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The 89 Square Foot Home

The Tiny House That Could

In 1997, Jay Shafer built a house he called “Tumbleweed.”  The house was a mere 89 square feet, making it smaller than the average bedroom in America.  Jay managed to take a house, and shrink it down into a functional, and efficient means to live.

His home has many of the normal creature comforts that many people require in their typical house, but it’s less than 1/10th the size.  Jay Shafer, seeking to simplify his life, accidentally stumbled upon a life altering event.  In his pursuit of a simpler life, he actually ended up taking a whole new path.  He now has a successful company, and a book simply titled “The Small House Book.” To see other books about tiny houses, then feel free to browse our little Amazon bookstore.

Building this home lead to him creating a company called “Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.”  He now travels around the country speaking to groups of people about the Tiny House philosophies, sustainable living, and successfully took what used to be a backyard hobby and brought it into the mainstream.

Taking The Dive

Yes, people still think he is crazy, and that is a common thing according to many other Tiny House owners.  But they were able to successfully stop caring, and stop seeking the approval of others.  By letting go of the need for approval, people have been able to embrace a lifestyle that better suits them, and allows them to spend less time working and more time living.  Had they cared still, then they would be going to jobs they didn’t like, paying bills they didn’t need.  Worst of all, they wouldn’t be doing it for themselves.

The Tiny house concept is definitely not for everyone, but for the few people out there willing to toss the “normal” ideology into the wind in exchange for a more fulfilling lifestyle, this may just be the thing you’re looking for.  Jay Shafer has been featured in videos all over the web including this one, and he has also been on Oprah as well.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbRvsWuWNUM]

How Much & What Are The Advantages?

Many estimates place the house prices between $10,000 and $20,000, which sounds expensive; but for the people who make the change, it appears to be well worth the cost.  So why on Earth would a “regular” person consider such a drastic life change?

  • Get rid of the mortgage
  • Portability (many of these homes can be hitched and towed)
  • Sustainability (The houses are built to last and have little construction waste)
  • Savings (Many boast utility bills of less than $100 each year!)
  • Simplicity
  • Low maintenance
  • Location (These houses can fit just about anywhere, unlike “normal” houses)
  • DIY (Some people love building their own homes, but can’t on a “normal” scale)

That’s a fairly sizeable list of pros, and we would list the cons, but at this point in the article, most readers would have already done that.  The ideas and philosophies may seem extreme to many when you see it from the surface, but when you dig into the underlying ideology it starts to make more sense.

Tiny Houses Are Crazy Houses

What sounds more crazy, sleeping in a smaller dwelling or spending about 2,080 hours (86 full days, or nearly 3 full months) each year sitting at a desk, away from your family.  Over the course of a 30 year mortgage, a person will have been at work (literally in the building) for about 7 years.  To many others, that sounds insane!  If you want a better understanding of living a more minimalist lifestyle, you should check out our good friend Jacob @ Early Retirement Extreme.  His whole blog is devoted to living a sustainable, inexpensive, and fulfilling minimalist lifestyle.

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