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Could You Live in a 120-Square-Foot House?

 

Susan Johnston of U.S. News recently wrote an article about a tiny home that landed on the front page of yahoo. It was fun to see our good friend and associate Derek “Deek” Diedricksen featured. I followed up a little on the news and found Sage Radachowsky’s website gypsyliving.org. What are your thoughts on a gypsy wagon? Could you live in one?

Here is the article:

By Susan Johnston | U.S.News & World Report LP – Sun, Sep 23, 2012 9:54 AM EDT

When Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband moved from Kansas City to a 480-square-foot lake house in Northwest, Ark., they’d planned to build a larger house on the same property and use the existing house as an office and guesthouse.

Yet the recession convinced the couple to stick with the house they had and build another small space as an office and guesthouse. Fivecoat-Campbell says they’re happy with a smaller footprint. “We live in an area where recreation is a big thing,” she adds. “We like to be outdoors and spend time with the dogs and not have to maintain a big house. It’s easier to take care of.”

[See 10 Signs American Families Are Falling Behind.]

The constant upkeep and high expense of McMansions have made smaller homes appealing to many Americans. “People realize now if they live in a tiny house, they have more money left over to pay for other things,” says Derek Diedricksen, a maker of small houses in Stoughton, Mass., and author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here.

Costs for tiny homes can vary depending on factors like the materials and complexity of the design. “There are people who’ve gone out and built a modest house for $5,000 to $10,000 using Craigslist or free materials, but there are some that are more high-end, like rustic cabins,” says Diedricksen.

Margaret Webster, who moved into a 12 x 16 foot house on Echo Valley Farm outside Ontario, Wisc., a few years ago, says she paid close to $40,000 for the house, which includes solar panels, a wood stove, a wind turbine, and a water tank. “It costs more now,” adds the retiree.

Some tiny house-dwellers who DIY their homes wind up paying much less. Sage Radachowsky, who lives in Boston in a 120-square foot house he built atop a car trailer, says the materials for his house cost around $3,000. (He rents a driveway to park it, but says the driveway costs less than a typical small room in Boston.)

… Read the Entire Article Here …

What are your thoughts on a gypsy wagon?

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.haugstatter Ashley Haugstatter

    My boyfriend and I are college students who built a 345 square foot house to live in while we’re in college! Best decision we’ve ever made!

  • kir.

    Yup. My honey and I lived in a 40 ft RV for a year. We thought it would be difficult, but we were continually surprised at how easy it was to live in a small space.

  • WM

    Jay,
    Great site, great concept, and great way of life. I live in a small apartment, 210 sqft. and I am intrigued by your designs and concepts. I understand the need for most of the homes to be on trailers due to HUD restrictions and zoning requirements, but what is the advantage of owning a tiny home instead of a mobile home?
    Considering the cost involved to build a tiny home it seems that in a lot of cases in would be cheaper to buy a mobile home. Also, in many parts of the country right now you could buy a traditional home that is bigger and costs less to buy than it would cost to build a tiny home.
    I understand the concept and way of living, I am all for it, but I am having difficulty seeing the real financial benefits. I have lived in a tiny apartment for many years, and I enjoy it and I am always curious about new and better ways of living.
    Some of the other problems I see with the concept is the utilities. You either have to share utilities from someone’s home, rent a lot at a trailer park, or have a permanent set up somewhere, or utilize dump stations, and maybe solar use. Seems like a lot of effort and not really allowing yourself to be self reliant.
    Also, the appliances. I have used a bar sink for my kitchen, it’s too small. I have used an under the counter refrigerator, again it’s too small. You can get by using these things, but over time you notice that it’s really not practical.
    Jay, I really do support your ideas, but I think there may be some room for improvement.
    Thanks,
    WM in NY
    PS. I will try to post this on your blog to get input from others, thanks.

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