No new news here: the residential market is in chaos as people either lose their homes or drastically downsize. Yet, most still want the American Dream—a house of their own. Many who look at smaller digs may not want to go the condo route. They still dream of a cottage on a piece of land, albeit only a tract-size plot. So, perhaps it is time to think really small and tiny houses may be one solution.
TinyHouses.net defines a tiny house as one that can be lived in and includes heat, water and electricity. They can be as small as 8-by-10. The site offers pictures and links to other sources that either design or build these micro-residences.
The Small House Society is an organization dedicated to supporting the research, development and use of smaller living spaces. The website reports it has received as many as 70,000 hits per day, showing the ultimate in “downsizing” is more than a fad.
Jay Schafer started his Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. in 1997 after building and living in a 96-square-foot house because of his concern for the environment.
Tumbleweed Tiny House
These diminutive dwellings, ideal for one or maybe two people, have a certain appeal. Some are built as guest cottages or a cabin, but many are built as permanent homes. They provide everything in a functional plan for comfortable, albeit simple living. And they're found in every region of the United States.
Some of these homes are not even as large as a 10-by-15 storage unit. They certainly force the occupants to reduce their possessions to those necessary for living, but also allow room for comfort and convenience.
In his Industry Outlook for 2008 published in ISS in February, Steve Ekovich cites downsizing by baby boomers as a factor that will drive the increasing demand for self-storage. Given the acquisitive nature of our culture, many “downsizers,” even if opting to live in a tiny home, will still want to hang on to their treasures. And that is really good news for the storage industry. So, as the nation thinks small, it may result in big profits.