Saturday, August 10, 2013

Am I Going to be Financing 120 Square Feet?

I have a problem with this latest announcement from Tumbleweed
It's no secret I like Tiny Houses. They interest me on a couple of levels. Well, for one, they are cute as hell. Secondly, they are bigger and cosier than a shopping cart. It is a sad truth, but the number one fear of women in the 50 and over category is not living without the love of a good man, but ending up in poverty and living out of a shopping cart. (The man is second. Or third, if you count keeping your teeth). Thirdly, living in a Tiny House and the inherent savings of sucking it up and living small and cute while I am still making the big bucks as a therapist (lmfao here!) could leverage me into the small house/large garden I would REALLY like to have. A giant catch up and recovery from the Great Recession. In short, if I were to a) actually play the lottery and b) win it, I would be shopping for houses and not for Tiny Houses. 
Here's what bothers me about the whole, "If WE build it for you, charge you upwards of $40k, then and only then can it be
insured and labeled as a legal RV. AND FINANCED. Imagine, for $400 a month and for only half the time it would take you buy a home [with a lot], you can own your own Tiny House." Isn't that fab? I can become a debt-slave for a 120 square feet or I can move to Georgia and buy a freaking mansion. Or Michigan and buy one on a lake. Or  go freaking homestead in Detroit RIGHT NOW and buy a house for $1, if I have the balls, the shot gun and the pit bull that would make that all possible (I know, I know, not all pit bulls can fulfill my dreams here. Some of them, and I have met them, are lovers. Bailey "Sanchez" Hilinsky, I am talking to you, Dude). 
At first glance, I was thinking, "Oh, great! Flexibility for folks!" However, I'm kind of angry there is a seduction opportunity away from the reduce, save, learn some on the job skills by building it yourself and feeling your competence, or save and make it make it happen over time, and enjoy the freedom of being debt free, counter-culture, flying under the radar you personage-of-civil-disobedience-you, celebrating your Bad Ass Mama Self and be a Tiny House builder or owner and instead sell out for immediate gratification at 10xs the ultimate cost and get it all now without sweating it. 
I also hate that it's tempting. 
Is there any way in hell I will pay a mortgage until I'm 70 so I can own 120 square feet? Please, don't hold your collective breath, I like you all too much to have to watch how that would play out.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Flushing Out Some Tiny House Truths.

There are probably a dozen reasons why you shouldn't build a Tiny House. Maybe a hundred. Here's one: Poop. 

Not only are Tiny House people a bit off their nuts, as far as most other people are concerned, Tiny House folks are also obsessed with poop. I mean it. On top of that, everyone inquiring about your Tiny House is first and foremost interested in where the poop goes. It’s like we all turned four again. “Where do you poop?” And that only comes up if they haven’t actually mistaken your Tiny House for the Out House to start with. I mean, you can see how that could happen, right?

I’ve found this one question has the potential to transform the subject of your Tiny House obsession, which while weird is still suitable table conversation, into something surprisingly riveting and much less palatable.

“What about the bathroom? Where do you poop?”

Two words: Composting Toilet. What it boils down to is a five gallon bucket, your, um, stuff, peat moss, sawdust, or something else kinda cat box-like, a pretty lid, maybe a nice wooden box, and a corner to put it in. And, you know, some kind of door or curtain.


Of course, a composting bucket isn’t the only solution for Tiny Houses. There are Incinerating Toilets (some of them, like the Incinolet, running over $1,800), composting toilets with screens and whatnot, and RV toilets with full on flush features. These tend to come with a whole bunch of stuff poking out your walls, through your ceiling for venting, and down your beautiful hardwood floor. They’re great for the faint of heart, though I’ve heard incinerating toilets produce an unpleasant stink-cloud out the back of your simple abode. Flies. Ewww!

As far as I’m concerned, vent pipes spoil your Tiny’s profile aesthetics, turning your lovely Tiny House into something more akin to a Hillbilly Cabin (no offense Hillbillies, I like you, I like your cabins, but they’re a much harder sell for suburbanite backyards than little Frank Lloyd Wright knock-offs or Victorian Doll Houses). Suddenly, you’re stuck with a big black stove-pipey thing snaking out through your lovely siding. Ugh! I’ve filled my Pinterest “Tiny House Dreams” Board with links to a half dozen different toileting options, each a bit uglier and more expensive than the last. Personally, I’m going to start with a bucket.

Besides, I like the simplicity.  Simplicity, after all, is a major appeal of the Tiny House movement. At least for me. Humans managed poop for thousands of years before they lit on the bright idea of flushing it away with gallons of pristine drinking water for someone else to deal with. Seems like there are better solutions out there, even if they aren’t necessarily 100% legal everywhere. Anywhere?

But then, I haven’t read the great bible on this, The Humanure Handbook. Once I’ve digested that, I may have a different take on it all. I have it on my wish list, but I thought I might start with buying framing plans and a trailer first and resolve the great toilet debate when it’s time to go there. Hehe.