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Tiny houses in USA and Australia - feedback from users

When the Tiny House Festival Australia was held in March 2019 in Bendigo Vic, the aim was to investigate the lives of those who wanted a simpler and smaller life.

With a third of greenhouse emissions coming from build­ings, living in an eco-friendly tiny home drastically reduced one’s carbon imprint. In cities with expensive housing costs, tiny houses could be part of a solution to the perennial housing problem, as well as improving urban density and environmental sustainability.

I will repeat the important financial, lifestyle, maintenance, environmental and recreational advantages of tiny houses:
A. They could be owned faster than normal mortgages
B. Tiny homes could be made on wheels for easier travel.
C. They were less expensive to build and easier to maintain.
D. Tiny homes could be more creative with storage.
E. They could be built from eco-friendly, recycled material.
F. They used solar/wind power better than standard homes.
G. Designing a tiny home was simple, & easily upgraded.
H. Having a tiny home on a property could create more outdoor space for family and animal fun.

A pull-down wall bed/Murphy bed is a great space-saving solution for small bedrooms. 
No stuffy sleeping loft required at night and just a small couch during the day.

And I will repeat that demographically, interest in tiny homes focused on single women 50+ due to widowhood-div­orce, emp­loyer bias against older women or poor super-annuation. Older single women could see themselves in an indep­endent tiny house on property belonging to an adult child, while maintaining their independence and privacy. Many said they would be happy to live in a small community with comm­unal gardens. And since the strong demand was for urban liv­ing, the most important driver was too expensive property in pre­f­erred area. Then came: wanting to reduce overall debt, not wanting a mortgage, wishing to downsize and housing that was too expensive.

The motivations for tiny house living were thus predomin­antly ec­on­omic. Environmental sustainability and conscious consuming were seen as the second-most important benefits. Building and maintaining standard 4-bedroom houses was time-consuming and environment-destroying.

An airy veranda adds space to the tiny house in a warm climate

In 2019 families’ actual experiences in tiny American homes were examined. The advantages are listed above.. and here are the reported disadvantages, both administrative and design-focused:

1. Living full time in a tiny house is illegal in some cities
2. One could go small using a minimal lifestyle at home.
3. Supply is high but demand is small, and it might take a long time to re-sell. It's not that marketable; people desire space, bedrooms and bathrooms.
4. It's difficult to host overnight guests.
5. Getting a mortgage would be difficult. Most lenders want a dwelling built to code by professionals and to have a certain minimum space.
6. Where is the tiny home to be parked? On rented space or private­ly owned land?
7. The return on investment is next to none.
8. Most tiny homes can accommodate only 1-2 residents.
9. Expansion options might require council approval.
10. Storing tools for home- or car repairs is difficult.
11. Having a beloved bouncy dog would be very difficult.
12. A small house is much too small for neonatal noise.
13. It gets stuffy and hot in tiny house sleeping lofts
14. Climbing the ladder to get to the sleeping loft can be steep and risky.
15. Most families have a lot of stuff and can't rent storage space for it all.
16. There isn’t enough floor space to have even a well behaved party.
17. Escaping toilet and kitchen smells is almost impossible.
18. Storage of clothing, manchester, toys and books is hard.
19. Washing laundry, and hanging it up to dry is difficult.
20. Appliances for tiny homes are often more expensive.
21. Where does rubbish go? Even those trying to live a zero-waste existence use disposables to make a tiny house work.

Inside a tiny display home
Sydney’s Tiny Homes Carnival 2020

I would still definitely live in a tiny house, as long as my preferences are met:

The pull-down wall bed must be located at the end third of the tiny house, at ground level. I would not like to climb up to a stuffy, hot sleeping loft touching the ceiling, nor would I like to risk steep stairs at midnight.

To make the formal living room less squashy and the living space more airy, sliding glass doors on the side of the tiny house must open onto a large veranda.

There will be no guests sleeping overnight, and my labrador puppy will have his kennel on the veranda.

Readers are invited to visit this year's Tiny House Festival Australia at the Bendigo Racecourse, on 21-22 March 2020. The festival is exciting and Bendigo is gorgeous.


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