20 Mar From the Desk #7
5 reasons to live in a smaller home
Why do people go tiny? Those individuals choosing to live in a 155 sq. ft., more or less, tiny house on wheels each have their own reason(s) to do so.
This means to no longer being “pushed around” by advertisers, politicians and society.
Some people are not pleased with the way the government runs things. This has played out in the tiny home world. “I’m not happy with the way things are, and I’m just one person trying to make a change so what can I do?” Sure, voting is supposed to be the path to change but “I feel like nothing changes so, I don’t want to participate in the system where I can. A tiny home on wheels is one place I can.”
Others are rebelling against the constant pressure to buy. We are programmed by literature, social media and advertisers to buy more stuff; to get things; more is better. They don’t want to be herded around like cows but would rather design their own life. Sure, I respect the sales world for letting me know about things I may want or need. But things seem to have gotten out of hand. If I even “look” at a product on line; ads follow me around ad infinitum.
The first pioneers of this country felt the same way. They knew things might get tough, but they were willing to pay the price for their freedom.
Renee went to her building and zoning department with a problem. “My husband and I work two jobs to support our mortgage for our family of four. And, we spend our weekends mowing the grass and trimming the bushes. We want our life back! Could a tiny house community be the answer?”
Rockledge, Florida passed some of the first legislation to allow Tiny Houses on Wheels to be lived in legally, in what was called a “Pocket Community”.
To get everything we need to live, in a quality home, cost less when going tiny. A Tiny House may cost more per square foot, however, overall it costs less. The tiny home has all the systems found in a larger home. It has an electrical system, a plumbing system, a bathroom and a kitchen; it has an air-conditioning and/or heater. To make it mobile costs comparatively more than a foundation. When you create a bigger home it’s less per square foot to build because your building more… air space per square foot.
So, by choosing to downsize and get a small you’re not only have less stuff to be concerned about, but you can buy for cash or if needed, borrow and pay it off quickly. It is more like a car loan and you can be debt-free more quickly. Of course, these changes require a changing your spending habits. If you continue to live a consumption lifestyle even though you go tiny, you will still end up in the same position as when you started.
So, let’s talk about a couple of other options to go smaller or to downsize. We have been talking about a smaller towable. Tiny House. However, you’re not planning on moving much or moving at all there are a couple other options. Number one make your house wider than 8‘6“. Yes, you will need a special use permit when you move it however how often will you be moving your house. And how far? If not very often and not very far, a $35 special use permit might be a good option.
There of those with a family and/or those where even 399 ft.² is not enough for them. A “small” home might be the ticket to a better life. In the Rockledge pocket neighborhood ordinance, the city defines tiny as 170 to 1100 ft.². Most circles consider a small house 1000 ft.² or less. So why not downsize to a small foundation home that meets you and your family’s needs.
Less of a Footprint on the planet:
But let’s get back to the real Matter, why do people live in Tiny House on wheels?
There are some that are concerned about our planet. And even though they could afford a bigger home they choose to go tiny. A bigger home requires maintenance, usually more upfront money, and uses a lot of energy and resources not only to build but also, to live in.
Our all electric tiny used only $20 per month in utilities. It is great to see $20-25 electric bills and clean your home in 20 minutes. Smaller also means less maintenance costs. And with all new appliances and fixtures, you are less likely to have to deal with a broken water heater or leaky toilet.
Accessory Dwelling Unit
Heath was surprised to find that the utility company came onto her property (not the ROW) and damaged her water line. The basement became flooded and soon there was mold not only in her basement but in the drywall of the upper level.
She approached the building department about buying and moving into a Tiny House on Wheels while she dealt with the problem in her now “unhealthy to live in” home. They were positive toward the idea. She bought a Tiny Home on Wheels and moved it onto the property. The Building officials inspected the home and the digitized third-party inspection of the build with its plethora of photos and videos of the home as it was being built. It all looked good to them with a few minor changes. Then came a letter from the state indicating only modular or manufactured houses could be brought into the state to be lived in full time. The local chief building inspector having the final say in the matter, and especially considering the circumstances, has decided to defend the unit as suitable for full time habitations and allow it as an ADU.
In areas devastated by storm or fire; or areas where there is an affordable housing crisis, adding a tiny house in the side or backyard could make sense. Or…” The Kids are grown and gone, my spouse passed away? What do I need this big house for? I will live in an ADU on my property and rent the big house for additional income”
A home that is on wheels is not taxed as a home attached to real estate. A builder does pay taxes on the purchase of the material for the home. You may have to buy a tag from Department of Motor Vehicles. However, this is a minimal expense compared to property taxes on a single-family home. But bottom line having a “vehicle”, or a movable tiny home, real estate and ad valorem taxes are avoided.
Let’s discuss the ad valorem a bit. The person(s) living in a tiny house still use the roads to drive on, the police department, the fire department and, if you have children, educational system. It is meet and right to have to pay a fair portion of these services.
No longer do we need to ““keep up with the Joneses. The tiny house movement is all about looking at your life, your lifestyle, your budget, your income, and deciding to live within your means even if it means a tiny house and thereby getting your life back.
Next month…Permission less innovation. Creative design with comfort in mind.