Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why Most People Want Tiny Houses

I’ve been under the weather lately, and having read a ton of books and played too many games on my tablet, I became bored and decided to watch something. I found “Tiny House Builders” on Netflix and watched all two episodes offered.

The concept is a good one, but the show is made like so many of those builder shows on television, with lots of overacting, a self-imposed deadline that gets hyped every few minutes (“The owners will be here in four hours!”), and owner reactions that border on hysteria. Give me the 1970s version of Bob Vila’s “This Old House” any day.

What bothered me most about “Tiny House Builders” is that both tiny houses were built for people with more money than brains. An East coast couple with two young daughters living in a house on 12 acres decides a tiny house on the back of their property will enable them to spend more time together. (Why can’t they spend time together in the house they already have?) A teacher rescues some horses and buys a weekend property to keep them on, but the house is condemned so she needs a spot to eat, sleep and do yoga.

Bully for them, but I think the reason the tiny home concept is popular is that there are so many people who cannot even imagine themselves committing to a mortgage on an overpriced house with ridiculously high property taxes in an economy where their jobs can disappear at any time. Add in the prospect of being replaced by someone from another country who will work for half of your wage, or by a robot in a few years, and it seems downright foolish to lock yourself into 30 years of servitude to a structure. The tiny house concept is a welcome change from the traditional home mortgage trajectory.

And of course that’s nothing new, but it’s been a long time since the economy was so lousy that people had to find tiny shelters to live in so they’d have a roof over their heads.
Check out these 1930s tiny houses in Connecticut that I found while researching the host of the “Tiny House Builders” show. They’re not portable (nor was the first tiny house on the show), but they’re tiny and close together and at one time meant the difference between homelessness and a roof over one’s head. Given that they’re still in use, I’m guessing they are still appreciated for their affordability.

This is why I’m interested in tiny houses. I know what it is to give up your big house and downsize to a smaller one out of financial necessity and in order to maintain your financial freedom. While I don’t live in a tiny house (we have a 1,000 square foot ranch), I can see where a tiny house could be the answer for people who want to live simply and affordably.

Give me a show about those people, instead of people with plenty of money who are buying tiny houses for a lark, and I’ll be a fan for sure. For instance, even though her house isn’t technically a tiny house at 300 square feet, this gal should be on a television show because she has the right idea:

1 comment:

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