An Open Letter To Tiny House Hunters

Dear Tiny House Hunters:

Boy howdy, those tiny houses sure do look cool. I’m with you on this. They’re like dollhouses that you get to live in. Everything is so neat, so compact, so pragmatic. Looking at your existing home or apartment, you start to think, LOOK AT ALL THIS WASTEFULNESS. Do I really need all that floor near my bed? What am I doing with it except walking on it in order to get into bed? Do I really need that much counter space? Yes, I have a bowl of fruit on the counter, but surely that’s an improper and extravagant misapplication of three-dimensional space. What if I could just store my fruit under the sink, or in a secret ceiling cubby hole, or in a quaintly hollow tree stump outside? Are hallways anything but just the middleman of architecture? Do I truly require this much oxygen? My own house suddenly feels bloated, like a gassy belly. It’s cluttered and chaotic and — I mean, is this a house, or is it the airless infinity of outer space? Right? Am I right?

The tiny house is like a diet.

You look at it, and you think: I can do that. I can get healthy. I will juice cleanse and then eat asparagus and chia seeds for the rest of my life, and sweet hot fuck, I’ll be healthy as a horse. A robot horse. A robot horse who will live forever and be the handsomest robot horse ever. I’ll lose this weight. People will admire my lean frame and my culinary judiciousness. I’ll eat like a rabbit. I will defy gluten and cast sugar into the sea and JUST SAY NO to pizzas and ice creams and tacos and all I will eat are these rods of asparagus and these spoonfuls of chia seeds and once a week for dessert I will treat myself with these delicious crackers made from ancient grains (amaranth, motherfuckers!). For sweetness, I will mist them with agave syrup the way the lady at the fragrance counter mists you with perfume as you walk past.

I will diet, and I will be good.

I will tiny house, and I will be good.

* * *

I started watching your show at my wife’s behest.

We used to watch House Hunters until we learned the whole thing was a crass, reality show lie, and then we watched House Hunters International because even if it was a lie you got to see how they took showers in Iceland or what atrocity they called a “kitchen” in Hungarian apartments and of course we’d occasionally wiggle our toes in other shows, like that horrible one where people who are way too rich actually try to buy entire fucking islands because sure, why not, buy a whole fucking island, assholes, but if you’re not turning it into a villainous fortress then I just don’t understand you.

One day my wife said, “You need to watch this new show.”

And I said, what is it, and does it star Guy Fieri, and will he milk the donkey sauce from his pubic beard into a chicken stock in order to make the soup that takes us all down to the FLAVORPOCALYPSE. And she said, no, no, “It’s a new House Hunters show,” and I thought, well, where else can they go? Maybe House Hunters New York Apartments where we follow a broke single person trying to fight rat-swarms in order to find a rent-controlled outhouse-sized apartment for less than the cost of a mansion in Minnesota.

“It’s not that,” she said. But it was close. It was very close.

Enter you people. Hunters of tiny houses. Cave-humans once stalked lions on the veldt, but you intrepid hunters track itty-bitty homes — houses compressed down like coal until they become the shining diamonds of Spartan living.

You are the tiny house hunters. Er, not that you yourselves are tiny — far from it, as some of you are quite large-sized, like many of us humans! No, no, the tininess is embodied in the houses you seek. These homes are magnificently small. Many are 200, 300 square feet — 400 max. You get a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, maybe a living room or sitting area, but all those rooms are smooshed together, stacked on top of one another, or are merged into mutant aberrations (“WELCOME TO THE KITCHEN WHERE THE SINK IS YOUR SHOWER AND THE OVEN IS YOUR CLOTHES DRYER.”) It’s not an apartment. It’s like a regular house hit with a shrink ray.

The normal house made Lilliputian.

Some look like little cabins! Others like chic trailers! Others still are shipping containers, or hobbit houses, or weird Transformers that expand and contract like a breathing lung.

I find that there exist two overall categories of tiny house hunters.

One group of you is the lone individual. You’re maybe young, an artist, with lots of student loan debt, and you tell us all the lie that you’re going to buy the tiny home and buy some property with it, except the truth is, your tiny home will forever haunt the yard of one of your siblings because that’s where you plant it. Or maybe you’re older — a musician gone to pasture or an aging hipster or a yarn lady — and you’re divorced or your spouse has perished in the usual way and now you just want to pare down your life. I understand that.

Another group of you are the couples.

Oh, the couples.

Two people who think they can co-habitate in a space roughly the size of the Keebler Elf Tree. Some of you are also older: you’re retiring and you are embracing austerity in your later years. One of you is perhaps way more on board than the other with living in this adorable little tomb, and that’s fine. Maybe you’re a younger couple instead, and if that’s the case, you probably have like, four kids and two dogs and you think ha ha ha that this is going to be good for your family, don’t you? Because sure, kids and animals like nothing more than being crammed together in a piano crate, forced to share their limited oxygen while Mommy and Daddy make clumsy, grunting love in the casket-sized open-air loft above everybody’s heads, and the dogs are barking, and the kids are fighting, and Mommy and Daddy are rutting like wild boars and yay, family.

I watch this show, though, and no matter who you are, I’m always a little amazed at your reactions. As if you don’t actually know what a tiny house is? You start out by saying, “We want to simplify and downsize,” or “We want our family to be closer,” and then you get into these tiny houses and start changing your tune. You say things like, “This is cramped,” or “Where’s the shower?” or “What is a composting toilet?” You then say, “This is cute,” but you say it in the way someone says it when they’re looking at someone wearing a homemade sweater. You don’t mean it. You look terrified, like an otter trapped in a cardboard tube.

So, I’ve seen a number of these episodes now, and I’d like to walk you through some of the realities you are likely to face upon procuring and dwelling within one of these tiny houses.

First, the toilet. We just need to get this out of the way right now. It’s very possibly a composting toilet. Now, if you’re a hipster like me, you think, HEY COMPOSTING IS GOOD, but I do want you to understand, you’re basically keeping your poop. I mean, we all keep our poop somewhere. Mine is underneath my backyard. But yours will be closer. More intimate. It will be mixed with sawdust or coconut hulls or, I dunno, the ashes of your parents, but you’ll keep it close and it will turn into dirt that conceivably you can use to grow flowers. That’s very nice. But make no mistake, whereas right now you poop into a bowl and pull a lever and the poop is whisked away by forces unknown, in a composting toilet you mostly just poop and then kinda… get up and walk away. I say this only because many of you seem quite surprised. As long as you don’t mind pooping like you’re living at a Lilith Fair, you should be fine.

Second, the toilet. Nobody has brought this up on the show, but I’m going to now: if you live with other humans, eventually one of you is going to take the kind of deuce-evacuation that could conceivably destroy a marriage. Normally you’d be fine, because normally you’d be living in a normal-sized human house where you have a door to close and a fan and several rooms or even floors of separation. But now you dwell in an elf-house and now you and all the other elves are going to share in that dump you just took. You’re going to live with it for a while. Everyone is going to become intimately familiar with one another’s bathroom peccadilloes, okay?

Third, okay, actually, it’s also possible that the toilet is an outhouse. Which is great and fine but please be aware that spiders love outhouses. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Fourth, your bed is going to be a claustrophobic morgue-drawer nightmare. The ceiling will be three feet above your head and that’s only if the mattress is of the same material they make diapers out of. If it is a proper mattress, your nose is probably going to be pressed against the top margins of your tiny house. Beds, actual human beds, are fucking huge. Perhaps extravagantly so, I dunno, but we have left the era where we could comfortably sleep on a pile of reeds on the hard rocky earth and now we sleep on giant mattress configurations that are basically as big as half of a tiny house. If you want to practice what it’s like sleeping in a tiny house, sleep in one of your drawers, or in the crawlspace under your existing normal-sized home.

Fifth, many bathrooms do not have sinks. So, what this means is, if you want to shave, you will shave in the kitchen sink. That’s face and legs and pits and crotch or whatever you shave, if you shave it. Also, that means if you take one of those aforementioned Herculean/Sisyphean dumps, to wash your hands will require leaving that room. Also sometimes the toilet is in the shower. And sometimes there isn’t a shower. Other times there is a bathtub outside because sure why the fuck not, go bathe with the raccoons and scrub your body with dry leaves, cave-person.

Sixth, yes, that is a tiny closet, and it will hold no more than the suit or dress in which they will bury you. Did you believe that a tiny house would give you a huge closet? The only way your tiny house has a huge closet is if you use your tiny house as a closet. Which I’m sure some people do.

Seventh, no, of course you’re not going to get full-size appliances. That’s an EZ-Bake oven you’re looking at. The sink accommodates a single coffee mug. The washing machine washes Barbie clothes. You need to stop asking about full-size appliances. Actually, if someone ever makes a bingo card for Tiny House Hunters, that’ll be one of the things that goes on it.

Eighth, okay, listen, people with kids and dogs. You want “family bonding time,” but what your kids see is “hostage-taking time.” This is like, “cult bunker time.” Your kids do not want to live that close to you. Or to each other. Your dogs want to run and jump and — I mean, they’re not hamsters, you understand that, right? They’re not hamsters, and you’re not diminutive little fairy creatures, and tiny houses are not houses, they’re GI Joe playsets, they’re hipster sepulchers, they’re absurdist shoebox dioramas. I admire your desire to lean into austerity and trim the fat from your life, but unless you have a huge property, shoving a family of 6 into one of these turtle terrariums is something some people have to do, but they wouldn’t choose to do it, y’know? I lived with my mother and father and a dog and imagining growing up in one of those things is giving me retroactive trauma — my bowels are clenching, turning my innards to ice water.

Ninth, a lot of those tiny houses are pretty dang expensive for what you get. You think they’re cheap but seriously you could probably rent a hella nice apartment or even buy a couple of cool wizard vans to live in for that price. Just an FYI!

* * *

What I’m saying is –

I worry about you, tiny house hunter people.

I worry that this is all some kind of pyramid scheme, that it’s like Amway or alpacas, that there’s some unseen Ponzi scheme at play here.

I worry that after a year living in one of those tiny houses, you’ll need to buy another tiny house, and then another, and another, until you’re just stacking tiny house atop tiny house in a teetering Jenga tower of hobbit homes and shipping containers and then one day it falls and crushes your whole hipster family.

I worry that in two years HGTV will air a follow-up WHERE ARE THEY NOW special and 75% of you will have died in murder-suicide schemes, having gone mad not in the labyrinthine expanse of The Shining hotel but rather gone cuckoo bananapants inside the claustrophobic MRI machine you decided to call home.

Like I said, buying a tiny house is like a diet.

Or, rather, it’s like going on a fad diet.

Austerity sounds virtuous. And for some people, it is the thing that motivates them, it is a part of who they are. For the rest of us, not so much. Fad diets often ask you to sacrifice things to which you’ve grown accustomed — and often things your body actually needs — under the auspices of getting healthy. I WILL CLEANSE MY BODY WITH JUICE AND SPROUTED GRAIN you think, and then someone walks by you eating a hamburger and some precious thing inside you snaps and next thing you know you’re on the city bus killing and eating people.

Tiny house living will be like this. It’s good for some. Single people in particular — I mean, hey, they do it in New York (usually because they have to, though, not because they want to). But for the rest of us, while we may find some value in paring down and cutting the wheat from the chaff, a tiny house may be a bridge too far. No, we don’t need to live in 3,000 square feet, but we also don’t need to live in an airless, soul-crushing box. Many of us will find joy in having a little leg room when we’re sitting on a toilet, or having a place to put our stuff, or having a table at which we dine instead of standing around holding plates and staring at each other. Many of us like having separate rooms instead of BATHROOM-KITCHENS. It isn’t that romantic having a refrigerator that’s also a toilet, or a bed that’s also a bathtub.

Maybe a tiny house is for you.

But watching this show and hearing your comments and looking at the terrified countenances plastered to your skulls, I’m thinking — nnnyeah, maybe not so much.

Be well, tiny house hunters.

And remember: you don’t actually have to live in a tiny house.

Love,

Me

P.S. most people are trying to move into bigger houses what the fuck is wrong with you most people only live in tiny houses because they have to, you privileged turd-necks

P.P.S. but I mean hey you do you

361 comments

  • I get it. I understand a few of the driving forces behind wanting to do the whole tiny house thing. Most people want them to be mobile so I understand the shape too. What I don’t get is the logistics of the tiny house.

    One person in a tiny home I can get behind but the more people you add the less I it.

    I see the storage in those tiny houses and wonder where do they store the pots and pans. Some meals I make can be made in one dish , while other meals use 3 or even 4. Do you make brownies and cakes and where do you store the mixer and mixing bowls? Where do you store the blender and the toaster.

    If you enjoy crafts, where do you store the materials? Do you store the extras and left overs or do you throw them away?

    My husband has size 13 shoe. 3 pair would take up most of a closet, not to mention at least 3 pair for me. But why would I ant to get rid of any of my shoes?

    Number 1 a question, how many pairs of underwear do you have? Bras? How often do you have to do laundry? I love clothes and I understand some people can be happy with 2 outfits but there are so many different situations that require different styles. Workout gear, hiking, swimming, work, lounge, winter clothes, summer clothes.

    Do you have room for sentimental gifts or hand me downs? And where do you store the bags of dog food since so many seem to have dogs.

    But, hey, to each their own.

  • I am amazed at the reaction to tiny houses and the way they seem to strikes a raw nerve with some people. Perhaps they are threatened the the pyramid scheme of American housing may collapse if Millenials don’t buy into the “American Dream” of suburban McMansions and jumbo mortgages. The housing market is ripe for disruption and it can’t happen soon enough.

  • Like you and your wife, I have watched them all and basically agree with you on all. I thought I would pee my pants reading the Couples paragraph! Who in there right minds would want a family with pets to live in 200 sq. ft or gee 400 sq ft! i am single and have always lived in Studio or 1 bedroom apts…fine for me but I do not ever want to live in less than 400 sq. ft…by myself…ok with my cat too.

  • I’m a drop out who lives in 236 sq ft. I watch these stupid shows too and shake my head. Tiny houses are for ONE introverted person only …… big decks and storage sheds are mandatory …guests must be prepared to sleep in their vans.

  • My favorite episode of this mess was the family of six who moved into a 600 sq ft house because the mom figured that 100 sq ft per person should be PLENTY. They moved into this place without having a plan as to where the older kids would sleep – admitting this openly – and during the walk throughs of the potential houses, the mom kept saying, “There’s not a lot of privacy.” No shit. There didn’t seem to be a lot of forethought as to the reality of how this would pan out. I, too, would love to see a Where Are They Now? update, specifically the ones who had composting toilets.

  • Yoya….I saw the same episode, or one like it. They had a perfectly lovely house in California, large, high ceilings, plenty of space for every one. Then, the Bat Shit crazy mother says she thinks there’s too much space, that they’re growing apart. Oh, Lordy, I knew it was going to get bad. That, and some of the kids were teenagers, who wants to be near them? They already think adults are the Plague-why bother to change that with “togetherness”? So, now they go back east, and buy a run down crap shack, and who knows if any of ‘em are still alive.
    Oh, and some of the Tiny Houses are pricing out at over….$110. per square foot. Buy a Winnebago, used, new. Not hip enough? Get one of those Air Streams, still tiny, more room and cheaper (usually) by the square foot.

  • I’m on board with the tiny house movement, conditionally. The very stupidest way to go about it would be spending high-tens of thousands of dollars on a twee faux-craftsman dollhouse with that useless decorated prettiporch hanging off the end, literally consuming 25% of the available floor space. Having the door at the end turns the whole place into a tunnel. All that wood means your “portable” house is the equivalent of a trailer loaded high with logs.

    What makes good sense is having the entrance in the middle on a long side, opening directly into common area so there’s no loss to hallway space. French Doors. Possibly featuring a fold-up deck with canvas roof and screen sides so you have a bug-free porch for good-weather use. Steel frames, sheet aluminum and styrofoam insulation are your friends. For air-streaming, make the front curved like a horse trailer. Don’t squander living space with sloped roofs. Dormer windows? Asymmetric roof? Are you insane? It would be wise to house the sleeping/living (dry) activities and kitchen/bathroom (wet) in separate trailers. Expand as needed. You and the partner can haul them driving separate pickup trucks.

  • I lived in what were fixed up tool sheds when I was in graduate school. Cheap, convenient and they were called by all of we students, the locals, etc “The Tool Shed Apartments”. No one, NO ONE really wanted to live there. We were broke students, mostly graduate level, who wanted and needed to live alone for quiet and to study. Not only did I hate that place after living there a couple of years, I refused to have a tool shed on my home property. I added a three car detached garage with TOOL and equipment space. Jail cells have more room. And my little tool shed apartment from so many years ago did too.

  • I thought this was going to be an article about mice (tiny, house-hunters)…Tin”tiny apartment y houses are trending in big cities, like N.Y.C., where a “tiny house” (aka “tiny apartment”) can go for a few thousand dollars a month, or a few million if you want to buy it.

    One commentor nailed it with “:that’s not an apartment, that’s a room”.

    But kids and/or dogs? As the poets say, “No Way!!”. On the other hand, it could start another trend: pet ants.

  • Buy a nice camper unit and you can relocate when the welfare improves in another province … you can get there and start cashing in faster than if you need to sell your tiny house and move. Plus you can spend part of the year in a Walmart parking lot for free.

  • Ok everyone lets sing the cabin fever song. I like the tiny house concept for single people, The rule should be one tiny house per person in a tiny compound. Also a storage unit. So a family of four would need 5 houses minimum.

    Personally I like the shipping container concept better. But add a half container per person.

    Also is anyone else here waiting for scrivener.

  • That was just hilarious and pretty much covers what I think when I watch those shows with my jaw hanging open and shouting, “No! Don’t do it!”

    That said, I’ve got a big house and now that my sister’s kids are out (some for the second time…jeepers) I’m finding that I actually need to schedule reminders on the calendar to flush all the toilets and run water in the pipes in the unused bathrooms. There are rooms I only open to check that squirrels haven’t broken in and started a colony. So, I need to downsize, but a tiny house? No way…too tiny.

  • July 26, 2016 at 1:31 PM // Reply

    I’d want to live in a tiny house like I’d love the airlines to cram more seats into a plane and give me even less leg room. Why not? Maybe I could practice yoga in my seat, or lean how to be a contortionist so I could join the circus and live in a tent! A TENT! Take THAT tiny house dwellers!
    …said no one ever.

  • August 2, 2016 at 9:05 PM // Reply

    I am done! I have never laughed so hard while reading an article. My brain actually hurts. I have literally laughed for two days.I recently attended a Tiny House Tour in Decatur Georgia and could visualize every sentence. What did me in as i read this hilarious article was the scene of the kids fighting and dogs barking while mom and dad are grunting like wild board upstairs in a casket drawer. Based on the houses in saw, sex in the lofts doesn’t seem realistic. Because you stated you could truly give yourself a concussion if you suddenly woke from your sleep and tried to sit up.Thank you for a laugh that I’m sure has been medicine to my soul

  • August 10, 2016 at 12:50 PM // Reply

    This person’s response is self-praising, but not all that smart. Here are few points the author didn’t consider:

    1) Most of tiny house people actually do have to live tiny, because their normal house got foreclosed or they lost everything due to illness or divorce or any other of the million reasons why people can hurt financially.

    2) There is an entire category of US citizens living like this pretty much permanently without going on a killing spree – retired folks living in RVs. Nobody spends their energy writing up bullshit pseudo-comical letters to RV owners. Think about tiny houses as customizable RVs.

    3) For many it’s a temporary solution to “I don’t quite know where I’ll settle” problem, because rather than moving all their crap from house to house, they prefer to move their crap with the house. They’ll end up parking it on their property a decade down the road and rent it out at airBnB for extra cash and/or use it as a guest bedroom/house.

    4) We’ve got too much stuff. That closet you write about – that only fits a dress they will bury you in? It certainly fits more than my backpack and I managed to live out of that comfortably for one full year. An average American buys 64 pieces of clothing a year. Here’s a news flash: you’ve only got one ass!

    5) Normal toilets with proper doors and fans exist in small spaces – check out most of hotels and most of NYC apartments. And no, we don’t partake in each other’s dumps. And composting toilets aren’t any more disgusting or difficult to operate than camper or RV set ups. You just have to do it and be responsible for your own shit, not rely on civilization to dump it for you in formerly clean oceans.

    6) Many people in the world live in far worse conditions. For many it’s between privacy of their own 4 tiny walls vs living in their mom’s basement. So yes, even if they end up parked on a relative’s property – so fucking what? Extended families used to live together and help each other out in a time of need for millennia and all of sudden cocky baby-boomers decided that there was something shameful about it, simply because their generation was brainwashed to believe that a lifelong mortgage was more acceptable than living with one’s own family.

    Tiny houses is a form of shelter. They aren’t for people who can afford to live in a full-size house but choose not to – the majority doesn’t have a choice. Shelters protect and keep you warm. It’s not something to mock, it’s something to either admire or empathize with.

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:54 AM // Reply

      All of what you said may be true….and I think most don’t have an issue with that if its is solely people like that. But from most of the programme I’ve seen the people are downsizing and think it’s all eco friendly to being so but seem to have their heads in the clouds while doing so.

      The people I see in the programme go in expecting mansion facilities in a shoe box. Complaining about bedroom size, bathroom size, as I saw in one programme the fact that the appliances were not full size and that the kitchens benches did not give enough room for 2 to be cooking together. Not only do parents need space to do the dirty (there isn’t much room in a loft to do the wheelbarrow, the helicopter Or the praying mantis, damn it doesn’t seem enough room to do the missionary without one of you knocking yourself out), teen children needs their own space…..

      If this was simply a programme about providing housing for the less fortunate in life that would be great….but it seems a programme about the brain dead, that have had too much in life, wonderfully self absorbed, deciding to follow a trend and from the comments they make having totally no real idea what it entails.

      This blog exactly mirrors the thought I’ve had watching…

      • I agree, Andrew. There is a difference in need and preference, and all most all the people on this show choose this lifestyle due to preference – at least that is what they say… As for retirees living in RVs – obviously Lena has not looked at many RVs lately because they way outshine these crappy sheds and are much more mobile – which is the lifestyle these folks are after. Using the retiree/RV example was like comparing apples to oranges, Lena, sounds pretty defensive in her comments – she needs to get an RV and go clamping :)

    • Thank you for your intelligent insight. I live with 2 dogs in 100 sq ft and yes I am downsizing to at the most 400 sq ft. With a compost toilet and I will be much happier than I am now. growing up in 3 rooms with 2 siblings( dad was in the military) and also spending months camping and living in a small camper for 3 years I find the tiny house perfect. Just no loft except for storage I hate lofts. But it is doable, and comfortable and the majority would enjoy it.

  • I’ve been looking on the web for ‘where are they now’ articles. These people cant’t possibly live in 300sf for very long. I want to know how long they last. I did find one and I remember the show. This couple had a tiny house built somewhere like colorado. They had all the upgrades and spent a fortune. Well they didnt last. They said even though they were not that far from town, having to drive 10 miles just for a quart of milk got o.d plus all of their tiny house web access was so sketchy they couldnt work. I’m they moved to a real,house.
    I really feel sorry for the teenagers. I saw one on Tiny Luxury with three kids, like 10,12 and15. They gave the bedroom t the 10 year old because he was the only boy. The teenager looked like she wanted to cry throughout the episode. They ,pmoved from 6000 sf. And the stupid wife was going on and on about how they would get closer together when they had movie night on their tiny sofa watching their tiny tv. And how they were doing online school so now the poor kid wouldnt have a social life. she didnt give a damn about the teenage daughter. So selfish.

  • All of this is valuable info. I’ve been researching tiny house rv to buy…pros and cons-which is how I found this page. I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer nearly a year ago and wanted to downsize in the event I could no longer work…less bills. Composting toilets dont bother me…rather have that than a RV toilet you have to empty. The hardest part has been finding a potential location to park it. You cannot park it and live in it full time on ANY property within city limits due to zoning laws. Most RV parks will not allow tiny houses even if they are RCIA certified or if they do allow you…only for a short amount of time. I myself have called 7 RV parks…they will not allow it. Most mobile home parks will only allow park models or actual mobile homes…they said due to uniformity. Not only that…but how are you going to tow it? You will need at least a 3/4 ton truck. I recently received a quote for $79K for a 200 square foot TH and then I have to buy a truck big enough to tow it? No one tells you this stuff.

    • Hi Lea, I am so sorry to hear of your health issues. You might check into a nice RV with a four season package. You can tow many of these with SUVs or small trucks. Also, if you are in a RV park you can hook up the sewer to your unit – no dumping required.

  • Married couples need to STOP saying for instance. ..there is no privecy..that’s your spouse,my goodness your married already…How much privacy do you need from your spouse..Be quiet already…sickening

  • I loved your letter, and oh so very true! What I don’t get is why are people buying these crappy little sheds rather than a 5th wheel for the same price; which they could move theirselves with a truck. Plus 5th wheels have been around for years and expertly designed rather than by Bubba the Shed King. Ours had washer/dryer, gourmet kitchen, gas fireplace, walk in shower with seat, king sized bed, oodles of storage, etc., and was four season = COMFORT! It was never our primary residence but we lived in it for six months without killing one another.

  • I Googled “Sick of hearing Composting Toilet on HGTV” and this appeared. I haven’t laughed this hard in years. I wasn’t looking for something funny, just trying to find out if out if anyone else thought it was stupid! Every time I see a family do this, I want to cancel my cable TV contract. I’ve tried to read this to my husband and son but can’t make it through the letter without needing an adult diaper or a paper bag to breathe into. I recently lost my dad…he loved a good joke. It feels like he sent your letter straight to me! Thank you so much!

  • I love everything about this. I really think they should do a “six months later” show. My very favorite part of these are the buyers’ comments of “this [name whatever room or feature] is sooooo small!” I’m all for downsizing and simplifying, but tiny houses are not meant for more than one person. Even then, get a small house with a few separate rooms or a camper that’s actually easier (and legal) to move and park somewhere.

    I saw one on Tiny House Nation of a family with two kids and a couple huge dogs living in Alaska. Alaska–not somewhere you can spend lots of time year round relaxing in the outdoors, no matter how hard core you are. They spent half the show worrying if their house would be finished in time to drive it to their spot before the ice melted. I would really like to see how they fared over the course of a winter.

  • I saw an episode where a couple bought an old school bus and planned to travel around in it. A school system isn’t going to unload a perfectly good bus, just the ones that have proven to be too costly to maintain any more. The family had 3 kids and she was pregnant. The guy needs to stay off his wife! The husband hadn’t driven a bus before and didn’t know how to do any mechanical or renovating work “and I don’t want to pay anyone else to do it either.” This looks like so much trouble on the way! The bus will surely break down along the highway somewhere and they won’t have the money to do a major engine overhaul. I’ve worried about that family because they had no common sense, just the idea that this would be SO MUCH FUN!!

  • A family of six moved into an RV in one episode. One 14 year old daughter who thankfully gets her own closet to live in. Three boys, most of which are about to hit their teens, have to bunk in one cramped cubby TOGETHER. But Mom and Dad need their own separate, private full-sized bedroom because they apparently can’t give up the space THEY already get because they need to make more babies.

    All because they took a trip in an RV for the summer and THERE WAS SO MUCH TOGETHERNESS.

    This isn’t togetherness when you make it a permanent situation. It’s child abuse.

  • The “houses” on this show are so small, the wicked witch would have ended up with just a broken leg when it fell on her.

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  • I get what you’re saying about the show because I see these six member families saying they can live in 400 sq ft and I’m like “No you can’t and that’s not family time, that’s a hostage situation.” Very few teens want to be that close to family and I see a lot of resentment headed their way. But, I also see the appeal of a tiny home. Take my case for example, it’s me, my mom and my dog. Because of personal and health issues I won’t go into, we can’t afford a bigger house, we live with a relative in a ROOM of that relative’s house. It was probably a single car garage in it’s hey day but now it’s a prison. Sure, we go to the bathroom and use the kitchen once in awhile but that room is bedroom, living room, and family room all in one.

    We’ve also experienced what it is to keep up a normal sized house and that’s just not for us. I don’t like spending hours cleaning a 1300 sq ft house that only two people inhabit most of the time and who don’t use all the rooms anyway.

    So yeah, we’re looking to go tiny or maybe the word is SMALL. We’re not going to do a 300 sq ft house because we’ll strangle each other. People need to do research, it’s not one or the other, you don’t have to either have a 3000 sq ft home or a 200 sq ft home, there is such thing as middle ground.

    What I don’t like about the Tiny House Hunters show is not just the lack of authenticity and truth in what they’re showing, but the lack of real options. I guess if it’s not a shoe box it doesn’t count as a tiny house? Well then I guess we need a Small House Hunters show to let people know there are other options, like 600-700 sq ft houses for TWO people, not for like an entire circus of people. Anyway, there are some benefits to going smaller on houses but people need to be realistic about it.

    I think the lack of actual reality in the show is what is leading people to believe that they can take their entire family and shove them into 400 sq ft of “happiness” and that’s just not reality, that’s fantasy.

    And yeah, the idea of a composting toilet would make me into a monster. That’s a hell no no matter what the situation is.

  • Too funny. But your right. Too many of us think what a great idea to downsize and move into a tiny house yet are unaware of all the things that entails. Right on!

  • You brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard. I’ve seen a newlywed couple attempt a tiny house and it was all over but the crying. I think you have to know someone really, really well in order to live with them in such a small space and be able to speak your mind. Like…”get out, I need some alone time”.

  • I will never understand why these ppl don’t just get a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and put a single wide trailer home on it. You want cheap, small space….there you go.

  • Even I had a good laugh. & ive lived in a tiny home for several years debt free on SS & a pension, although I do work a few shifts a month. I do love it, however it’s not as romantic as I thought, especially in the winter! It’s only 288 ft. but for me that’s all I need. It has a full basement & sheds also.Theres times I’ve wondered what I was thinking, but it’s in the middle of the woods, & so beautiful in the summer & fall. Peace & quiet. The trees, my garden, flowers, the sun, the moon, the stars! & the birds & deer. And the bugs, the dust, the critters, the coyotes & the Bears! Gotta plan, 16 miles from town. I guess there’s compromises. The one thing I would say is Do Not buy a tiny house unless you will be living alone!!! I can barely live with myself at times! Just kidding. I’m an introvert who likes living alone & can see people anytime. Just not at my place. It’s my sanctuary. But I can not imagine 2 or more people living in a tiny house! Just sayin!

  • I’m surprised every time I see a family getting a tiny home no one mentions this: there are almost always two lofts facing each other and no bedroom door or wall for either (just railings), so I assume their sex life is over immediately. As a minimalist single person I could very comfortably do a well laid out, sunny, high ceiling, 400 sq ft tiny home quite happily. As a part of a couple I couldn’t. Kids and pets would be impossible.

    • I always wonder about sexy time. And let me tell you something-The other day I was late for work, and rushed out before flushing. Stale pee REEKS. There is no way tossing leaves or whatever on top of at least three pees and one poop per person daily doesn’t smell like the 11th circle of hell. And what about when you have food poisoning? Talk about the most horrendous stench, and you do it a million times per day .

  • Yeah, it’s easy to make fun of tiny houses, since they are not what most Americans have been doing for the past couple of decades. But there are Americans who live in spaces that small- New Yorkers, especially in Manhattan and close-in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

    My husband & I have been living for the past 15 years in 348 square feet (not counting the basement, which is part crawlspace, part workshop/laundry. A couple of things that make it work: place for everything/everything in its place; it has rooms/walls, so we don’t live in an “open floor plan” and can be in different rooms doing different things if we want to; headphones for the TVs & computer so one of us can watch when the other is sleeping or reading.

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