2016, 4:57 pm

      Thanks, Alice!

      I think we are facing serious issues when it comes to income and the cost of housing and smaller housing can be a part of the solution yet real estate is a very slow moving, slow progressing industry because of zoning, construction, laws, etc. It’s all very physical.

      • Debra Johnson
        July 21, 2016, 6:18 pm

        I would like to give my opinion. I do not think the tiny house movement is gone, it has just gotten out of control with the cost of building one. What is supposed to be more economical, and cheaper to build has gone way over the top. When I first heard of the tiny house’s, they were being built for $15,000 to $20,000. Now it takes a full fledged mortgage. Maybe not a 30 year, but still some people such as myself would have to borrow the money, which sort of defeats the purpose of being debt free. I do know people that are building their own tiny houses on wheels and on concrete pads. The problem is not everyone can do that. The places building the tiny houses now are charging an out of site amount that a person up in years would never be able to pay off before they die. Also, yes the zoning laws have got us too. It is really ridiculous how the zoning laws keep people that have very nice tiny homes out of neighborhoods because they worry about their values going down, but the the government will not allow a tiny house community.
        Some of the tiny houses may cause property values to go down, but i they would allow a tiny house community it would be better. Look at Spur Texas, that whole town is made for tiny homes. You can buy land at an excellent price there, but who wants to live in the middle of nowhere. The closest medical facility is 40 miles away. It is a nice thought to be able to move out there but there are no jobs really to speak of. I do not like the thought of the tiny house movement going away. I think it is good for our country and our children.
        Thank you Alex for letting me sound off. Have a wonderful and blessed day.

        • Alex
          July 21, 2016, 7:27 pm

          Thanks, Debra, it’s nice to read your thoughts. I think a lot of people agree.

        • Sally Schrock
          July 22, 2016, 1:41 pm

          Debra, I am 100% in agreement. When I started looking at THs just two or three years ago as a way to have my own home cheaply without a mortgage, I was dismayed to see the prices soaring out into the stratosphere, well out of reach of many, including myself. For that reason alone, I turned away completely from stick-built THs and have been looking seriously at vintage mobile homes and trailers as my much more affordable alternative. There are many out there to be had.

          The only downside with many of them is that they often need restoration with regard to bringing electrical and plumbing up to code, as well as repairing/replacing water-damaged flooring and/or walls–but in the end, buying one of these is still much more affordable than buying a brand-new stick built TH with all the bells and whistles. Not only that, but many of them are roomier than the new ones, with more storage for belongings. I’ll take a vintage mobile home or trailer any day!

        • anne stansell
          July 22, 2016, 3:29 pm

          Any of you who read my comments know I am not a fan of commerialized construction taking over the tiny house movement. I am not against making money, however, people started this movement to live an alternative lifestyle. If I was just starting out I would not want to work most of my adult life for a house. As a senior I do not want to keep working to pay for a house. I choose the tiny house idea, so I can live within my means. With the exception of basic provisions, goverment city, county or Federal should stop putting restrictions on tiny houses. Commercial builders are going to try and sell you a 100 thousand tiny house , that doesn’t mean you have to buy it. The movement is not winding down, people are just facing so much red tape in living in them, they don’t know where to put them. What this organization could do is pull together resource material to help with the process of how you can actually legally live in one. State by state, post the areas that are friendly and have reasonable restrictions. We don’t need to give up, we need to find ways to make it work.

        • Maria
          July 23, 2016, 6:39 am

          Tiny house communities have been around for years. They are called Mobile Home Parks. The new tiny houses look like real homes and that they are made better. That is it. People have been living in tiny homes for years.

        • Alex
          July 23, 2016, 1:50 pm

          Good point!

        • M
          July 24, 2016, 9:25 pm

          Well, anything that allows John Q. Ordinary to survive more freely, will always be a target for those who would rather not see that happen, or capitalize on it, or take it over in some way.

    • M
      July 24, 2016, 9:21 pm

      There has been a tiny house core for a very long time. Wagon trains, ancient Arabian caravans, Basque sheepherder vans, trailer parks, squatter’s fields …. and more I haven’t thought of immediately. These groups were tiny housers either related to work needs or environment. It was only when a certain segment of people began to realize that a large segment of society was living past their basic needs – probably spurred by the more recent economic downturn – that the current TH “movement” formerly called “downsizing” began to grow. And then, like any movement, once started, even the more economically stable jumped on the bandwagon, so as not to be left out. Which is why we have now such a broad spectrum of TH from literal boxes for the poorest THers, to the nearly $300,000 TH for sale in a recent post. Will it calm down? Probably to some degree, at least as far as media popularity as all trend-motivated entertainment must in order to keep people hooked to the idiot box, but I think the core of it is real and genuinely based in a regard for a more fair and equitable way of life that is less damaging to the environment, and certainly less materialistic in spirit. I wonder what a good social/cultural/anthropological study on the movement would reveal. People communing more with nature and each other? Becoming more spiritual rather than stressed out? Spending ‘? Looking at the stars in the sky rather than ‘Dancing With the Stars Becoming self-sufficient or remaining dependent?

      Only time will tell ….

    • Cynde Brand
      October 18, 2016, 6:18 pm

      I, myself would like Roanoke, Va. allow tiny houses into the city. It would be a great thing for me to put one onto my son’s property as I am 62 years old and would like to sell my condo and move closer to him. If anyone knows zoning and how to change zoning in a city, I would appreciate knowing this! Thanks for letting me reply

  • russell waterbury
    July 21, 2016, 5:03 pm

    I try to take the hard road in life because it means more to me to do this on my own. I do not think the TH nation is done, it only the beginning. I go where I want to, land or sea. I love to build my TH and then rip it up then build it again. Flat roof ,then slant roof, then bow roof. I have 5 TH that I change every week. None of them over 15 feet long. None taller than 10 feet. The point is follow your heart, not your wallet . I still do all the things I want to do to have fun.

    • Alex
      July 21, 2016, 7:29 pm

      I love your spirit, Russell! It’s only the beginning! Love it.

  • Tom Osterdock
    July 21, 2016, 6:16 pm

    I don’t think it is dead but not advertised as well as it should be. I do not have a tiny house ….. yet. I am planning and designing one. I will be a 7.7×30 ft trailer above the wheels. It will be 13 ft tall and the sq. ft should be a little over 500 sq ft. I am planning on steel framing to reduce the weight and should be under or at 10,000 lbs. I am planning on solar, washer/dryer combo, full size fridge, stove, diswasher, 100 gal water tank, 5×8 bath with shower, composting toilet, sink and the washer combo will be in here. Plans are coming around quite well and should start the model in 1″ scale shortly to see how it all works out.

    • Alex
      July 21, 2016, 7:28 pm

      Thanks, Tom!

    • templer
      July 23, 2016, 2:56 pm

      I want a tiny house so oo much I’m MCS disabled. I need one that fits my needs I cannot live in senior housing because of contaminated environment .only my own house will allow me to live. My 27′ trailer is not good for permanent living.i need space to accommodate oxygen bottle medical equipment and lift to loft I need to live as economically as possible. the cost to park rv or tiny house is difficult. I lost my perfect trailer to hurricane in 2004 it’s been very difficult since when I first saw the tiny house years we decided that that would be perfect now I’m unable to build myself but the cost is so high by the contractors that it is now prohibited. Finding accommodations affordable for rv or tiny house is now impossible. I had hoped to solve my housing crises by building an environmentally safe house. The issue of government comes from families living in tiny campers paying no taxes for school or contributing socil security this puts a burden on social services which contributes to there not wanting responsible clean poor families,senior or disabled in their communities. I lived in my rv in a very nice park. The new gulf yaught club distoryed the marsh deverted the water to ditches causing causing park and rv to flood. fear of trailer trash has hurt this industry or community. The town I came from finally closed down these nasty dirty over grown parks that had many children .if affordable apartments or homes were available the taxes would be paid to support town services. Their afraid of repeating this same problem creating another slum. In 2004 in Florida I lived in a park that required tax and title be paid. We also paid a small land tax for the shared proerty . the water and sewer was provided as part of our land share this satisfied the community and the government. I lost all this when I lost my hometo hurricane the cost to replace a than $35,000 trailer cost $85,000 GREED after the hurricane forcing me out of my safe community. people today are doing the same with tiny housing if your are rich you can live in our expensive tiny house

      community forget the honest working but poor limited income senior or disabled poor family it makes me very angry that prejudice against people like the tiny house movement is causing so much trouble. We are a minority

      • July 24, 2016, 6:33 am

        Have you checked with Habitat For Humanity for help? What you need is what I believe they do.

        • Jane on Whidbey
          July 24, 2016, 3:22 pm

          Actually, they often don’t. I applied, and on my Social Security payments, they told me that I was too poor for one of their houses. You had to be working or capable of it.
          Wow, that was a slap in the face and a kick in the ass at the same time.

  • Tom Osterdock
    July 21, 2016, 6:20 pm

    I forgot. I love the tiny house Jamboree. that is something that is quite essential. Problem is that it should not just be in one place in the country. It should be all over the country and some states two places due to size of the state. That is how to get the word out so people can crawl around the tiny houses.

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 23, 2016, 9:22 am

      Amen! I would love to go to a jamboree, but they are always too far from me to afford to go. I can sleep in my bus, but gas and days to travel (i.e. take off work) are too much. Have one in Arizona!

  • Ben
    July 21, 2016, 7:05 pm

    I think the obvious situation is that both sides of the Tiny House ‘supply’ industry, the trailer people and the complete house people, have established and sort of ‘set a tone’, concerning the cost of going ‘Tiny House’. What began as an affordable option, quickly spiraled into not affordable.

    I wanted to go Tiny House, but with $30,000, I was priced out of the market. How do I get a Tiny House and a truck to tow it with for only $30 grand? You know some old pickup won’t do, and a used TH might need all kinds of repairs and updated essentials, so ending up with a used truck, a used TH, and no money, is simply not an option.

    Not to be stopped, I elected an option: I bought a brand new, heavy duty, 30 foot by 8.5 foot cargo trailer. Tandem 7K axles and 8-lug 16″ wheels. It took me a year and a half to find a cherry 1993 Ford F350, crew cab, dually, 7.3 diesel, full bed. Zero rust, running (cost $4200, plus about $4000 more and a year of work to get it right). Trailer was $6800. Also bought a 2007 Harley (low miles, mint), and 1800 watts of solar. Completely insulated the trailer. It is about ready to do interior finishing.

    It is awesome, and I love it.

    I had no other option. The Tiny House industry may not be able to offer affordable units. Expecting broke people to come up with 50 or 60 grand for a place you can spit the full length of, is not going to work. Hell, getting a ready made trailer to start building a Tiny house on, costs as much as the completed, wired, ready to get out of the rain trailer I bought. And mine came with a 30 day tag to transport it anywhere.

    People can’t pay rent and build a Tiny House at the same time. There is a transitional period the industry has no answer for. So, of course, folks are finding other ways. ‘Stealth’ cargo trailer options. Reconditioned 40 year old Airstream options. Converted box truck options. And the always available, 1970’s hippy van option. I can’t get into the stand-up cargo vans because they cost as much as a new house to begin with. My friend lives in one of those Mercedes units and tows a 12 foot cargo van full of motorcycles and other toys. Pricey.

    The tiny house movement can only be stopped by greed. Greedy suppliers, greed communities unwilling to allow them in, and greedy middlemen who have seen the trend and positioned themselves in the money stream to win what they can. The point of a Tiny House is supposed to be economy. Too much greed kills that bird.

    • anne stansell
      July 22, 2016, 3:36 pm

      Ben what you are doing exemplifies the Tiny House Spirit, to me. You do what you can afford, if it takes some time, to get what you want and can pay for, then it does. We don’t have to use the middle man many just choose to. Maybe Habitate for Humanity would be willing to set up some Tiny House Communities, people can get hands on experience, and they have the clout to deal with the goverment.

      • Ben Lunt
        July 23, 2016, 6:41 am

        Anne, One of the things I noticed recently (in pictures of old, old neighborhoods in Europe) was that small buildings, tiny streets and close quarters, do not need to be clutter. Many of the famous old cities in Europe are immaculate.

        Developing Tiny House communities in America needs to duplicate the tiny and attractive appearance I’ve seen in these places. We need to dispel the potential threat to communities that economy might mean squalor. Opponents will ALWAYS use lies and threats to oppose Tiny House Communities in most cities.

        As others have mentioned here, I agree that one neighbor does not have the right to tell the next how their house and property should ‘be’, but that won’t stop them from trying, and it won’t stop others from listening. As we have seen in politics, morons are easy to ‘panic’, and they are a fact of life out there. We have to deny the naysayers fuel for their bonfires. We have to take the lead and win what we want – an even break.

        • Marsha Cowan
          July 23, 2016, 9:29 am

          I agree, Ben. If mobile home communities can be very pretty, many of them are, why not tiny home communities? A piece of land dedicated to a mobile home community could be gradually changed over to a tiny home community, or a piece of land bought for a private tiny home could be registered commercially as an official mobile home/RV park, then gradually developed into a park with more homes. One could even build the homes one at a time, sell them, rent the spot to the new owner if they choose to stay there, and build another one…hey, I might try that…lol!

    • Debra Johnson
      July 22, 2016, 4:23 pm

      I agree with you 100%. I have given up in a sense on the tiny house on wheels. I have a used RV trailer, and am going to sell it and just get an RV, hopefully with a couple of slide outs. I am a single female with a cat, and we do not need much, but I do need office space for a desk and computer for my home based business. I have been looking for an RV on EBay, but some of them are so high. I think maybe the winter time will be better to buy one after the summer is over, lol. I used to belong to the tiny house enthusiasts but they are not exciting anymore. Every word you write is scrutinized and I am still in a free country, (and by the way that was questioned) so I don’t need more drama in my life. I am old enough to make my own way and plan to do just that. I work for myself, and my cat, lol
      I have seen some of the RV’s that have been turned into tiny houses on wheels and they are gorgeous. I can do the same thing. I have a 2006 Dodge PU, nothing to excited and write home to mother about, but I do not intend to move a whole lot at first. When my business builds a little then I can travel and still work.
      I read your post Ben, and that is exactly what I wanted to say, but was not thinking completely . I think your idea is almost like mine. Except, I have a few good years left in me and I do want to travel this great country of ours, but gotta make a living first, :). I think the older we get the less stuff means to us. It is that way for me anyhow. Mother is gone, husband is gone, kids are grown, so now it is my time.

      • James B
        July 22, 2016, 10:14 pm

        I agree with you Ben. I found myself in a similar position a couple of years ago. I didn’t have the money to buy a fully built TH, or even a trailer built fir the purpose. Like you and many others I decided to find another way. I think that determination and willingness to think outside the box is the true heart of the TH movement and is nowhere near dead, the people at the heart of it are often more interested in being about it, rather than talking about it. For me it was buying a used school bus and slowly remodeling it as I’ve had time, money, materials, etc. For others, it’s something else, but as the say “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I say the will is still there.

      • July 23, 2016, 6:15 am

        Debra, I know exactly where you are coming from. First off, the very same thing happened to me at the Tiny House enthusiast site. Some nasty people attacked like crazy. Also, I am a writer (now – have been everything else before) and will be running my business from my RV/TH. I have to be mobile, because I intend to travel the US and Canada, staying at both rental RV spots, National Park Campgrounds, and many free ‘Boondocking’ locations.

        I spent 30 years building and living aboard my own sailboat, a 33 foot traditional gaff schooner, and sailing around in Florida and the Islands. I made it self-supporting and very comfortable, and will do the same with this trailer. I designed and developed many of the systems aboard the schooner, and am using them on the trailer. I LIKE having plenty of electric power, a REAL stove and refrigerator, a great shower, and roomy, comfy bed, TV, and maybe even air conditioning for those really oppressive days, proper heat for the winter, and of course, plenty of good insulation so the inside does not always tell you what it’s like outside,

        The reason I got the Harley, (it’s a bare-bones 2007 Dyna) is because I really missed not having a bike of some sort during those 30 years on the boat, and decided it would serve just fine to run for groceries, etc, plus be an excellent way to explore big parks with a tent and bag. Not to mention the ability to sell for cash if the need arises.

        Looking forward to seeing you out there sometime. Take your time shopping for the RIGHT unit. Don’t get ‘antsy’ and pop early. 🙂

      • Marsha Cowan
        July 23, 2016, 9:49 am

        Don’t give up yet! Because of the steep prices we see on many of the tiny houses online we feel that it is out of reach, but I assure you, it is much less expensive to build a tiny house than most people think! Sit down and figure out how many and how much material you need, go to a lumber store, and they will give you a great estimate of how much it all will cost. You will be amazed how inexpensive it is. I built my second tiny house on a very small salary and used all new materials, including Pella double glazed windows. It was called the Nest and was on a specially made trailer with a 5800lb. axle. Even with the specially made axle! It cost very little to build. Though I have not added plumbing and wiring to all my tiny homes, I have run wiring (and built a solar generator) in the first one, and it cost under $50 (not including the generator), and plumbing has been made so easy these days with flexible pipes and fittings with snap seals that it, too, is within anyone’s reach and budget. So don’t give up on your tiny dream. Take your materials list to a lumber store and get them to show you a real price for building it, then go to a paint store and get some real prices on finishing it. Then shop around Habitat for Humanity, Craigslist, and other places to se if some of your materials list can be purchased for less, but don’t skimp on quality. I got all my insulation for my first tiny house for $30 on Craigslist. So get busy and start putting everything down on paper. If you don’t know how to do a materials list or are not able to figure out how much you need, take your rough pencil sketch down to a reputable lumber store (all mine are “Lowes built”), and they will be able to figure by the square footage a close idea of costs. Don’t give up! You may also be able to find people in your area who, if invited, would love the opportunity to get some experience building by helping you, and you in turn can help them when their time comes. It can be like a barn raising with food, fun, and family. Or you can barter for wiring and plumbing by offering services for which you are certified or qualified…Okay…I will get off my band wagon now 🙂

        • Alex
          July 23, 2016, 1:45 pm

          Thanks, Marsha!!

        • Lantz Newberry
          July 23, 2016, 4:50 pm

          This is exactly what most people need to be doing. Not everyone can afford the cost of a TH all at once. Be your own contractor. I’m in my late 50s and have never formally been in construction but do know pretty much everything in how to build one because I’ve worked with many professionals on odd jobs for the past 30 years and studied much reading materials.

          If you don’t know construction find local reputable experts who are willing to do the job with you as an assistant. That’s the way to learn. In most cases a person only needs help with the framing, roofing and maybe windows, doors and siding.
          Get the outside shell completed and then take your time learning to finish the interior. That’s the fun part because you can build it the way you like.

          I really like metal studs and there are different gauges of thickness for quality. Even the heaviest gauge are lighter then wood so you save a ton of weight. They also screw together and go up very fast. With all the wood (not drywall) being placed on interior walls weight savings is a must.
          Be your own contractor and let each expert know you are getting bids and you will see your costs drop.

          One thing I really like about the Tumbleweed trailers is they are built with balancing the model of home that is built on it. A person could figure out the model they like, get one of their trailers and copy the style that matches their trailer. This weight distribution is important because it puts a lot less weight on the vehicle hitch. Tumbleweed also sells barnraisers, which does all the heavy lifting (too bad it’s not metal studs).

  • Richard H Chapple Sr
    July 21, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Tiny house movement is not a new thing by any means. From the 40’s came the park trailers and mobile homes out of a real necessity for affordable housing.
    Today’s tiny homes are updated versions usually built with regular 2 x 4’s etc. Early park trailers and mobile homes had some really fun innovations. Today’s tiny homes have even more.
    I think tiny homes are definitely here to stay.
    I do think the banking industry would prefer we continue to be taught that it is better to be saddled to mortgages for most of our lives.
    My concern with tiny homes that remain affordable is not the homes themselves . The concern I had was the same all the years I lived in tiny trailer houses. I did not want to be parked in the middle of a neighborhood rife with unkempt yards, non-running automobiles on blocks with hoods up, junk piled all over the place, loose pets having the run of the neighborhood day and night, loud parties of wild abandon, etc.
    I am excited to see the new breed of tiny homes, they deserve better respect, and at the same time….those of us who do have or have had tiny homes must maintain nice standards of living in accordance to the neighborhood we want to live in, that is, if we have close neighbors.
    A tiny home must be built safe to live in and safe to transport.

  • Kim P.
    July 21, 2016, 10:19 pm

    I hope the tiny house is still alive and moving. I watch the episodes of Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House, Big Living, etc. There are people on these shows have creative ideas in their little mobile homes. I have seen various models that I like, and find some ideas of one and combining it with other models. Just because they are small and mobile don’t mean you can’t have high end look to them, with nice counter tops, appliances etc. I even seen one with a hot tub on the trailer, that travels with the house.

    I have also seen huge mega big houses and then people who are house poor. No money left to furnish all those rooms. What if they have to move for a job transfer, and the housing market is not in their favor? I like also like the idea that these houses can be moved. One couple had gotten an old school bus and converted to their mobile house, and they get to live in different areas of the country, and work on line.

    I would like to see more areas allow these homes to be parked in areas without a big issue. Many areas have permanent dwellings that are not well kept. (Greedy Slum lords), who rent them out for big amounts and don’t even fix them up.

    I have tiny houses and trailer and mobile homes that are better looking and better kept.

    Having a smaller mobile house and just keeping what you need and want gives more freedom to travel and not feeling bogged down with things you don’t need and a huge mortgage with a house that you can’t sell if you need to move.

    • Alex
      July 22, 2016, 3:28 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kim!

  • K. Pratt.
    July 21, 2016, 10:24 pm

    You can always move out of an area when there are big storms coming, like hurricanes or thunderstorms with tornadoes. Can’t do that with a permanent house.

    • Alex
      July 22, 2016, 3:26 am

      That’s true 🙂

  • susan
    July 21, 2016, 11:42 pm

    I am disheartened to see the prices rising so high on tiny houses. The pricing is ridiculous and that is why so many are building their own, to keep costs under control. If I had someone to build it with me, and a place to do so, I would have already started. Most I see now seem to be in the range of $65k! I want a nice tiny house, and am willing to spend about 40k to have one built but apparently I can’t get much of anything for that price. sad.

  • Annette
    July 22, 2016, 12:40 am

    In 2011 I had to downsize from a relatively large downtown loft on the highest floors (1800 sq ft) to my present home (450 sq ft) in the basement.

    What makes it livable is location location location – I’m a block from the best city park and my town’s botanic garden. I’m on the bus route and within 4 blocks walking of several groceries/taverns/tacos/pizza/restaurants etc. My hot includes all costs including electric (not including Internet) and my property has appreciated.

    I’d like to try living even tinier so I can rent this place out, but can’t justify upfront costs into getting into one of the better tiny homes (let’s face it! I’m about to be 60!)

    If put into real estate there’s just no question that most tiny home costs would be more wisely invested on a fixed property.

    Mainly this is because laws prohibit tiny homes from being accepted in neighborhoods, and property values are escalating in my area.


  • Tom Osterdock
    July 22, 2016, 2:22 am

    I will be 65 next month and designing my tiny home now. You have to look at where you want to live and what you need. To me design is all of it.

  • Sparrow
    July 22, 2016, 8:55 am

    I agree with others here about price. Tiny homes were supposed to be the alternatives to a heavy mortgage. But now the prices have gone up, and you can get a nice condo for the same cost, so why bother with a tiny house?

    Also, some of the houses are a bit absurd. When I see one with a ladder to the loft, it loses me. Looks like a kid’s playhouse. And composting toilets (i.e. human litter box) – forget it. Plumbing is a GOOD thing, people. From what I’ve heard, and forgive the indelicacy, taking a dump in a tiny house can stink it up for hours without a decent actual flush toilet (and even then…) I want to be comfortable in a tiny house. I don’t want to feel like a hobo.

    Also I have concerns about tiny houses’ safety. What if there’s a fire – how do you get out? I had an acquaintance who died in a trailer fire. Also, what about break-ins and home invasions? How safe are the places you can park a tiny house?

    Also, I hate container homes. It would be like living in a big wooden crate. To my mind, the Zyl Vardo homes are ideal. Small, comfortable, and so charming…but then we get into high cost again…

    Really, you know what needs to happen? We need apartment builders to construct apartments that are simple but well-made yet affordable, but do not have all of the stupid “amenities” that only add to cost, like swimming pools and dog parks. And we need more small-house neighborhoods that offer small, affordable houses on small lots. And yes, more municipal support for tiny-house neighborhoods. Times have changed; it’s time neighborhoods and municipalities wake up and acknowledge the new reality in housing. My rent is eating me alive. I could have a decent life if I didn’t have to spend so much of my income on rent! I’d hoped a tiny house was the answer, but now I just don’t know…

    • Cande Keller
      July 22, 2016, 2:12 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. At my age (66 yes young) I want a safe, affordable, unique little corner of the world. I live in a perfect location (NW Ga) but there is nothing (reasonable) to rent & no smaller affordable homes to buy. The one TH community I visited (NC) “could” have been cute but was not kept up. I’m just going to keep on looking & hopefully something will fall into place. My first choice is a TH, not on wheels!

    • Regina Miller
      July 22, 2016, 2:34 pm

      Sparrow, you don’t need to live like that. Watch the tiny house shows. They are great. You can live with a regular toilet and full size appliances. Tiny’s can be designed many ways to accommodate anyone. Tiny’s are built very well, much better than a mobile home or an RV. Your design can include more than one door to exit, but can also include “egress” windows to be able to get out easily. There are many options for safety, just as in a regular stick built house. And as tiny’s get more accepted, you can find a decent place to put it and not live like a hobo. I am not an expert, just someone obsessed with tiny houses and love to design them and study facts about them. Good luck.

      • Dawn
        July 22, 2016, 4:05 pm

        I caught a tiny house show last night I had not seen before. Tiny Lux houses, I didn’t see much difference in them than any other TH, nothing to make them lux, and in some cases ideas that I don’t think will ultimately work. Anyhow, the budget on the houses was between $90 and $120k insanity.

        • June
          August 7, 2016, 7:47 pm

          I would never buy one of those “luxury” TH. You can tell no one who lives in a tiny house make those unlivable things. On “Tiny House, Big Living,” a circus entertainer made a very stylish and livable tiny house — a 16’er–. The way she used her space made it look cozy and comfortable. She and her dad built it for $10,000 to $11,000 dollars. I am a retired teacher, and have a hammer under my bed because I don’t have a gun. But I would definitely go look for people I can trust, and that will be reasonable. I will stay in my townhouse before I overpay for a TH. But boy, I wish I could start my build with the confidence that I can park it somewhere safe and reasonable, and not harassed by the authorities.

  • July 22, 2016, 1:29 pm

    Tiny houses are certainly the rage in my area, a vacation town outside Vancouver, BC, and there are two builders close by on both sides of the border. And there are plenty of DIY projects I’m aware of. I think the trend is still on though perhaps not as long-term housing. They seem to still fit the bill for backyard cottages, family style ADUs in the city, and as first-time educational projects for schools, young people. etc.

    That’s my take on tiny houses. Local zoning and code still makes them impossible as full-time residences in my county and I don’t see that changing. The 2015 IRC now permits smaller dwellings but the need to be fitted on a permanent foundation.

    I believe tiny houses are getting overpriced and will eventually slow down the growth of the trend to people willing and able to build for themselves.

    The fastest growing segment in my business is far and away small houses, especially in places like Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and the whole of California where the accessory dwelling unit is gaining traction under the pressure of fast paced urban growth.

  • July 22, 2016, 1:34 pm

    I love the idea behind the tiny house movement but I don’t think the full-time lifestyle is “the perfect fit” for everyone. I feel that many people get excited by the novelty of the idea without really understanding how it would change their daily lifestyles before they jump on the wagon and run off to go buy a tiny home. That being said, it could be the perfect fit for others. I think the most important thing is that individuals to plenty of research before making the decision to downsize in a drastic way. I also agree that people think it will save them a fortune but with rising costs and zoning restrictions it isn’t as financially glamorous as it appears.

    It is a good idea to give it a trial run first at a place like Blue Moon Rising in Deep Creek Lake, MD. I’ve stayed there for fun and to try the experience on a vacation and absolutely LOVED it but I don’t know how I would fare without all of my extra comforts in a long-term living situation. Whether you are looking to give it a test drive or you just want an awesome relaxing “unplugged” vacation, I highly recommend checking out Blue Moon Rising – http://bluemoonrising.org/ I love it so much there I am actually getting married there in September 🙂

  • monica
    July 22, 2016, 2:06 pm

    My husband and I have downsized to 708 sq ft. Although just a “small” house, I love our place. The best part is not having so many possessions. I have a microwave/convection oven , a hot plate and electric skillet in the kitchen. I can still cook gourmet meals. But even our meals have become simple but still good. After the passing of our parents, we didnt want our children to be burdened with our stuff. So we asked them to take what they wanted, had a garage sale and donated alot. The kids can enjoy what they want now and not be burdened with the grief and guilt attached with disposing of “things”. Our new place is minimal and no stuff to dust! Do you know how many cookbooks I had from 1980!!!
    We also have a small cabin in the so. calif mountains that is 600 sq ft. It’s small and very minimalist. It’s terrific too.

  • Regina Miller
    July 22, 2016, 2:24 pm

    I sure hope that Tiny Houses are not just a trend. Because they are more affordable living for people, in many different situations, they sure help fill a need in many ways. The problem that I see, or that I have is that there should be more definition and codes for tiny houses. When I see people making tiny houses in box trucks and ones that look like hobbit houses, out houses or sheds (not meaning that sheds cannot be built to be great tiny houses, but do it right) and buildings with no windows and people parking illegally, it is a turnoff. I think other people think the same and it gives tiny houses a bad name. I am hooked on tiny houses and some in my family think I am crazy. I want codes and communities of tiny houses built more “conventionally”. I think if they are more conventional and built well, as most of them are, more cities and municipalities would accept them more. Then, also, maybe more mobile home parks or rv parks would also accept them more. Then maybe there would not be such a problem finding places to park a tiny house.

  • LV
    July 22, 2016, 3:00 pm

    I like the concept of “small” living, but it’s really selfish living. You have no room for company or overnight guests. Also, most tiny houses are overpriced and not as versatile or as a well equipped as an RV. RV companies have worked out all the problems because they have decades of experience. I don’t want to be a victim of someone’s learning experience, so I’ll pass on all the mom and pop companies calling themselves “tiny” home manufacturers.

    • Jane on Whidbey
      July 23, 2016, 5:25 pm

      Well, LV. Spoken like a true inexperienced person. ‘Selfish’ is what I call ‘company’ or overnight guests that expect a ‘bed and breakfast’ atmosphere, instead of a ‘sleepover’ attitude. We always thought it was fun to visit family because there wasn’t enough room, and we all jammed together to have a good time, and then moved on. The very idea that anyone owes anyone anything more is selfish. I’ve spent many a night on a couch, and loved it. We were having fun, while you seem to think otherwise.
      Further, RVs are
      1. built for everyone, so built for no one. Tiny houses are equipped to the needs and desires of the person living in it; I have yet to see a wheelchair-accessible rv.
      2. built out of more toxic materials than a tiny house. I have multiple chemical sensitivity, and living in a metal box with particleboard would be impossible for me.
      3. not tiny houses. Those things weren’t made to live in, as indicated by the name. Recreational. Vehicle. Each has its use. If you don’t want a tiny house, don’t buy or build one.
      As with any large purchase, do your homework. Make your own design for life. Stop believing the ‘follow the leader’ mentality. Think!

      • LV
        July 23, 2016, 5:38 pm

        Touche, but I’m not inexperienced. Tiny houses are overpriced. For the price of a $50,000 “tiny” house, you can have numerous 5th wheel RVs that are luxurious. Tiny house manufacturers are the inexperienced of the small living industry. People have been full-time RVing for decades. Why rediscover the wheel?

        • Jane on Whidbey
          July 23, 2016, 7:43 pm

          You obviously haven’t lived in both. Winter living in an rv is unpleasant at best. Who wants to travel to follow the weather all the time? Been there, done that. Tiny houses are not all about travel, or recreation. They are houses.
          As I have tried to communicate to you, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. Why carp on others? What is your point?

  • Cynthia
    July 22, 2016, 3:50 pm

    TV is bringing in big money, people are making bigger and more expensive homes that completely defeat the entire concept. It may be a fad for all those big spenders but it’s the dream for me. They are driving up costs which is making it out of reach.

  • Canyon Man
    July 22, 2016, 4:19 pm

    In some areas the Tiny Home idea was DOA before it got started. In other areas it has existed since the 1960’s. I fully understand say an area of houses in the hundreds of thousands or even higher not wanting someone building a tiny house, no matter how nice in the same neighborhood. They have a right to protect their investment.
    On the other hand, an area of house from less than $100,000 up to say $150,000 I think there should be room for well built homes or even trailers under certain circumstances.
    What I would like to see is areas set up for tiny neighborhoods. It might need public transportation, commercial stores and even access to the school system without feeling like the ugly step child.
    For those not needing the above mentioned amenities one can look in more rural areas of certain counties.
    I once lived in a National Park. Many residences of the area simply wanted a small living facility they could afford on the lower side income many of them were trying to live on.
    I have seen the same in larger areas like Las Vegas, Nevada and resort communities where a very small abode can run more than the worker makes working a full time job as they are competing against the very residents and tourists coming to the area.
    I think persistence will work in some areas while in other areas those in control do not care. They might if there were no one there to serve them the coffee in the morning.

    • Eric
      July 23, 2016, 5:55 am

      Well, I totally disagree with Canyon Man’s statement that someone else has the right to protect “their” investment by banning someone else from having a small/tiny home in “their” neighbourhood. Talk about elitism? Talk about arrogance?

      If “I” own a piece of land I demand that I can build a house that “I” want, and if it is small then so be it. If not, also so be it. So long as the construction meets safety codes then the state should butt out. But, well that ain’t the American way is it? Thank the Lord I don’t have to live there.

  • Ronni Varner
    July 22, 2016, 5:27 pm

    I’m 74 years old, and would absolutely love to get rid of my 2 sty. + basement townhouse. I have already made plans to give my china (2 sets will serve over 20) to my oldest granddaughter – she loves to entertain a lot. The rest of my things are spoken for. There are only two pieces i will have a hard time parting with – my new (2 yrs old, never been slept on) sofa bed, and a long wicker cabinet I have in my dining room. That one I got at a consignment shop. I can live very comfortably in the tiny I fell in love with (28ft) and made a few minor changes to (30 ft) , but the basic layout is the same – it offers soooo much storage, I won’t have to part with my Christmas decorations, or my crafts supplies and tools – will even have room to work on my crafts.
    It will be comfortable living for me, 2 cats, and my German Shepherd. :))

  • Payton
    July 22, 2016, 6:06 pm

    Alex, I can not even say anything that already, has been said, by all of these people on here, as they are all right on what they say. I am so glad, as it saved me time writing. I agree with all of you. I am in the same boat as the rest of you, I am like Debra, only I do not work. lets all hope that we will get something soon.

  • Naomi Rivkis
    July 22, 2016, 6:36 pm

    As a “trend” tiny houses may indeed be going away… but who wants to be a trend? All it means is that everything is three times the usual price. So let the trend pass — it will only mean that the people who bought into tiny houses out of whim or opportunism or too much money on their hands will drop out, leaving the dedicated remainder for whom this is genuinely the right way to live.

    People talk about tiny houses exploding in price. It’s still possible to build one the way the first THs were built: by one’s own hands and sweat, out of salvage materials, figuring out how to do the work as one goes along, for between $10K and $30K. It always has been. The difference is that now there are *also* expensive ones built by professionals, for those who want them. I suspect that, as the people who were never really a good fit for tiny living in the first place drop out, many of those new startup building companies will fail; but the ones who build at reasonable prices and with genuinely innovative design will still be there. And the old way of building — with your own hands and your own sweat, out of salvage materials, figuring out how to do the work as you go along — will always be there for us, as it always has been.

    It’s been a dizzying ride, to have our movement become a trend. But the peak of that ride isn’t where we ever intended to get to, and it’s certainly not where we should ever intend to stop. When it gets back to its natural level of interest, there will still be people who want to live tiny; and they will still be able to build (literally) on the inventions of those who went before them. It will just get a little quieter around here. A little less busy. It’ll just be us; the people for whom this is the right and natural way to live… and probably considerably less expensive for those.

    Well? That’s what we wanted, isn’t it?

  • Susanne
    July 22, 2016, 7:13 pm

    I am guessing it’s not dying but will increase once more states adapt their codes, and people will realize they are not limited to only 200 sq ft… To downsize. Nor does it have to be mobile if they choose…
    People just need to be educated on the matter.

  • Janp
    July 22, 2016, 7:17 pm

    I moved from a home to an apt and the freedom to go and have more of a social life,travel and take classes is more than I ever dreamed. I thought maybe I would love a tiny home has become less of an option since I notice the price for the nicer ones sometime surpassing what I ever thought I would want to pay.certainly we put too much emphasis on home ownership and things. My greatest joy was scaling down,giving the things people wanted now before I died and living a life that allows me to live. Let’s get back to what the movement started out to be and I think it’s popularity will rise again!!!!

  • July 22, 2016, 10:07 pm

    I collected materials, partially built a tiny house on a trailer, then abandoned that to instead build a tiny home on the bed of the truck I’d purchased to tow the original TH. It’s a 1985 Ford F350 (one-ton) dually diesel 4×4 that runs perfectly, that I got for $4000. I’ve put less than $1000 into fixing it up.
    I’m building the house by myself. I’m 50, and a woman, and I’m doing it. It’s not the prettiest thing, that’s for sure, but when I drive it around town I get stopped by people admiring it and full of questions. It’s cost me maybe $5000 so far (although I need to add up the receipts to know for sure). I’m working on putting together the interior now, and using a wonderful, quality oak wall system of shelving and cabinets that I inherited. I was given some spare plywood by a kind local lumberyard. The rest of it, I bought…mostly the cheapest lumber, plywood and siding I could find. That made it harder to put it together in an attractive way, but I think it looks…interesting. 🙂 It’s certainly sturdy, and structurally sound.
    My point is: there are ways to get yourself a smaller, cheaper small space. You don’t have to purchase an overly expensive professionally-built home, and some of those aren’t all that nice anyway. Plus, people who decide that small living isn’t for them often sell their Tiny Homes for a very reasonable price. Some aren’t finished, but much of the hard work is done and you can save money that way and end up with something quite personalized. As for as where to park it, in my case I am looking for two inexpensive plots of land to “camp” on ~ moving between the two so as to stay legal and for a change in scenery. I had land that I’m selling to fund that, land that I bought cheaply and could afford the monthly payments. It’s in prime camping/winter playground/hunting country, so there’s been interest.
    You have to be creative if you don’t have a lot of dollars to throw around, but it’s doable. It might take time. I highly recommend buying materials as you can afford them so when you finally are able to build, you don’t have such a huge outlay of cash needed all at once. Use reclaimed materials. That doesn’t mean junk, it means carefully watching for good deals on good items.
    I am running on here, so I’ll stop now.
    Good luck to everyone who is interested, and start paring down the crap you own NOW. It’s freeing.

  • July 22, 2016, 10:19 pm

    I forgot to add that I already own a large scooter that I’ll carry on the hitch of my truck. That is my version of the large campers’ “toad”. Just more fun and amazing mpg, plus it’s freeway legal so I can go farther distances to get supplies and just run around enjoying myself.

  • Kori Hatfield
    July 22, 2016, 11:50 pm

    Want another option?
    Check out freedom yurt-cabins !

    • July 24, 2016, 9:03 am

      Fully agree. There are not enough yurts highlighted here. Just compare the prices at, for example, Pacific Yurts. They really are inexpensive small home options.

  • July 23, 2016, 10:58 am

    Okay people I read some of the comments. If you want a cheaper TH go to one of the class on how to build them. Or go online , rent a TH room from TH Motel to see if this is the right fit for you. I have two of my TH are on trucks F-150, dodge, and my 1967 Mustang pulls one . My TH cost me under 5 K , That is 5 of them! At the end of the day I use my trucks to do odd jobs, so my TH can be taken off for work. RV frames are not rated for big weight. I have 4 wheeler’s to run about town. Look at how many people made comments , I think it is just fine. If you know where to look for stuff you can get it for free!

    • Sparrow
      July 23, 2016, 11:19 am

      That’s fine if you can build your own TH. But there is no way I can do that. I live in an apartment, for one thing, with no space or even a driveway. And I don’t have the skills and have no interest in acquiring them. So what do I do?

      • Ben Lunt
        July 23, 2016, 12:01 pm

        I have been building all my life. For me, it is easy and fun. However, no way is a tiny house a project for a beginner. Everybody HAS TO make every mistake – there are no free lunches. To expect a beginner to build their own TH is to expect too much.

        There may be a solution, though.

        If someone could organize a ‘Barn Raising TH’ process, where the new owner would start by opening a file online, get plans, arrange for a certain amount – a careful list – of materials, and when ready, pull the trigger on purchase and delivery. If 8 or ten volunteers, most with experience, could show up at the new owners location, I’ll bet a TH can be framed, enclosed, roofed, and sided – all PROPERLY – in a weekend.

        It would require cooperation and ego-restraint, but it could be done. The new owner would then ‘move in’ – yes, I said that – and begin insulating, paneling, and finishing themselves, a little at a time.

        If you ask me, it would be fun, exciting, and have a sense of community, as well as meeting new friends. Also, experienced people would bring their own tools, saving the new owner a good deal of money. And once beginners participate in one or two of these affairs, they would no longer be beginners.

        Just a thought.

        • Alex
          July 23, 2016, 1:44 pm

          Great ideas Ben thanks for sharing!

        • Naomi Rivkis
          July 23, 2016, 9:27 pm

          Another thing that’s happening where I live (Seattle) is that there are classes which turn into work groups. Basically, everyone starts out by taking the class together, which gets them used to working together and helps them get to know each other. Each of them brings their own plans, wherever they got them, whether bought or self-designed.

          After the class is over, they organize to build each other’s houses… together, as a group, one at a time, based on the order of priority of whomever needs theirs most urgently (or, if roughly equal, drawing straws). First you have sixteen people coming over to work on your house; then when it’s finished — or at least when the hard parts are finished, leaving you to do your own small-scale design and furnishing — the sixteen of us pick up and go over to work on my house.

          There are also, for people who don’t have a place to park or work on theirs, communal MakerSpaces, which have all kinds of hand and power tools as well as router mills, 3D printers, and all sorts of other fun making-stuff toys for use. You pay for either your membership or the time you spend using their tools or both, but it doesn’t cost a whole lot, and they know a lot about building THs (they’re often the ones running the classes). So you don’t have to have a place to do the work; if you need to, you can use theirs.

          These are the advantages of being, or having once been, a trend — there are not only expensive professional building companies popping up all over the place, and silly reality TV shows, but there are people getting together in groups to work together and learn together and find ways to do things they want to do together. Even for not very much money. Even in the city.

          If the area where you live doesn’t have such a thing, I bet you could start one.

          The one thing you said, Sparrow, which makes none of this viable for you is the single phrase “…and no interest in acquiring [the skills to build your own TH].” Of course, if you choose not to learn how, then you won’t be able to do it, but that isn’t an obstacle in your environment. It’s simply a decision on your part about what your priorities are. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that you don’t want to build your own house; that’s what all those professional builders are FOR, and there will doubtless always remain some even though many of them may fall by the wayside as the trend fades away, because there will always be some people who don’t want to or can’t physically do the labor to build their own house. That’s fine… that’s what they *should* be there for.

          But to complain that you have no way to obtain the house you want, when you’re just as capable as the rest of us of learning how to make one and organizing a group to help you do it (in exchange for your help with theirs), seems kind of silly. I don’t want to do the work either, so if I can afford to use a builder at the time my kids go off to college in six or eight years, I will pay someone else to build it for me, and not balk at the price of good craftsmanship; the craftsmen deserve their pay for doing what I don’t want to learn how to do.

          But if I can’t afford it, or choose not to spend my money that way, then I have the same choice people have always had about everything they want or need: make your own, or do without. This is no different about tiny houses from regular houses, or apartments, or food, or clothes, or anything else.

          Want a garden? Pay someone to plant it for you, or learn how to garden, or do without.

          Want a dress? Pay for one somebody else made, or learn to sew one, or do without.

          Want a sweater? Pay for one somebody else made, or learn to knit or crochet, or do without.

          Etc, etc, etc.

          Why do you think that THs should be any different?

      • Alex
        July 23, 2016, 1:45 pm

        Building a tiny is a big project!

      • Peggie
        July 23, 2016, 5:07 pm

        Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. It will make you feel good, get you in shape, help people, and get you to acquire the skills you weren’t meaning to acquire.

    • Alex
      July 23, 2016, 1:45 pm

      Thanks Russell!

  • Wendy D.
    July 23, 2016, 11:36 am

    TH Living is NOT dying… Micro Houses are on the ridiculous side and could easily turn into shanty towns. They are simply not practical in the long run. Tiny & Small Homes are practical and could be sized as a viable living space. We, here in the U.S., are just discovering what the rest of the world already knows, these large ostentatious homes are gaudy and show our lack of understanding of the carbon footprint we have imposed on the planet. Most important, is that we MUST keep builders from blowing out the purchase prices on Tiny/Small homes.

    • Alex
      July 23, 2016, 1:44 pm

      Thanks Wendy!

    • Lebron Burton
      July 27, 2016, 6:54 pm

      I would like to see TH communities as well as THOW communities. I think there is a real desire for both depending on ones lifestyle choices. I see THOW that cost as much as a house plus you still have to park it somewhere. I think tiny homes under 700 square feet could be had for $70k which could be had for $550/month over 15 years. That to me is a reasonable home cost.

    July 23, 2016, 12:37 pm

    I am so glad to finally read this site about all problems of high cost living and the way the government wanting to curb TH communities.
    It is about time everyone has a say about what needs to be done about it.
    As a senior female myself, I find that despite the government giving us pensions, it’s only to make it more difficult for us to live decently by taking more money back. We worked our butt off for that money, and we should have the right to say how or where we should live, not the government.
    I for one find that TH commendable for making living easy for us, even if it cost a penny. More power to them.

    July 23, 2016, 1:30 pm

    Ben Lunt: I like your idea of barn raising. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • July 23, 2016, 1:34 pm

    Maybe: It costs much more than you think! It’s an expensive lifestyle at best. It did not start out that way, but is now. Even campers have skyrocketed in price. So has parking. My bills are huge and I can’t keep up, as they increase. Remember maintenance. Also I noticed that reclaimed stuff has gotten pricey, when all the junk materials and old stuff used to be free. It’s far beyond affordable for the average person. Sadly they still keep advertising the tiny house life as “debt free”. Wish I’d know what a fallacy that was before I got buried. Not saying I never would have done it, but I would have stayed saving for 10 more years before getting into it and would have been able to eat on a regular basis while doing so! Had I gotten into this 10 years before, would have been fine also, as it was less costly then. I have learned that if you jump onto a trend, best to be one of the early ones, before it catches on to either make any money or before the price gets too high. If anything there is less acceptability of tiny houses as they try to blot out places to park.

  • Jane on Whidbey
    July 23, 2016, 7:21 pm

    The ‘fad’ of tiny has both benefitted us, and made things a little harder. What is really wonderful is that so many of us can advertise for a place to live without having to explain as much, and many more people are friendly than were previously. It’s also making it possible for minds to open to new ideas in helping us all live the American dream. A roof over your head is so important. We could make it happen for everyone in the country. It’s time to expand what ‘normal’ is. At least, the dialogue has started.

    July 24, 2016, 10:12 pm

    It could be, if we continue to allow extreme overpricing, and no proper mediation between building companies construction on new tiny houses, and building code inspections… But mainly the over pricing of tiny houses which are a fraction in size to normal housing, but yet are priced in amounts which will cause a ripple effect throughout the regular building construction industry… Which in turn could cause a flux in the cost of housing across the board.. This is an extreme problem in the federal government’s eyes.. As we all know right now the cost of housing is already greatly over inflated, and it’s effects are causing homelessness throughout our country, and so long as we keep feeding the frenzy by paying exsastabating prices on these houses, we can see these houses coming to end in our future… It is we who have opened the doors, and it is we who through our own stupidity will be the ones who will have the doors slammed shut again so long as we continue to feed the greedy who set prices so high that draws the attention of the government powers to whom will with little effort put and end to tiny housing….! In other words if we keep letting them overcharge for tiny houses, the government will stop them from being built, and we will not be able to stop them from doing so.. Inturn that can be the death of tiny housing….! I may not be accurate on all points, but I know I’m pretty dam close to it…! So hang onto your asses kiddies were in for one hell of a ride sooner or later…

  • Kimberly
    July 24, 2016, 11:10 pm

    I don’t think the trend is dying, but towns are making it difficult for tiny house owners. Here in Bend, Oregon you can no longer register your tiny house trailer a t the DMV, it has to be done through the city so they can charge what ever fee they want!

  • Gigi
    July 25, 2016, 6:35 am

    I love all the comments here. There have always been tiny houses, so the tiny house movement is really just a re-surfacing of the idea. It points to a healthy trend to get rid of debt and live a simpler, more sustainable life. Because of the decades-old push to keep up with and surpass the Joneses, many people built bigger and bigger homes that enriched the tax base. Those seeking space for their tiny homes are now at a disadvantage. It will require time and patience to convince town and city fathers (and mothers) that tiny homes won’t become a blight in the community.

    • Tom Osterdock
      July 25, 2016, 2:37 pm

      I totally agree Gigi. Infact I would not want my Tiny house next to a blight in the Neighborhood, A 2500 or larger building, few are houses.

      • Gigi
        July 26, 2016, 2:34 am

        Thanks for making me laugh, Tom Osterdock. (I was, of course, referring to run-down, unkempt trailer parks.) My parents bought a 2 br 864 sq ft home at the end of WW II. After all six of us kids were born my Dad finished two more tiny bedrooms upstairs. We still had only one bathroom. For a family of eight, it was a tiny home. I have since lived in many places both large and small. My favorite was a 500 sf cabin on a private lake. It was large enough to be comfortable and small enough to keep me from getting overly materialistic. I believe de-cluttering can be a virtue.

  • July 27, 2016, 9:17 am

    A few years back, I lived on a small houseboat on TN river. They TN gov pass a few laws that basic houseboats had to be moved and keep to a high standard. Basic they kick us out of our home with rules that where hard to meet. The sad part was we the people had voted these clowns in to power, and they paid us back by steal our rights away from us. I see this coming to the TH nation, and to the states if we do not stand up for our self . I just pick up a new set if wood for my next TH. 86- 16 footers , 12 sheets plywood, 1 roll tin roof. Now to find a trailer. Out.

  • D. Kessler
    July 27, 2016, 4:44 pm

    I don’t know about ‘dying out’, but I believe there is a certain amount of effort to KILL the movement. Not only by the artsy-fartsy crowd who want to make everything all trendy and chic, but also by the bureaucratic cubical maggots who want MONEY for everything. There is an effort to make tiny houses as expensive and prohibitively priced as possible in order to discourage anybody from ‘going there’. I am appalled when I see price tags associated with tiny houses that reach to upwards of $24,000 and MORE. Listen, people, there is NO reason for that. All we are talking about here basically is SHELTER!!! This is a basic human necessity from food, water, clothing, then shelter. There is no need to be so overly blown fancy-pants about it. Almost anybody with a basic level of skills with a hammer, saw, nails, can accumulate the cast-off scrap woods and materials and build a shelter. That is all you need. Anything more than that, and you are putting way too much into it. These are not teeny-weeny McMansions, or mini Street of Dreams. Get over yourselves & get real about finding and providing adequate shelter for humanity.

    • Lebron Burton
      July 27, 2016, 5:50 pm

      I agree that the cost of commercially available homes has gone a bit haywire. However, I want to live tiny but not in a shack. For me it’s about living more simply, responsibly and affordably. BUT not in a shack! If I had the money I would build a residential community that had regulations for the maximum size home that could be built rather then the minimum. It would be a community where cars parked on the outskirts and people used walkways to get to the front of there spaces.

      • July 27, 2016, 8:10 pm

        I used to want to park my own Tiny Home way out and alone, but now I’m attracted to the idea of a community of variously-sized tiny to small homes. I know there is one in Texas. They have it all figured out there, and that’s very cool. I am searching for land now that’s not so far out, where I can live at least part of the year (basically like camping, but in my home), and opening it up to others. Problem is, it’s going to probably be in AZ or NM ~ in other words, still far away from towns, but at least going to and fro would be easy. I don’t know if anyone else is interested in that, but why not put it out there? It’s a far cry from what you are describing, Lebron, and I love your idea, but like you, $$ is the problem.

        • Ben
          July 27, 2016, 8:28 pm

          There was a time when all I wanted was a small, comfortable and secure, cabin in the woods. Preferably, mountain country. Then I spent 30 years on a sailboat, moving around here and there. It didn’t take long before I’d discovered a whole bunch of awesome places – because I was out there and other people doing the same thing TOLD ME about them.

          As I build my Tiny House – in a 30 foot Cargo Trailer – I am looking forward to getting out on the road. To go to places where people in motor homes and travel trailers go. To learn about dozens, even hundreds, of little, out of the way, awesome spots, to visit, hang for a few weeks, or even settle for a year or two.

          And, while I tend to be something of a loner, it is ALWAYS good to meet and talk to others. People who get too solitary have a way of turning into the Unibomber, and the company of others is what we all need to stay real. I have a feeling that after a while, people tend to circulate on the same, or similar, loops, and meet some of the same travelers they’ve met before. That’s what happens on a sailboat. You become a sort of member of a loose family, who seem to keep in loose touch.

  • Lebron Burton
    July 27, 2016, 5:41 pm

    The biggest problem to me in TH living is where to put it. Most communities will not allow a “trailer” to be parked on land and hooked up to the city services. So that leaves you to living in the middle of nowhere or paying $400-$600 a month to live in an RV park. That’s a completely outrageous amount to simply park my TH. I live in Twin Falls Idaho, we have lots of living wage jobs if you are ok with production work. I would like to see an “RV park”, just for tiny homes! Maybe 10-20 units that pay a $100-$200 a piece to have it managed but also share in the responsibilities of maintaining the property. This way the spaces could be larger so as to have more green space between houses with community places to come together if wanted. For me, I would want yard care to be a part of the managed price so that I can depend on a certain atmosphere and yard care in the place I live. I need a bit more space around me then the typical RV Village offers. I would also want there to be guidelines for the upkeep of everyones TH as well as what is acceptable for each individual outdoor living space. I ave seen many beautiful RV Villages or Moble Home Parks that I would love to live in and I have seen many more dumps that people call an RV or Moble Home parks. That all may sound all high and mighty, but in reality, I just want to live tiny, nicely! I want my visitors to come and say, WOW this is a really nice community you live in.

    • Tom Osterdock
      July 27, 2016, 8:17 pm

      I agree with you but I would not want a commune. That is just a place to start having problems between members. I would like the price as low as possible and do want yard care and nice looks for all. How much space should be allotted for each TH. I have been thinking on this for some time but this seems to be a problem. It has to be as small as possible but I do want some privacy. I do not want you TH 15 ft from mine. I am thinking of 50 ft on all sides figuring a 8.5 ft width. I am figuring mine when full parked and ready to be 17 ft wide at the widest, so that would leave 42 ft between TH on sides. If I have a park there would also be a swimming pool, showers, restroom facilities, laundry if desired. Mine has all that except the Pool. I also want an area for a get together BBQ with a couple of BBQs. Any thoughts on the idea? I have been looking on line for ideas but no success yet. I think this could be a good source for that.

      • Lebron
        July 27, 2016, 11:51 pm

        I love the idea of amenities but that just raises the price of the property whether rented or owned. I think most of us that want to go tiny also want to reduce expenses. I also want some space between me and my neighbors. Equally important to me is how the community looks. Currently I live on a wonderful country lane with 8 of 9 homes being modest, not tiny but 1000-2000 square feet. In today’s standard that’s pretty small. My point is I have two neighbors that live like swine. Crap everywhere little to no lawns, junk cars, etc. that’s why I want to have a tiny community that has guidelines that each residence must follow and landscape that is maintained by the HOA or something.

        • Tom Osterdock
          July 28, 2016, 1:29 am

          1500-2500 is typical med lg housing. TH typical is <200sqft. I am making my trailer to be approx 511 sqft. I want tiny but luxury. I am looking into the idea of a TH village. I think they should be 200-300 You would be strapped to find a campground for less than 10 perday. Once a BBQ pit is in there is little expense. Everything must be designed for low to no maintenance.
          some TH do not have laundry, solar, showers or bathrooms. So I think we need these for those TH.

    • June
      August 7, 2016, 8:58 pm

      “I just want to live tiny, nicely!” My sentiments exactly. I wonder if that is possible in Connecticut. I don’t know a soul here who has a tiny house. On wheels.

  • Steven Beverly
    July 31, 2016, 9:13 am

    Is the Tiny House Movement Dead? No it is not and it’s being refined at the moment. But it is evolving into an attraction that a Tiny House would be a great starter home. a vacation get-a-way, or a empty-nest/retirement home.

    As of right now, there are many factors going against Tiny Houses, but could be relaxed some.
    Many Communities/Cities/Towns/Counties have regulations set in place for the minimum amount of square footage for a dwelling. Usually it’s over 1000 sq. ft. In most cases, a manufactured home (trailer) is set at a minimum of 800 sq. ft. Clayton Homes builds a two bedroom, 1 bath, with kitchen including stove/frig, washer/dryer hooksups, and light fixtures for around $16000.00 US and at 800 sq. ft. Many of the Tiny Houses today are costing from $25000.00 to $100000.00 US. Plus, if it’s on wheels, you pulling rig will cost anywhere from a reliable used one at $15000.00 to $70000.00 for a new one. Then reuglations get in the way with anything on wheels is called an RV and cannot be a permanent dwelling. I have priced a Build for myself at around $18000.00 using steel for the framing and that is for the basics. Since my pulling rig would more than likely be my 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 4×4 with the towing package.

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