So can I just ramble a little bit about an obsession that’s been on my mind a little too much lately.
I love tiny homes. As a matter of fact, there is one tiny home in the city I grew up in and I’ve always wanted to live in it. Like – five year old Mel would yell out the window when we drove by that I was going to live there – and fifteen and twenty five year old Mel still agree with her.
Thirty one year old Mel thinks she’ll pass on the whole living in New Jersey thing (unless I ever get my dream job as a professor where I went to college), but tiny homes still look mighty fine to me.
According to the tiny home community, a tiny home is less than 400 square feet and a small home is between 400-1000 square feet.
To give you a better perspective, an average bedroom (not master bedroom) is around 10 X 12 feet. That’s 120 square feet. Imagine two bedrooms next to each other, another stacked on top of the first one and a bathroom and you’ve got a large tiny house.
Now, I spent 5 years living in a cruise ship cabin that was probably around 100 square feet and an additional year on a train in a room split into 3 compartments that were probably about 120 square feet altogether (bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom). When I moved to New York City, I had a one bedroom apartment was probably around 300 square feet that felt like a palace. I’m probably more prepared than most to really make this transition.
I just have zero interest in taking on a mortgage for a home. I also really love the idea of possibly living (mostly) off the grid (let’s be real, I’m not ever getting rid of the internet – short of a zombie apocalypse, I will be glued to my screen). I love that some tiny home can just be pulled behind a vehicle and moved whenever you want.
One interesting thing I’ve found in my research is that you can’t just live in a tiny house just anywhere. Which is ridiculous to me, seems like if you buy your land, you own it and you should be able to do what you want on it. However, there are actually only a few places in American were you can buy some land and plop a tiny home on it and be fine.
Oddly enough, included among a bunch of cities I’ve never heard of, is Philadelphia. You go, city of brotherly love! There’s also a growing number of small home communities, if you don’t mind paying rental fees for your land and having a bunch of nearby neighbors with a similar mindset. Personally, I’ve always been bothered by homeowners associations for the same reason I mention above – I bought this land, if I want to leave Christmas lights up year round or put an army of pink flamingos on my lawn to battle the other army of gnomes, that should be within my rights. Homeowners associations are not for me.
I’m also fascinated by the storage solutions in tiny homes – they are seriously some of the most cleverly built things I’ve ever seen. The efficiency of these places is just incredible.
You can also find tiny home plans on the internet for free from people who have already done it themselves. The mindset of the entire community is awesome.