Thursday, 14 March 2013

Why my Dream Home is 261 Sq Ft (Seriously)

            I really want to live in a tiny house some day.  I’ve been dreaming about it for a while now.  Several acres with trees (probably some of them apple trees) and room for a huge garden, and nestled between the trees a small house, like something out of a storybook.  The Bodega from Tumbleweed tiny homes would be perfect.  While part of this tiny house dream is the romantic dream of a little cottage surrounded by nature is the practicality of a small home. 
             First the cost of a tiny home is lower.  Material costs for the Bodega are estimated at $22,500 and it is possible to do all or most of the building yourself in order to save on labour.  While cost of land varies enormously from place to place I can buy a lovely 3 acre lot in the middle nature for $80,000 in my neck of the woods.  While there are a few houses (or trailers) in the area that cost less then $100,000, they don’t own 3 acres of land.  In fact with 20% down, 25 year amortization and 3.5% interest (the current prime) your mortgage would be only $399.42 a month.  Add to that lower heating, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance and your housing costs drop like a rock.  
            Second, smaller houses are much more ecologically sustainable.  They use up less building materials and produce less waste during their construction.  Since they have a smaller footprint they disturb less of the local ecosystem allowing us to live alongside nature instead of cutting it down.  Then there is the aspect that the smaller utility bill is more likely to be able to be covered by alternative and sustainable energy sources. 
            Finally, a smaller house will allow me to simplify my life.  By reducing your storage space you are much less likely to store things that you simply don’t need.  I’m probably not the only person who owns 6 mixing bowls and only uses two of them.  Less stuff means less to maintain and buy leaving more money, time, and energy to spend on what really matters. 
            I won’t be getting into my tiny house any time soon.  That will need to wait for my retirement and when I’m done raising kids since my dream house only has one bedroom.  Some day though, some day I’ll live on my own little slice of heaven with only what I need on hand and the financial freedom to do what ever I want.  

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