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Sunday, April 24, 2016

The "Tiny Home Mania" Story

A tiny home on Rt. 30 in Lancaster, PA which is for sale.
Notice the upper level is very small.
It was an ordinary day.  Driving east on US Route 30 from Lancaster, PA to SR41 to a small town known as Gap when I mentioned to Carol that there were a few tiny home builders who occupy the sides of the three-lane highway along that stretch that are now building tiny homes.  We noticed a few new shows during the past year or so on Home and Garden Network that featured these tiny homes.  I should begin by telling you that the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet in size while the size of a tiny house is somewhere between 100 and 400 square feet in size.  Some of the homes are built on a trailer bed while others ware built on a concrete slab or built in a shipping container.  
This tiny home is built on a wooden platform.
This home didn't even have a second level.
Why would anyone want a home that you had a hard time turning around in or had to sleep on a mattress where you couldn't even stand up?  Seems that tiny home owners buy their homes because of freedom of debt, freedom to travel, freedom of location and having the option to pursue dreams versus working a thankless 9-to-5 job.  But, the homes are necessarily cheap to construct.  They can cost anywhere from $20,000 to maybe $100,000 depending on what small amenities the buyer wants.  There are a few home builders in Lancaster County, including Amish builders, who now seem to specialize in the tiny houses.  I believe it is just a fad at present and many people who begin with a tiny home and eventually have a family would have a tough time raising that family in a 100 square foot home.  The cost and mobility ideas are great, but when I was growing up, people who had the same idea bought mobile homes, but I must admit they are slightly larger than the tiny homes produced today.  
Another tiny home on wheels.
While watching the shows on H&G TV, I wonder how owners handle water and sewer issues.  Will they be hooked to running water?  How about a sewer hookup for sink and toilet waste.  And, what about power hookup.  I must admit that some of the homes featured on TV are rather unique.  Some have an eat-in kitchen with a small living area on the first floor and a crawl space for sleeping.  And, what about heating and cooling issues?  Can large sized pets be kept in a tiny home with you?  Carol and I have been talking about downsizing to make it easier to maintain the house and property, but we really aren't interested in a tiny home.  No way would I want to, or could, climb a ladder to go to bed.  I read an online article telling that tiny homes has been a slow-growing community that started about 15 years ago and only became well-known because of TV networks picking up on the fad and making it look like a fantastic lifestyle.  I would like to see what people think ten years or more after buying and living in a tiny house before I would recommend the lifestyle to anyone.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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