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Would you/Could you live in a tiny house if it meant no mortgage?


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http://modernsurvivalblog.com/retreat-living/living-in-a-tiny-home-with-no-mortgage/

 

Their house is 320 sf :001_huh: I definitely couldn't do it with 6 kids.....I would be like the old woman in the shoe ;)

 

The one thing I took from this article/video is that I can appreciate the extreme minimalist mindset. I thought this was definitely thought provoking in light of the purging/decluttering thread.

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Sure, if we lived in a sunny climate and depending on the kid. In the PNW, it is so bleak much of the year, it would be hard. DD5 is extremely physical, and that would be very hard to live with in a small space. DD13 is always being creative, so it would be hard to not have a place for all the supplies. LOL Ds17 paints mini-war figs for pay, so he 'works from home' and needs space for that too.

 

If we needed to do it, I know we could, but it would be some hard lifestyle changes for them in the process.

 

I lived in a 14ft camptrailer with my parents and sister for a long time. That is just over 100sq ft! My parents slept on the pull out couch, my sister slept on the bunk above them, I slept on the dining table/bed. When my brother came to visit for military leave, he slept on a camp lounge chair in the middle of the trailer. My son's bedroom is larger than this!

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my SIL lived in not much more than that in Japan, with her husband and 4 kids.

 

It is about the size if my first apartment. They do have a storage unit on their property. I was wondering where they keep winter clothes and suitcases etc.

 

When we lived in a small place, we only had clothes for one season, but had fewer. We donated them at the end of the season and bought new again next year. I don't think it really costs more, because you buy fewer in the first place. Those clothes wear out a bit faster because you wash them more.

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. . .free to be on top of each other all winter, free to stifle your s3x life because your teen is sleeping 10 feet from you, free to have an inaccessible home, free to never have company for very long, . . .

 

Generally, I fall on the side of 'people not things' but that home would be the opposite of freedom for my family.

 

Couldn't you buy a Multi-bedroom trailer for the cost of this home?

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No! I'd rather have a mortgage than be on top of each other all the time. We could barely live in 1100sqft. In fact, even with the 1100sqft, we had maid's quarters on the 4th floor (apparently in the 50's when our military housing was built people had maids who lived upstairs-I WISH!) that James Bond used as his man cave. I loved the man cave. We're in 1400sqft right now, but our maid's quarters are closed off because they removed the asbestos in the apartments, but not the 4th floor, so James Bond has no man cave. :angry:

When we move back to the States, I really don't think we could do less than 2000sqft.

 

My mom and stepdad have 4900sqft, plus a 500sqft out building that my step dad uses as a shop and it's way too much, IMO. They have 4 beds and 3 baths, with one of the bed/baths being a separate suite at the opposite side of the house that James Bond and I use when we're there. They also have a LR, kitchen, formal DR, sun room, and massive laundry room plus a 2 car garage. The master bed is 20x25, which is ridiculous considering they never spend time in there except to sleep. The master bath is bigger than Indy's room in our apt, plus there are 2 walk in closets. I feel lost in their house. Theirs is one of the smaller houses in the neighborhood! I would never want that much space. When we're there visiting we're spread out and can't talk to each other without shouting or hunting through the house to find each other. No, no, no. It's just too much.

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You know, the whole mortgage situation aside, I sometimes fantasize about living in something that small just not to have the burden of so many material possessions. Seriously, the sheer amount of *stuff* I own often feels like a burden. Most of it is junk!

 

I also have to say, when you don't have debts (incl. mortgage and car payments), money accumulates pretty rapidly. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years that family finds they have enough money to easily expand their living space and still remain mortgage-free.

Edited by zenjenn
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You know, the whole mortgage situation aside, I sometimes fantasize about living in something that small just not to have the burden of so many material possessions. Seriously, the sheer amount of *stuff* I own often feels like a burden. Most of it is junk!

 

I also have to say, when you don't have debts (incl. mortgage and car payments), money accumulates pretty rapidly. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years that family finds they have enough money to easily expand their living space and still remain mortgage-free.

 

:iagree:

 

I would love a small house like this for just me - a place to escape and have quiet! :lol:

 

I like the idea of a smaller house but it has to be proportionate to the size of our family. They only mentioned 1 child in the article. We would need room for 3 and that size wouldn't cut it.

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"You're constantly in each other's faces and it forces you to interact and even be more pleasant."

 

LOL I shared just a kitchen with my mother for a month and I thought she was going to burst a blood vessel. We drove her crazy always being there and she has a large house! :p

 

In answer to the OP's original question. I couldn't live in a house that tiny. I think it's great that it is working for them and that they are happy with their lifestyle choice, but that's just a little too cramped for me. My house is pretty small now and we don't have a mortgage. We always struggle with storage space, but that's mostly because we just have too much stuff. :D I certainly couldn't imagine living in a smaller house than this one.

 

I cracked up though when she said she had way to many clothes. :)

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750sf is about as low as I can go for now with books and 2 kids. We have just under 1,000sf now and it is perfect. I like smaller spaces, but I also like to live in urban areas, so land would probably tack on quite a bit to the cost.

 

We have a tiny house place just east of San Antonio. I looked at a couple of their houses. One was $65,000, and the other wasn't too much lower than that. They were around 250sf. I imagine the price had to do with custom amenities and green materials, but i didn't look too much into it.

 

When dh and I were dating, he had a studio apt. in Austin. It was about 400sf. The electricity bill was $20 a month.

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How much more would it have cost to give them an extra foot of width so they wouldn't have to bend to get through the doorways? That's a little silly in my opinion.

 

I do agree with the whole "don't buy more than you really need" mindset.

 

As for me, I could definitely live in a pretty small space with my two young daughters. But I don't have a mortgage as it is. I pooled with a couple other single women to buy a modest (but not tiny) house, and we paid it off as quickly as we could. I have a regular bedroom (which is also my work office) and my kids have a small bedroom, and we all share the common areas of the house. I am a "less is more" person while the other owners are . . . not. Sometimes I dream of taking my kids and moving to a quaint little cottage. But I probably won't ever do it.

 

This reminds me of a trip I made to India. We were in a temple and an artist invited us to his "office" to look at some cloth paintings he wanted to sell us. His "office" (which was also his dwelling) was accessed through a hole in the foundation of a building. It had a dirt floor and was about the size of my kids' small bedroom (if that). His sleeping blanket was folded under his worktable. He seemed quite proud of his digs. I can't remember if there was any indication of the space being shared with additional people.

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I could have done it before kids, and probably a small baby - and I'd do it so I could save up all the money not going into mortgage payments and buy a bigger place also mortgage free in 5 years or so.

 

We sort of did - a small apartment - but not mortgage free after we moved.

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With one older kid, looks pretty doable. With us and almost 4 kids, it would be a challenge(how high can you stack bunkbeds?). People all of the world do it though and I think our houses are generally too big. I say kudos to them. Being mortgage free is pretty important to me as well, so I can understand that also. We, thankfully, haven't had to go that drastic to meet our goals (or almost meet-5.5 months to go).

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http://modernsurvivalblog.com/retreat-living/living-in-a-tiny-home-with-no-mortgage/

 

Their house is 320 sf :001_huh: I definitely couldn't do it with 6 kids.....I would be like the old woman in the shoe ;)

 

The one thing I took from this article/video is that I can appreciate the extreme minimalist mindset. I thought this was definitely thought provoking in light of the purging/decluttering thread.

Could I have 320 sf to myself with my husband and each of my children having a tiny home of their own on the same property? :D

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If the only issue is a mortgage, no. Not that one in particular, but some of these "tiny" homes cost more than we are paying for ours. It's an 1100 sf bungalow with a full basement, full attic dormer, and a two car detached garage.We opted to move further out of the city to find affordable housing.

 

If I'm buying something that small, it's going to be an RV and actually travel. We considered it a few years ago, but that would have been a 2-5 years plan, not a permanent structure.

 

.

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Sure I could do it but I choose not too. I am all for less stuff.

 

I have seen this video before and I still think it is horrible that the kid does not have a window in his bedroom. He is basically living ina crawl space.

 

I also think this is easier accomplished with an older child and if you live in a year round nice climate so you can get outside when you have cabin fever.

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On a temporary, non-homeschooling basis, yes. I spent my summers and many weekends with my parents and two sisters in a travel trailer and it was great. But it also wasn't permanent, never more than a couple of nights during the winter, and only enough room for a couple of books! We spent the vast majority of our time outside, so space was rarely an issue.

 

I could see doing it as a retiree, but not full-time with 5 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats!

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I'd rent. Why commit to a tiny house that would be hard to sell? Also I doubt someone in financially difficult times would be able to buy a $15,000 house with cash.

 

I saw a really cute small (2bdrm) house near me but it just wouldn't have been nice to live in with more than one other person. The lady who was selling it lived by herself.

 

I don't like giant houses, but it also depends on the weather. If you can spend most days out of doors, it would be a lot more feasible than if you spend 6 mo indoors.

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Not that small. Our family has three introverts who all need some solitude. We also have a love of books and like making messy art projects with our stash of art supplies. We like having a certain amount of stuff and that amount is too much to fit in that house. Now, granted, we have too much stuff at the moment and I'm working on getting rid of some of it. But not to the point of being able to fit in a house that small. :)

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I could do it. We even talked about doing it. The reason we decided to go 600 sq ft bigger was because of all of our stuff. If we had to build a storage building (or rent one) for the length of time we were in the tiny house then we would spending almost as much to simply build bigger. So building 864 sq. ft made more sense. And doing all the building ourselves we will spend about the same $16,000.

Edited by Parrothead
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Dh and I have stayed on a 36' sailboat for a spell that had less space than this. We would consider living on a boat full time, but more in the 40'+ range. We've discussed a 5th wheel camper as well. Yes we could do it.

 

The one issue that would be really hard for dh is there wouldn't be any space for tools. He has always done all the maintenance and has a garage full of tools. It has saved us from having to pay someone to fix problems many times.

 

I would rather live in a camper or a boat rather than a house that small.

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We lived in a 27 ft. Single wide (8ft.) travel trailer with one child....for a few years....but, we had lots of outdoor space. It was fine...she was little. Now, with teens and having 6 of my 7 home....I can't find a place to just sit as it is.....and we have a reasonable sized house....:tongue_smilie:

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Not that small with a family the size of ours, but using her math - 320 for 3 people. We'd have about 900 square feet for our family. It would be tough, but doable if we had storage and less pets. (She mentioned keeping their mattresses in their storage, so I imagine they have other things stored too.)

Edited by YH280
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No! The 5 of us and one dog lived in a house much bigger than that (1200) and since all of us were home all day everyday (husband works at home), it was driving me crazy!! Maybe if the house had been laid our better it would have been better. Right now we have more house than we need (3200) but I'm enjoying having room to entertain and have others stay over.

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I think many of you are missing the point. Would you significantly downsize if it meant no mortgage payment?

 

I would!

 

I love our house and location. But if the right home came along that would be no mortgage, I'd jump at it.

 

Right for us would mean:

 

Property that we could access year around. Most people who live in cramped living situations, spend a lot more time on the go or outside. So I'd need to know the yard had good drainage do the kids didn't ve to wait a week to play outside after a heavy rain and the roads weren't all dangerous hills when the roads are icy.

 

Some other financial considerations, negatives, of small homes to consider:

 

You can't stock up or buy in bulk or save things to reuse later bc there is no where to store it. That alone would cost my family at least $300+ a month.

 

Any repairs or damage is catastrophic. Water heater leak? There goes the entire place needing flooring and other repairs and you in a tent while it gets done. In a larger home, it's a PITA, but there's a good change it won't affect more than a couple rooms if caught quick. And you can use the other rooms while repairs a done. This can be the case with any number of common home issues. And we saw this play out in the difference between problems in our previous 1000sq ft home and our current 2800sq ft home. I think it likely magnifies the smaller the home is.

 

Living in the country. These tiny homes aren't going to be permitted in most cities or burbs. Which means lots of commuting. Or living secluded farm style. Both if which have there own expenses. Often the savings of no mortgage is just shifted to those other expenses. Some might or not be saved over all. It might even end up costing MORE.

 

Just my thoughts. I'd love to be mortgage free. It's our biggest expense and take up 1/3 of our monthly income. :(. But I do love having a large home. That family and friends can stay any time. That I can store and save things for future use. That when it's raining or there is a blizzard, we can all sit in front of the fire and watch tv. That I can have big holiday dinners. That I can get just about anywhere I need to go in 20 minutes or less. 40 tops.

 

But that mortgage payment is brutal. And we got a really good deal, so I can't imagine how brutal it is for people holding crummy mortgages right now.

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About 2 years ago when my financial situation when from okay to desperate, I would have loved a tiny house where I could live with my daughters without the concerns of raising either a mortgage payment or rent. With food stamps we could eat, but without a place to live, life gets very complicated. In our case, we were able to rent cheaply. I give thanks and praise to God who went before us.

 

I never before realized how scary it is to be without a place to live. There's no section 8 available in our area. Now, I would love to own something. Own as in no mortgage. Unfortunately as someone else mentioned, zoning would prohibit houses this small in our area.

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NO, I would not move into that size house for no house payment. It's about quality of life for me as well. Having no mtg is great, but I think I could compromise in other areas. For instance, we do not have any car payments. For some, that would equal a house payment. IDK, I guess it just depends on what makes you happy. I have a decent size family and I love having guests over and enjoying sleep overs. That would be very hard in this little house.

 

I did enjoy the video and the idea behind it. For some, it would be perfect. For me, I think not!

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http://modernsurvivalblog.com/retreat-living/living-in-a-tiny-home-with-no-mortgage/

 

Their house is 320 sf :001_huh: I definitely couldn't do it with 6 kids.....I would be like the old woman in the shoe ;)

 

The one thing I took from this article/video is that I can appreciate the extreme minimalist mindset. I thought this was definitely thought provoking in light of the purging/decluttering thread.

 

Hmm.. how big is the yard? LOL I have not looked at the article yet, but as my mortgage just went up, again and our income is staying the same, the idea of no mortgage intrigues this mom of 6. I would just have to have a nice, safe yard they could play in from sun up til sun down.:tongue_smilie:

 

 

ETA: Oh, and I'm just kidding, I don't know where we would all sleep. Hmm, a tent outside?? Maybe it could work. LOL

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I think many of you are missing the point. Would you significantly downsize if it meant no mortgage payment?

 

I live in a smaller house than I "could", and I don't own one, because of financial reasons, so I understand the concept.

 

Do most Americans have $15,000 in cash lying around? I don't think it's a realistic option for the 64% of Americans who don't even have $1000 in savings, and the 1 in 2 who've saved nothing for retirement.

 

I do think a house value more in line with one's salary, and the end of 30-40 year mortgages would be a good thing in general.

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Even studio condos in this area would still require a mortgage unless we (A) were willing to live in an unsafe neighborhood or (B) with a 90+ min commute each way. :glare:

 

Mortgages allow regular middle-class people to own their own places and not just those fortunate enough to be wealthy or come from a wealthy family.

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Do most Americans have $15,000 in cash lying around? I don't think it's a realistic option for the 64% of Americans who don't even have $1000 in savings, and the 1 in 2 who've saved nothing for retirement.

 

I do think a house value more in line with one's salary, and the end of 30-40 year mortgages would be a good thing in general.

 

:iagree: except I think it isn't that hard to save up $15k. The problem is that to purchase even a teeny condo outright isn't a matter of saving up $15k but 5 to 10x that amount.

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I could not live in a house that small - I do foster care and we currently have 6 kids.

 

If it was just DH and our two kids, I could definitely live in something smaller than we have no. Perhaps not that small, but much smaller than now. I'm not too attached to any of our stuff, DH would have a much harder time purging his toys though!

 

I'd love to travel around the country in a motorhome for a year.

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No! I'd rather have a mortgage than be on top of each other all the time. We could barely live in 1100sqft. In fact, even with the 1100sqft, we had maid's quarters on the 4th floor (apparently in the 50's when our military housing was built people had maids who lived upstairs-I WISH!) that James Bond used as his man cave. I loved the man cave.

 

 

 

Oh, the memories! We lived in Heidelberg in military housing - a 3-bedroom apartment with maid's quarters upstairs! It cracked me up thinking about maids working in apartment buildings!

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We could do it, if the yard was a good size. There's only me, dh, and dd, so it wouldn't be a problem, especially with a storage shed for overflow. We live in a duplex, and our unit is well under a thousand square feet, so it's not like we're living in a mansion at the moment anyway.

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I note that they do have a monthly payment. They say they are renting the land at $150/month IIRC.

 

To live well in a tiny space, some things are going to cost more.

 

I also didn't notice her mentioning a furnace anywhere. Maybe it's never freezing where they live. That would be nice if it meant the kids could play outside most of the time.

 

I wonder how many miles away they would end up if a tornado ever hit.

 

I also agree with the earlier comment about windows. Windows are big for me.

 

But it's a nice idea to start with the least you can imagine and tweak that, instead of the average-size modern home, which really is too big for the average family.

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You know, the whole mortgage situation aside, I sometimes fantasize about living in something that small just not to have the burden of so many material possessions. Seriously, the sheer amount of *stuff* I own often feels like a burden. Most of it is junk!

 

I also have to say, when you don't have debts (incl. mortgage and car payments), money accumulates pretty rapidly. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years that family finds they have enough money to easily expand their living space and still remain mortgage-free.

 

I could do it for a season, but not forever. And with 4 kids, I couldn't do that small. We lived in 900 sq feet for a short time and that was small, but livable.

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That would be an interesting idea for my kids to live in on our property when they are older and just need a small apt. type dwelling to live in by themselves, although I would still opt for 500-600 sq. ft. even as a single person, OR a 200 sq. ft. screened in porch on the back to hang out in.

 

If $15K is really all that is needed, that would pretty much be 1 to 2 years of rent around here and you would own it!

 

But for a family, no!

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