Some Common Questions

Macy M2 comments5122 views

I have been getting a few questions lately, some repeats some brand new, I thought I would take a moment to post this email and my reply here since this one was so well written and covered the big things!  I hope you don’t mind Brianna!

Hi Macy!
My name is Brianna and I am currently a college student. I found your blog while doing research for a speech on tiny homes. Your home looks lovely and I was wondering if you would be able to answer some questions I had? yes! 🙂

1. What are your monthly expenses? Ex: water, heat, electric… how much have you saved building and living in your tiny home? Not more than $50 a month on all utilities, slightly more in winter than summer.  Some summer bills have been as little as 4.50.  Total monthly expenses go like this, $437 for health insurance for my daughter and I, $200 for rent on the lot I sit on, $5-$50 for utilities depending on if I have the heat on or not and how cold it is. 

I have saved at least $800 a month on rent (I used to rent for $1,000/month) and probably at least $100 in utilities a month, I’ve lived here 20 months so I’ve saved at least 18k.  the house cost a total of $11,416 to build (I estimate it would have run 23k if I had to buy everything new, more if I didn’t do that actual building) so it’s more than paid itself off.  The goal was to build it for one year’s rent payments (~12k) and then live in it for at least 2 years, it’s definitely been a worthwhile mission financially.

2. Do you think tiny homes can be for anyone? Ex: families with kids.. I know you talk about your daughter in the blog.. do you have plans to expand the house at all when she gets older? If your life is right for them [tiny houses] then yes!  It’s not hard for ME to live in a tiny house but there are plenty of people in my generation that it wouldn’t work for, for any number of reasons.  I think that is true through all generations and family size.  It probably appeals to less families but there are some whom it works great for!  If the driving factor is fiances it’s probably not the right reason (IMO).

When Hazel gets older her dad and I will have moved on to other projects, we are both in architecture and both interested in alternative dwellings, we already plan to build a slightly bigger shipping container house in the future, for us it is about learning and the project of it, it is important for us to teach Hazel and any other kids we have the value of less, we will always be in a relatively tiny house (my ‘dream home’ is about 630 s.f. and includes two bedrooms and a home office for James and I to work from).

3. What made you want to build a tiny home? I wanted a real life construction project to learn from.  I wanted to save money.  I wanted to try out some ‘green’ technologies.  I wanted to never be dependent on a bank for financing and I wanted to do something cool (to me).

4. What would you say to convince someone who is apprehensive about investing in a tiny house? You can’t and shouldn’t ‘convince’ someone into a lifestyle they aren’t comfortable with.  The best thing you CAN do is take them to a tiny house so they can base their decision (whether it’s right for them or not) on reality, it’s really hard to imagine just how spacious a 200 sf house really is, it’s not bad 🙂 

5. What things about living in a tiny house have changed your life/views on the world/society/ideals I will never read a single media article the same way again,  I have seen SO much misinformation posted out there about me/my house/my story, I’ll never trust anything the same way again.  I have learned that bloggers are generally much better at conveying the truth than major media outlets, its simply amazing.  Also, composting toilets can be WAY better than flush toilets 🙂  

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I would greatly appreciate any help or opinions that you could offer on the subject! I wish you the best of luck 🙂
Sincerely,
Brianna

That’s all, thank you Brianna for the very nice email and being patient with me while I get  the answers together!   Be well everyone, tis the season!

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2 Comments

  1. Oh – interesting you’re exploring shipping container housing. I’ve seen a few such projects, including one in town for women in transition – its stacked. I live in a port town so there are tons of old shipping containers around. A friend uses one for a workshop. They’re solid and weatherproof, but the conversion has to be done well to maintain that. And insulation isn’t quite as straightforward as stuffing 2×4’s.

    I spent some time planning tiny until it became clear placing it is a little problematic locally. It either means a flexible mobile home park or going rural. A local blogger has recently had a custom tiny home built – she’s looking at $1100 a month to park it in a noisy place, plus a mortgage to pay for it. Definitely not a way to save money. A small tiny home subdivision is a great idea…

    1. Oye about parking! I just have conversations tonight with planning officials here, there is talk starting to happen at that level, hopefully it will lead to more affordable options for people!

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