Any real world Tiny House experience here?

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TheTimeLord
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Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Any BH part of the tiny house movement. I have found shows about this movement interesting but often wonder about their practically. That said some of the tiny/off the grid houses I have seen are in pretty remarkable locations and possibly worth the sacrifice to their owners. Just wondering if anyone have any real world tiny house experience, maybe a tiny vacation house?
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stan1
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by stan1 »

I think I see Bogleheads more as Class B motorhome types. You should get a few of them to respond here.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by TheTimeLord »

stan1 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:16 am I think I see Bogleheads more as Class B motorhome types. You should get a few of them to respond here.
Probably true. But I have seen a few of these tiny homes built is some pretty awesome remote sites that likely wouldn't be reachable with a motorhome.
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59Gibson
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by 59Gibson »

I've looked into it. Finding nice tiny houses(150-450sq ft) is the easy part. Finding where to place it is more difficult, especially in very restrictive counties/ and or very expensive land. Some areas of the country it's much easier
caffeperfavore
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by caffeperfavore »

My father is a contractor and former fireman. Watching shows about tiny homes, he's pointed out that many of them are fire traps. Mobile homes go up in flames remarkably quickly. I doubt many of these would fare much better. A lot of the tiny homes I've seen appear to be poorly made, have only one exit, use space heaters and/or portable stove burners, and have a lot of stuff packed into tightly together, which seems like a recipe for disaster. That's not something I've seen discussed much before.

In theory, I'm kind of a fan for getaway places or anyone that can make it work for them as a full-time dwelling (but not for me), but I would want to make sure safety issues like this have been addressed somehow.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by TheTimeLord »

caffeperfavore wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:36 am My father is a contractor and former fireman. Watching shows about tiny homes, he's pointed out that many of them are fire traps. Mobile homes go up in flames remarkably quickly. I doubt many of these would fare much better. A lot of the tiny homes I've seen appear to be poorly made, have only one exit, use space heaters and/or portable stove burners, and have a lot of stuff packed into tightly together, which seems like a recipe for disaster. That's not something I've seen discussed much before.

In theory, I'm kind of a fan for getaway places or anyone that can make it work for them as a full-time dwelling (but not for me), but I would want to make sure safety issues like this have been addressed somehow.
I think you are talking more about the ones on trailers than site builds. But I have never noticed the features you are referring to.
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sailaway
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by sailaway »

We lived on our boat for 4 years. Obviously, there are some pretty severe restrictions on where you can do that. I did suggest flooding the valley next to my partner's work, but in the end we just moved into a condo for a few years.

The big question is where to park it. After that, most of the "practicalities" are just things to get used to, depending on your house and location.

What "sacrifices" are you concerned about? That might help you get more clear answers.
Stubbie
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by Stubbie »

I actually looked into purchasing one. What I found out is for the same amount of money, you can usually buy a 900-1000 square foot traditional home (or manufactured and then pieced together) that doesn't have all the restrictions and stigma that a lot of communities have against "tiny houses". Now, it's not on wheels so if you want to be mobile then that is an issue. After also pricing out some really nice 5th wheelers, I wonder why more people just don't go that direction. Many of them are very livable.
arsenalfan
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by arsenalfan »

Stayed in a small 2br/1ba house in downtown Park City UT ski trip. Probably 900 sq ft? Not the crazy tiny ones with a loft over the kitchen or anything crazy space-saving.

It was on the main strip, and basically a place to make coffee/eat breakfast. No real living/dining area, just a bar area. Microwave/mini stove/refrig to store and reheat leftovers.

I think it would be great fun as a second home in a place where you spend 90% of your waking hours out of the house.
caffeperfavore
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by caffeperfavore »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:42 am
I think you are talking more about the ones on trailers than site builds. But I have never notice the features you are referring to.
Definitely a lot of the trailer ones, but some of the more permanent structures as well. That said, there's tiny and then there's tiny. Some of the "tiny homes" are just small houses and pretty nice and some are glorified sheds. There's some high quality builders out there and there's some some people that have never used a hammer before but watched a few YouTube videos. Obviously, YMMV.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Stubbie wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:48 am I actually looked into purchasing one. What I found out is for the same amount of money, you can usually buy a 900-1000 square foot traditional home (or manufactured and then pieced together) that doesn't have all the restrictions and stigma that a lot of communities have against "tiny houses". Now, it's not on wheels so if you want to be mobile then that is an issue. After also pricing out some really nice 5th wheelers, I wonder why more people just don't go that direction. Many of them are very livable.
I am talking about remote site builds in areas where building a traditional home is wildly impractical. It is very unlikely to be something I would do but I have had a fascination with some of the ones I have seen in very unique locations.
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robphoto
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by robphoto »

Look at things on AirBNB and VRBO.

There are tiny homes you can rent for a night or two, that will give you a real feel for the experience. I think it's one of those things you have to experience to know, and you'll either fall in love or say, "no way!"
illumination
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by illumination »

I also find these things really interesting.

My gut tells me 99% of the time though, these things are a hobby and people don't really live in them full time. More like taking out a camper for a weekend.
btenny
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by btenny »

Go to this blog to read good discussions and lots of pictures of tiny houses.

https://satisfyingretirement.blogspot.c ... house.html
zie
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by zie »

If you don't own the land you are at risk for at least 2 problems:

1) Rent going up.

2) After the landlord cancels the rental agreement for any reason, most mobiles homes after being stuck in 1 place for a while(read a decade or so) are generally not moveable.


Otherwise pretty much everyone else covered the same things.

The "moveable" ones tend to be really really miserable to move, even when brand new.

Purpose built ones (Fifth wheels, motorhomes, etc that you buy from an RV store) tend to be a lot easier to move, but they are literally built for moving. Also, they tend to be manufactured for the top end range of the the various trucks(which are expensive in their own right). The nicer the trailer/fifth wheel the more truck you will need. There is a very valid reason(safety) you see big semi's pulling "little" fifth wheel trailers around and that trend will likely continue.

So I'd recommend an un-moveable on on land you own. Then it's just a matter of if you will enjoy living that lifestyle. I'd recommend renting one(see AirBNB and friends) for a while before switching lifestyles, there is enough unknown and change in a lifestyle switch already.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by H-Town »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:59 am Any BH part of the tiny house movement. I have found shows about this movement interesting but often wonder about their practically. That said some of the tiny/off the grid houses I have seen are in pretty remarkable locations and possibly worth the sacrifice to their owners. Just wondering if anyone have any real world tiny house experience, maybe a tiny vacation house?
We rented a tiny house via vrbo in Olympic NP area. The area doesn't have many hotels. We like the tiny house concept. It's on a farm and very close to the entrance of Olympic NP.

I think it's good for a weekend getaway. Sorta like a mountain cabin or a beach condo. But I don't think I would set it up as a permanent house.

It's cheap to rent it, so I wouldn't care to own it.
rich126
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by rich126 »

Not a tiny house but it feels a bit too tiny for me. I've generally had 2,000 sq ft homes (and some seemed much larger) which is too large for a single guy but recently moved into my GF's 1,000 sq ft 1 bath house. I think we need another ~500 sq ft because a second bathroom is definitely desired and the kitchen is very small. Otherwise the lower utilities and maintenance costs are nice.
megabad
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by megabad »

Lots of experience indirectly. Every year, some fools put up a bunch of them and my county has to go and kick them all out, condemn them and fine the owners. Tiny homes are 100% against local code in my county (and every neighboring county).
egrets
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by egrets »

arsenalfan wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:49 am Stayed in a small 2br/1ba house in downtown Park City UT ski trip. Probably 900 sq ft? Not the crazy tiny ones with a loft over the kitchen or anything crazy space-saving.

It was on the main strip, and basically a place to make coffee/eat breakfast. No real living/dining area, just a bar area. Microwave/mini stove/refrig to store and reheat leftovers.

I think it would be great fun as a second home in a place where you spend 90% of your waking hours out of the house.
That is about the size of the house I grew up in with two siblings and my parents. People need much less space than is currently thought.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

stan1 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:16 am I think I see Bogleheads more as Class B motorhome types. You should get a few of them to respond here.
We have a Class B and after about 30 days straight I’m really looking forward to being in my big house. I could go 60 if we went slow and used campgrounds where showering and things are a bit easier. I really like van life, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different than a tiny house since you have to conserve water, propane, even your solar energy consumption.

The van size doesn’t bother me at all. You live outside of a Class B, not in it. Basically, it’s a place to sleep.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by bloom2708 »

I follow a youtuber who lives out of her 2005 Prius. Tiny and Micro.

I think some things may help. Being single. Being a "sort of" minimalist. Know someone who has cool property who would let you stay on it. Have pretty decent weather. I can't imagine a hard northern winter in one.

City laws are often unfavorable/unforgiving to any sort of tiny homes. Clearly some areas aren't.

You see adventurous couples who go tiny. A few with kids. Maybe just a bucket list type of thing. Try it out for a year or two.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by Tamarind »

Sounds like you are taking about permanent tiny cabins rather than the trailer kind? The thing about the remote and amazing locations is the cost to build there. Some considerations:

[*] Availability of specific trades if you aren't DIYing
[*] Cost of moving building materials to site, esp if road access is rough, narrow, lacks turnaround, closed for large parts of the year by hazards, or just absent.... This is the big one and could add a lot of extra cost to the build
[*] Extra cost for grading/excavating for a foundation on steep or rocky terrain
[*] Price of heating fuel and gas to get there (in a cold winter area would not want to do solar only with no backup)
[*] Not everyone wants to use a composting toilet
[*] Water and waste disposal is a lot harder when you are not only off the grid but distant from the grid.
[*] Food desert effect plus no space for bulk food storage. Most amazing remote areas are also not great for food self-sufficiency

For me these would be amazing places to visit but I would not want to own one or live there permanently due to poor value.

This coming from someone who loves to camp and lives in a sub-1400 sq ft forever home.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by barnaclebob »

The longest any of my very outdoor driven friends has been able to live the vanlife has been about 1 year.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by maroon »

I live in a tiny house. It's a site-built custom casita (not the kind you move on wheels). I bought it for a vacation house, but eventually sold my primary home in the city and moved to the tiny house full-time. My tiny house was originally 0 bedroom/1 bath, but I later added a bedroom so it's now ~800 sq. ft. It's in a remote, unincorporated area, yet is still on-grid. Feel free to PM me and I can answer questions.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by Watty »

The tiny houses that are not glorified trailers make no sense.

The reason is that if you are building a house a lot of the costs to prepare the lot to build are site preparation so are the same no matter what size house you build. For example roads and driveways, getting permits,water, sewer, utilities, etc.

A lot of the cost of a house is also in the kitchen and bathroom. If you are already building a one bedroom one bath house it costs very little to expand it to have a couple of additional rooms. For example if you are already building a 500 sq. ft. house which is 22x22 then to build a 1,000 square foot house that is 32x32 you would mainly only need things like a longer foundation and some longer boards and some extra plywood.

This is why they tend to make new homes so large now. It does not cost a lot more to build a 2,500 sq ft 3 bedroom 2 than house than it costs to build an 1,800 sq ft one.

If you are trying to fit a lot of housing into a small amount of land then things like duplexes or condos make more sense.
Arabesque
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by Arabesque »

I live in a 600 sq ft apartment in a HCOL area. I owned it as a rental for decades and recently retired here. I don't plan to stay long term, but it really is just fine for space. Many, many city people live in less space. It's not difficult.
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by sailaway »

Watty wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:46 pm The tiny houses that are not glorified trailers make no sense.

The reason is that if you are building a house a lot of the costs to prepare the lot to build are site preparation so are the same no matter what size house you build. For example roads and driveways, getting permits,water, sewer, utilities, etc.

A lot of the cost of a house is also in the kitchen and bathroom. If you are already building a one bedroom one bath house it costs very little to expand it to have a couple of additional rooms. For example if you are already building a 500 sq. ft. house which is 22x22 then to build a 1,000 square foot house that is 32x32 you would mainly only need things like a longer foundation and some longer boards and some extra plywood.

This is why they tend to make new homes so large now. It does not cost a lot more to build a 2,500 sq ft 3 bedroom 2 than house than it costs to build an 1,800 sq ft one.

If you are trying to fit a lot of housing into a small amount of land then things like duplexes or condos make more sense.
You are forgetting the additional costs to furnish, heat, etc. And, the fact that not everyone needs or wants all that space.
absolute zero
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by absolute zero »

arsenalfan wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:49 am Stayed in a small 2br/1ba house in downtown Park City UT ski trip. Probably 900 sq ft? Not the crazy tiny ones with a loft over the kitchen or anything crazy space-saving.

It was on the main strip, and basically a place to make coffee/eat breakfast. No real living/dining area, just a bar area. Microwave/mini stove/refrig to store and reheat leftovers.

I think it would be great fun as a second home in a place where you spend 90% of your waking hours out of the house.
This makes me chuckle. I live in a 900 sq ft house, 2BR/1BA with small dining room and full kitchen. I wouldn't expect a 900 sqft place to get mentioned in this sort of thread. We even both work from home and are expecting a child, with no plans to move. Doesn't feel small to me. To each their own I guess.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by TheTimeLord »

This episode of Building Off The Grid sort of caught my attention.
https://www.diynetwork.com/shows/buildi ... rn-retreat
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LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Any real world Tiny House experience here?

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

I'm thinking the utilities upkeep would ruin my experience with a Tiny House. Especially since the things are usually parked in one place for long periods of time. For long term living: I don't want to have to haul in water (probably on a weekly basis), propane, (and maybe gas). I don't want to have to deal with little or no cell/internet service. I don't want to have to rely 100% on solar (and battery) for electricity. I don't want to have to deal with sewerage. I'd do it for fun for a few weeks - but not long term. I don't want to spend time/effort thinking about how much water I can haul and then monitoring my water usage so I don't run out. I try to conserve water as it is... I just can't imagine the inconvenience of not having water. I really don't want to have to deal with waste water.

If I was gonna live somewhere remote and I was going to bring in my "Tiny House" I think I'd rather build a yurt or something permanent and then use whatever I am using to get to the property (truck? pack animals? dog sled?) to cart my water,propane,etc in to my "camp site".

I would much rather have a Tiny Cottage (500 to 800sq) on a foundation with a septic tank, a well, and an electrical hookup (and possibly solar). a Propane tank would work. I would live in something like that year round in a heart beat.

Heck, I bought and rented out a Post WWII starter home (in an urban area) - that was 806 sq. feet of space - 2b/1b. Cute as a button and in high demand as a rental.
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