I’ll admit it. I love HGTV. I’m their bitch at times. I go through phases of not getting enough of their shows and then bypassing the channel like a Scientologist knocking on my front door. You get me?
So I’ve seen many, many episodes and alliterations of Tiny House Whatever and/or Whatever Tiny House(s). At first I was fascinated. These people were intentionally leaving their average homes to move into spaces less than 300 feet, many of them mobile. Why an RV wouldn’t work, I didn’t know. (Still don’t, for the record.) I was curious as to how these homes were being built and how things would be organized and stored. I loved how some of these tiny house trailblazers were gung ho about living life, experiencing things rather than having things, being debt free, etc. Now I know the truth.
These people are nuts. They aren’t trailblazers so much as lemmings who want to jump on the newest trend. Some of them remind me of the yuppies from years ago who thought having a baby would be “cute,” a necessary accessory and a tax write off. These tiny homes are that trendy baby.
So many of them are the same. They don’t want to throw money away by renting, or by paying a mortgage. They want to own their home outright. What isn’t always said is that unless you have a family member or dense friend who is willing to let you squat on their property indefinitely with your tiny house, you have to pay a lot fee, much as you would if you had a mobile home or RV. So you may not have a mortgage but you do have a monthly rental that never gets paid off.
Another big thing with tiny homes is the overstated desire to travel. “We want to be mobile,” “we want to travel all over.” Okay, fine and good. But what do these people do that allows them to be mobile and travel all over? For every one retired tiny houser that I’ve seen, I’ve probably been subjected to a dozen hipsters who are dying to be cool. Are there that many jobs that allow you to work while traveling the country in a tin can?
What about the families? I absolutely, positively do not understand the mindset of any functioning adult who thinks families are going to be closer when you cram your four kids, along with their musical instruments, your two dogs (oversized) and your spouse into a 200 square foot area on wheels with two dualing open-spaced lofts and one tiny bathroom with a composting toilet. Close isn’t the right word; psychotic is. What you’re really doing is showing your children what incarceration is like. Maybe it might prevent them from committing any action that results in their being slammed into the pokey but it’s just as possible that you’re setting them up for a complete break down and snap that will end in your dead body being crammed into said composting toilet.
And the money! The first shows I remember watching were with people who had all of $10,000 or so to spend – – then it made sense because you don’t have a lot of other options. But recently there have been folks who are dropping $50,000 and upwards on these mobile asylums. Have you folks lost your minds? Surely you can purchase a decent condo or townhome for that $75,000 you’re investing. Or at least put a nice down payment toward a home with an actual foundation that can’t be stolen by anyone with a truck and hitch.
Even so, I was still watching. What drove me over the edge?
The script. It’s the same thing, every single time. Person/couple/family desires to live more simply/cheaper/be closer and decides on a tiny house. Family and friends are shocked and think they are crazy. Go to see tiny house(s). Insert following statements: “It’s so tiny!”, “It’s cute!”, “This is so spacious!” and “This is too big!” Tiny home hunters must also insist on said tiny home having a full sized bathtub, full sized kitchen appliances, plenty of storage, separate spaces for each of their children to have privacy, room to entertain, room for overnight guests, office/school space, stairs and no ladder for the loft(s), room to run and play for kids/dogs/cats/birds/rabbits and/or a fireplace. No really. They do.
If you want full sized anything, along with privacy for yourself or your kids, stay put. That’s what a house is for. You don’t have to go with a McMansion but the 1,200 square feet that you claim is waaaaaaaaay too much space? Your kids don’t agree. And neither do your pets. Just wait for the first rainy day where everyone is crammed inside because there is no other option. Pray that no one is sick and occupying the only bathroom you have, while your dog is ripping apart the only pillow you have on your “custom” sofa because your sofa can only be two feet long, and you’re having to make food on a hot plate because there was no room for your full sized range and oven while making sure your other kid(s) aren’t taking a header out of that open loft that seemed such a good idea in the beginning.
The shows normally have a follow up with the new tiny home owners a few weeks later and they are always happy and excited and glowing but let’s see these people after six months or a year. Let’s find out how often they actually traveled in that trailer they insisted be mobile. Let’s see if they truly were in the process of buying land themselves or are still living on the largess of friends and family. Let’s get an accurate count of how many times they smashed their heads on the ceiling of their sleeping loft because it’s 4 feet high. Let’s see how incredible that ladder to your loft was when you had to get up during the night to use your composting toilet or you had to climb up and down it a few hundred times.
I’ll still watch HGTV. I love their house flipping shows. And I still love House Hunters International and even the original, although I know it’s faked and a total set up. But I simply cannot with these tiny derivations any longer. These people need therapy, not their fifteen minutes on a tv show.
What about you? Do you watch the tiny housers?