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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    However, if you have lots of loved ones, you won't be able to spend time with them all in a tiny house.

    I'd be fine with less space than I have in my current apartment as long as it were arranged better for storing things.

    But already I go to my sister's house far more often than I invite her family of 4 to my place. If my father and stepmother, and/or my other sister and her family of 5, are visiting, it wouldn't be comfortable having everybody over at once. So I never get to be the hospitable one.
    You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.

    I like being the one to host others. We live in a small place (just in case anyone thought my previous post was based on my mcmansion or something)--basically five rooms and none of them could be considered large--to fit two people in our bathroom, one would have to stand in the tub. But we have enough room to have people over and be sociable.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.

    I like being the one to host others. We live in a small place (just in case anyone thought my previous post was based on my mcmansion or something)--basically five rooms and none of them could be considered large--to fit two people in our bathroom, one would have to stand in the tub. But we have enough room to have people over and be sociable.
    Or you could rent a dining room at a restaurant or club for occasions like that. No need to wash the dishes or clean the home after the party, either. (or buy more dishes than you need on a regular basis)

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltask8er View Post
    Or you could rent a dining room at a restaurant or club for occasions like that. No need to wash the dishes or clean the home after the party, either. (or buy more dishes than you need on a regular basis)
    You don't alway have to have an "occasion" to have friends over. And doing it at home is far more economical than a restaurant for everyone.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.
    I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting. And they do it every day at all hours. I think the movement towards every family having their own private Shangri-La has done much more to isolate people from one another than small homes would do. People leave work, go home and all their needs are met within the walls of that home. They need never leave except to work and re-stock the pantry. In Italy people go home, maybe grab a bite to eat or change out of their work clothes and then go out in the Piazza's, the pubs, the parks, the cafe's, or just walk around the streets with friends and become part of the life of the city. You only sit at home if you're sick.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by uyeahu View Post
    I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting.
    I think the key difference is living in small apartments near public spaces versus living in small houses that are on big pieces of land, as is the case with many of these "tiny houses".

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    This is one trend I can get behind! Houses really had gotten too big in recent years and the only way to go was down. My parents raised 2 kids perfectly fine in a house less than 2000 sq ft.
    You say 2000 sq feet like it's small, but where I've lived, that's huge! Some of my classmates were raised in apartments less than 500 sq feet for four people, and those 500 sq feet probably cost more than your 2000 sq foot home

    That brings me to another point. Living in small spaces makes the news when it's done in places with plenty of land, but for many people who have grown up in crowded cities, it's simply life as they've always known it. It's more noteworthy in the former case because it takes willpower to do, whereas in the latter case you don't have a choice.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 08-27-2010 at 01:08 AM.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    I think that's the whole point.

    I won't recommend this to claustrophobic folks but I like simple living and really wouldn't mind living in a smaller place though perhaps not a tumbletree house (coz I would need to find a lot to put that in and secure it or sth). If I were to live on my own, I suspect 400-foot will do--you know, bathroom, small bedroom and living area and a kitchen. Very energy efficient.

    I've always thought the bad thing about 1-2 people living in big houses is the need to heat/cool the whole house (or at least the whole floor) just to keep you comfortable. To me it's really a big waste of energy.
    In the winter we live in 475 sq.ft. in FL. The most important part of the house is the deck, though. The serious 'living' goes on outside! The small kitchen (the appliances, including dishwasher, are full sized) has a small porch off it where we keep the computer (chair, loveseat, small table, coathooks). There is a long (relatively) room with a couch, a chair, and a flat screen TV, tiny table and chairs, and a bookcase. A 11x11 bedroom has a queen sized bed, and the tiniest bathroom ever off it, but it does have a decent shower. It is very challenging to get into the bathroonm without knocking the towel rod off the door, though.

    However, we use more electricity down there than we do where we live in the summer in a much bigger house. But the sunset views are really nice.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    Although Dee's house has no plumbing, other tiny houses do. I have to admit that I would need plumbing in whatever house I had. I prefer to take showers in my own house
    Yes, the bathroom would be the absolutely last room to go!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    One summer I sublet a 5th floor walk-up - my ass never looked so good.
    My college dorm was a 6-floor walk-up, and I was on the 5th floor. I got used to 5 floors, but it was weird how going up to the 6th--just one more flight--still winded me. And it was depressing how I'd be gone for winter vacation and come back and have completely lost my stairs endurance in just a few weeks!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    If I were to live on my own, I suspect 400-foot will do--you know, bathroom, small bedroom and living area and a kitchen. Very energy efficient.
    You'd be surprised how small a space you can live in, as long as everyone around you is doing the same. My current apartment is 300-something sq ft, and I don't feel like it's too small because none of my friends lives in anything bigger, and many in something smaller. My college room was 96 sq feet. But if everyone else were living in huge apartments, then I would feel like my place is too small.

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    That's so true. I have to say though, I think tiny houses like this might be kind of a waste of energy too. It seems they have a high "surface area" to volume ratio, so it's not efficient to heat and cool the inside.

    I think apartment/condo buildings are probably still the most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to go in terms of efficient heating/cooling, materials usage (sharing of interior walls), plumbing, electrical, etc.
    That's probably true. New York is one of the most "green" cities in terms of per capita energy consumption even though most people don't make an effort to be green. It's a natural result of living in apartments and taking public transportation.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    You say 2000 sq feet like it's small, but where I've lived, that's huge! Some of my classmates were raised in apartments less than 500 sq feet for four people, and those 500 sq feet probably cost more than your 2000 sq foot home
    Yeah, 2000 sq. ft (normally that counts as 3bd/2ba I think) is pretty sizeable, but I've been reading lifestyle articles where families think they need 5bd/4ba houses for two parents and one kid. I mean, what?

    Maybe on your second point, but the second house I'm referring to was in the CA Bay Area. Despite the housing price crash, Zillow says it's still currently worth over $1 million. What a joke. The first house I remember living in is currently worth about 10% of that, but that's cause it was in NJ.

  9. #49
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    My hubby and I have lived in this apartment for a long time, and now we have a baby here! We worked really hard to maximize the space available before he was born. It helped quite a bit, but 750 square feet only goes so far.

    I like small living because it keeps utility costs down and because it's easier to clean. But I would really like about 900 or so feet, especially for one more baby in the house (eventually).

  10. #50

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    By the way, I'm surprised no one has brought this up (apologies if someone did and I overlooked it). It's the first thing that popped to mind when I read the thread title.


  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by uyeahu View Post
    When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting. And they do it every day at all hours. I think the movement towards every family having their own private Shangri-La has done much more to isolate people from one another than small homes would do. People leave work, go home and all their needs are met within the walls of that home. They need never leave except to work and re-stock the pantry. In Italy people go home, maybe grab a bite to eat or change out of their work clothes and then go out in the Piazza's, the pubs, the parks, the cafe's, or just walk around the streets with friends and become part of the life of the city. You only sit at home if you're sick.
    I agree. When I was living in a small space I went out all the time to meet with folks and such. Now that I live in a bigger space I actually go out less. Everything is in my house, and yes, there're occasions when you have guests but all the other times home is just a big space separating you and your next door neighbor, the closest bank, the closest grocery store, etc. So yes, I agree with the isolation thing

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    You don't alway have to have an "occasion" to have friends over. And doing it at home is far more economical than a restaurant for everyone.
    Depends how much extra the larger home costs. If I bought a two bedroom apartment instead of one, it would have costed me $75-$100K more in this area. And I doubt I would have the spare change to entertain at home, anyway, after all that.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by uyeahu View Post
    I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting. And they do it every day at all hours. I think the movement towards every family having their own private Shangri-La has done much more to isolate people from one another than small homes would do. People leave work, go home and all their needs are met within the walls of that home. They need never leave except to work and re-stock the pantry. In Italy people go home, maybe grab a bite to eat or change out of their work clothes and then go out in the Piazza's, the pubs, the parks, the cafe's, or just walk around the streets with friends and become part of the life of the city. You only sit at home if you're sick.
    And here's where we are not talking about the same thing. I live in a midwestern town of about 5000 people. Everything is closed by 7 p.m. except a couple of bars. Earlier than that on Sunday night. And many of the town's residents work second and third shifts at the town's major employer--a chemical manufacturing facility, so they are at work. There is no "life of the city" here because this is simply not a city. And my friends and relatives who live on farms would have an even harder time getting out every evening to participate in the life of the city as the nearest "city" is hours away and the nearest town isn't even within walking distance for most of them.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by uyeahu View Post
    I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting. And they do it every day at all hours. ...In Italy people go home, maybe grab a bite to eat or change out of their work clothes and then go out in the Piazza's, the pubs, the parks, the cafe's, or just walk around the streets with friends and become part of the life of the city. You only sit at home if you're sick.
    Based on what I have seen on HGTV's Househunters International, I can see why Italians spend very little times in their homes .

    http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...coast-area.cfm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQhchIXCabw

    http://www.hgtv.com/video/second-hom...deo/index.html

  15. #55
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    I once lived in a small town. The beauty was that it was so small I could walk to the bank, the grocery store, etc. So my small apartment (450 sq ft) worked just fine. And that apartment was powered by only a small AC unit in the bedroom.

    As for playing hosts, I see many people living in apartment complexes have friends over and they cook over the barbeque pit and party over the pool and such. Hosting shouldn't be an activity just for the middle class and up and it isn't

  16. #56
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    Our downstairs is about 450 square feet or so, and we have no problem entertaining.

    Dinner for 8 is easy, for 10 is doable; could even do 20 buffet-style. I can fit 7 people comfortably for movie-watching or skating-watching or whatever, probably 9 or 10 if I had to.

    There are ways to lay out places strategically to maximize the space you have. Granted, it would be more difficult if there were little kids who needed space to run around or play, separate from adults. Between our spiral stairs, half-walled second floor, "window" that's really a sliding door to 100' drop, and other low windows with no guards, our place is a death trip for kids.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltask8er View Post
    Based on what I have seen on HGTV's Househunters International, I can see why Italians spend very little times in their homes .

    http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...coast-area.cfm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQhchIXCabw

    http://www.hgtv.com/video/second-hom...deo/index.html
    We visited my lil sis at her host family's apartment in Florence two years ago, and it was nothing like that. Maybe because it was Florence. Her own bedroom was small, but the residence overall didn't strike me as overly weird or dank or whatever. The kitchen was more old-school than I had expected, but her host mom explained that everything was from the early 1900's. They take their kitchens with them when they move, sometimes employing a crane to haul it through the second-story window.

    It was more like a condo than anything else.

  18. #58
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    Hey, look at this! I think it rocks!

    http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built...ma/#more-16778

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by immoimeme View Post
    Hey, look at this! I think it rocks!

    http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built...ma/#more-16778
    Thanks so much for posting this. They look great. For the size they look quite spacious. Sometimes that is all you need in a home. I would quite happily live in something like that.

    I find this topic really interesting. I am about to move into my own new home which is a two bedroom unit. Not as small as something like that but has everything I need. It is not overwhelming. I have been housesitting in some large homes over the last few months and I have felt they are just way too large.

    Below is a link to one of the other properties that is for sale. It will give you an idea of what I am buying.

    http://www.realestate.com.au/propert...owns-107036648
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by immoimeme View Post
    Hey, look at this! I think it rocks!

    http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built...ma/#more-16778
    Cute!

    One of my coworkers lives in what probably used to be a large woodshed. It's really an awesome size for someone who lives alone (with a tiny dog), and she's really good with delineating space, so she can have 4 people over even though the only place to hang out is the kitchen.

    The only bad parts about it is that it used to be a woodshed, so insulation is very poor and there are lots of holes in the roof/wall where the mice/rain get in.

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