A Tiny Complicated House

Today I visited my first tiny house. I’ve been fascinated by these little homes for several years now, but this was my first time actually walking through out. I went with a friend of mine who, along with his wife, are also aficionados of simpler ways of life.

20170820_122929_resized-Tiny House

The new community is in the Northwest section of Charlotte, NC, well outside of the metro area. The community, if it comes to fruition, will exist across the street from an elementary school.

The first thing that struck both of us was how large the “tiny” house was, and this wasn’t even the large version of the model. The 493 square feet unit you see here begins at $89,950. But for only $14,000, you can add 100 sq. ft. For $20,160, you can add 144 sq. ft., and for a measly $23,800, you can add 170 sq. ft. I’m not sure if those square footages included if you opt for an additional half-bath at $7,000, or an additional full bath at $12,000. But I’m quite sure the square footages are not including the optional 1 car garage, at $25,000.

B/T/W, extra decking (250 sq. ft.) is only $3,500. A bargain.

There’s even the option for an “accessory dwelling” unit – aka extra bedroom.

“In the 1920s, they called it a house. Today they call it a tiny house,” my friend said. “He also added, if you peak the roof in the center, it’s a nice sized bungalow.”

“You know everyone’s going to opt for the largest they can get,” I said. “So the tiny house community just becomes a house community. They’ll ostracize the one person that actually opts for the tiny house in the neighborhood for bringing the property value down. Like, you poor piece of crap, what are you doing in this neighborhood? Go back to your hovel. This is where the big ballers handout. This is a 1000 sq. ft. or more group over here. If you don’t have a garage, where do you keep your Subaru?”

We had a good laugh walking through the place, but it’s true that as the “Tiny House” fad continues to boom, people will try to profit off the phenomenon, but in doing so, they are going to try to reach the largest market share, and to do that, the tiny homes need to be larger.

We joked that what we should do is each buy 25 acres, and each build a real tiny house for ourselves, and then we’d collectively have 50 acres to enjoy. See, it’s the philosophy that matters. The visit today showed me that Tiny Houses are soon going to go the way of the “minimalist design”. It’s very popular right now to describe some product, like a watch, as minimalistic, but don’t confuse the philosophy with the style. If you’re buy a minimalist watch that you don’t need, you’re not minimalistic.

Similarly, if you are buy a “tiny home”, but want to make sure that you have enough square footage to not feel cramped, have a garage for your belongings, and an extra bedroom for when friends come to visit, then you’re not really living the simplified lifestyle that tiny homes grew out of.

Starting at $89,950 (493 sq. ft.), plus $23,800 (170 sq. ft.), plus an additional full bath for $12,000, and a half bath, if that’s allowed, for $7,000, it will only cost you $132,750. Coincidentally, that’s more than what I agreed to for my townhouse, which provides me two bedrooms, two full baths, a half bath, a full kitchen, a back patio area, and a neighborhood pool.

If one was to truly consider one of these homes in this planned community, one should know that they are still in the approval process to build the community. So it could fall through. However, if you want to be one of the lucky owners of an expensive not-so-tiny tiny house, then you would need to put your $4,000 non-refundable deposit down now. That puts you on the list, and when they get approval for the subdivision, then they have the “Lot Picking Party” so you can see where your not-so-tiny tiny house will be.

Sound fun yet?

Oh, and they weren’t sure what the HOAs would be.

Happy Simple Living!

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