To the Tiny House Haters

I’ve been noticing a lot of articles recently about why tiny houses are a horrible idea. The whole tiny house movement started years ago, and it’s been picked up as a fad, especially now that they’ve made reality TV shows about it. Now some people are writing negative posts about tiny houses. I think the fad is winding down as people start to look into the not-so-glamorous side of tiny houses, and the appeal is losing some of its sparkle. But the movement will continue with the people who knew about the difficulties and jumped in anyway.

I’m not saying that tiny houses are right for everyone, but I’m disagreeing with the articles that say no one should live in them. Just like anything, there are pros and cons to tiny houses. Anyone considering a tiny house should weigh the good and bad before deciding if a tiny house is right for them.

This is how I see my living options:

Option A: Live with parents.

You spend most of your time in your bedroom, a (small) room mostly taken up by a bed. You share a kitchen and you most likely share a bathroom with the people you’ve already had to deal with for your whole life. By the time you graduate high school, you’re probably ready for a change. Especially since you have little to no control over your parents’ house. It’s also not ideal for visitors, because they’ll probably have to sleep on the floor.

Option B: Dorm life.

You now pay money for an even smaller room with a small bed. You might even share a room with another student, and having to fit two beds, two closets, and two desks into one room makes for a cramped space with no privacy. You also share a bathroom with strangers. In many universities, you’re not allowed to have so much as a toaster in your room. This means that you have to rely on a dining hall with limited hours and options. But at least you don’t have to cook for yourself. Forget about having friends over, because you’ll have even less floor space than you used to. And you can also forget about individuality, because your room looks exactly like the other 400 in the building.

Option C: An apartment.

Let’s face it, when you’re young, you’re not going to be able to afford a nice apartment. You’ll be paying to live in a crappy apartment that you’re not allowed to make big changes to. And all your money will be going down the drain, because you’ll never own the place. But at least you won’t have to fix anything that breaks; that’s the landlord’s job. And you’ll be able to have friends over! Hopefully they won’t mind that the walls are a disgusting shade of brown and that you only own three cups. Don’t even get me started on roommates.

Option D: A traditional house.

Finally! You’ve gotten to a point in your life when you have enough money to do the “grown-up” thing and put a down-payment on a house. Hopefully, after the decades that the house has existed, nothing is seriously wrong that you’ll have to unexpectedly pay thousands to fix in the future. Your mortgage each month might even be cheaper than renting, and you’ll get to do whatever you want because it’s your house. You can decorate like you’re staying and knock down walls and choose crazy paint colours. But you won’t really own the place until you’ve paid off your mortgage, which literally translates to “death pledge”. You’ll be paying for that house, every month, for decades. You’ll put your time into maintaining, repairing, and cleaning it, and you’ll put your money into stuff to fill all the rooms. And, depending on what you can afford, you might not even love your house all that much. You’ll want to change it, but you won’t have the money to. What if you need to move? You haven’t gotten even half-way through all the improvements you wanted to, and no one’s buying. You’ll be stuck. But you can make the best of it. You’ll have a proper guest room and be able to have plenty of friends over. You’ll try to make it as homey as you can, because this is just how people live, right?

Right?

I choose Option E: None of the above.

I choose a tiny house on wheels.

Building one is cheaper than living in a dorm for 4 years. It’s custom-designed for me. I can change it. I can move it. I can have friends over, but they’ll still probably have to sleep on the floor. I’ll have my own kitchen and my own bathroom that I won’t have to share with strangers. The bills will be cheap, the maintenance will be minimal, I’ll be able to repair anything because I built it, and the cleaning will take minutes. I won’t have to buy a ton of furniture and knick-knacks just to fill the space. The plumbing will be simple, but I won’t be mindlessly flushing gallons of clean water down the toilet.

To the haters and the skeptics: no, I won’t have space for my entire extended family to visit all at once, like your big house. No, I won’t be able to cook a thanksgiving dinner in my tiny kitchen, like you can with your huge oven. No, I won’t be able to take a bath, like you can in any of your several bathrooms. But would I have any of that in a dorm or a crappy apartment? I’m not even saying that the tiny house life is forever for me. Maybe I’ll live in a big house someday with a mortgage. (Or more likely, in a small house.) But your priorities aren’t the same as everyone else’s. Just because you don’t want to live in a tiny house doesn’t mean no one should. For me, the pros outweigh the cons.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 01/23 To the Tiny House Haters | Tiny House Community Maps, Events, Posts & Reviews
  2. livingtinycanada
    Feb 07, 2016 @ 16:52:27

    So well said! This is a topic that I feel not enough people are talking about.
    I’ve written on it twice and probably won’t stop until the cows come home. Thank you for bringing this up!!!!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Feb 08, 2016 @ 02:00:22

      I’m glad I’m not the only one writing about it!
      People have gotten too comfortable, and well, lazy, these days. So many people scoff at the idea of giving up any luxuries, even for good reasons like wasting less resources or getting out of debt.

      Reply

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