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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 11 of 21

Exactly! "Home" for myself. Room for grands (2) to enjoy at Grandma's. Efficient but affordable. Maybe emphasis on my bedroom, bathroom, closet! Not like being forced into mini space. Rural Alabama, have site, need advice, help, please!

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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 12 of 21

@ASTRAEA wrote:

@nyadrn wrote:

In respect to the size,  people are not looking for small.  The largest houses in the desirable areas are in big demand.  When Vegas was at the top of the housing boom,  the retirees all wanted the big homes so "there was room for the kids to come and visit".  

Back in the spring I attended a presentation by a legislator & panel of experts, on various property expense issues. One gentleman spoke on behalf of an organization of several 55+ communities in the region , saying their property taxes were prohibitive. But the truth is that all of these communities have homes that are comparable in size to regular single family homes, and similar upscale finishes, so since they are "new construction", their taxes are as high as any other new homes being built .. and often higher than the same-size older homes they moved from. So these people obviously didn't do their due diligence, to see what their taxes would be like.


No of course they do not.  There is the tax issue as well as the heating and or cooling costs, maintenance cleaning etc all on a big scale.  I have lived in apartments and condos since I became a widow and I sure don't want to take on the cleaning and upkeep of a big place when I retire.  I will have an extra bedroom but if you want a suite there is a great hotel down the road somewhere. LOL

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 13 of 21

@nyadrn wrote:

In respect to the size,  people are not looking for small.  The largest houses in the desirable areas are in big demand.  When Vegas was at the top of the housing boom,  the retirees all wanted the big homes so "there was room for the kids to come and visit".  

Back in the spring I attended a presentation by a legislator & panel of experts, on various property expense issues. One gentleman spoke on behalf of an organization of several 55+ communities in the region , saying their property taxes were prohibitive. But the truth is that all of these communities have homes that are comparable in size to regular single family homes, and similar upscale finishes, so since they are "new construction", their taxes are as high as any other new homes being built .. and often higher than the same-size older homes they moved from. So these people obviously didn't do their due diligence, to see what their taxes would be like.


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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 14 of 21

@retiredtraveler wrote:

"...but maybe a 1,000 sq ft small house for $400K .. with all the bells & whistles and upgrades I have now...".

 

You and I and a few others could do that, but that is well beyond the means of most Americans. Now, of course, numbers can be interpreted in all kinds of ways, but to make some generalizations, the median income in U.S. is in the $52,000 range. The number I like says that a couple, with a $75,000 a year income, can't afford a house much over $300,000. Of course, there are huge variables with taxes and utilities, but it's a reasonable number.

   The point is, there is only a small number of people that can afford a $400,000 home. And wages are stagnant while everything else continues to get more costly. There simply isn't a market for what you want except possibly in a few, select communities.  I live near one of those  Del Webb "mega 55+" communities. The homes and condos there are pretty pricey, even by Chicago area standards.  I know that houses are difficult to resell there largely due to price. The community is set up next to a town, with bus service, close to tollway, close to trains to Chicago, etc. Has all the amenities, but fewer and fewer people can afford to purchase them. They are mostly in the $250,000 range. When first built, they sold like the proverbial hotcakes. But that was before the housing plunge. Original populace there sold their homes, at good prices, to finance Del Webb. But, that has ended. We have a lot of homeowners that are under water. Most homes, just around me, are 30% less in value than original price. There isn't anything on the horizon to change that.


Your comments related to the resale of 55 + community homes are spsecific to the Chicago area I see.  They definitely do not hold true for these communities in the warm climate states.  They obviously did not take into consideration the number of people who do not want to retire in the cold weather.  There are several communities in my area but I love my condo and would not move.  The area that I am looking at has as high a demand for houses in these communities as for any other.  Houses are not under water, nor hard to sell. Florida has a lot and so there is more price competition there, but not in other areas that I have looked at.

 

In respect to the size,  people are not looking for small.  The largest houses in the desirable areas are in big demand.  When Vegas was at the top of the housing boom,  the retirees all wanted the big homes so "there was room for the kids to come and visit".  

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 15 of 21

@doglover52 - Many of these tiny home stores are fascinating, where young couples/people decide to build themselves, and that's part of the reward for them!

 

People have many different objectives in wanting a tiny or small home. For most of the shows I've seen on TV, they are younger people, and their motivation is to minimize costs to have more for travel & other things, and to have an environmentally smaller footprint. They are OK with having to climb up & down a ladder or steep stairway, to get to sleeping & additional 2nd level spaces. They are OK with having to reconfigure furniture several times a day to eat, work & socialize. And some subset would like to build-it-themselves as part of the "fun" and additional cost savings.

 

I think that's very different from AARP-aged people who just don't need as much space anymore, would like to cut housekeeping effort, eliminate stairs, and be able to locate in a walkable downtown area on a smaller lot, to minimize the need for a car. Putting some money back into their nest egg & cut operating costs would be nice, but perhaps secondary. I don't see that many in this group wanting to do the actual construction.


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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 16 of 21

Astraea,I do watch HGTV"s "Tiny Houses" find it interesting to watch whether the people buy their house or decide to build it themselves

I read a fascinating book couple months ago on this topic."The Big Tiny:A Built It Myself  Memoir" by Dee Williams. She built her  84 square foot house mostly by herself,she spent $6,000 for the trailer. In high school she took wood working classes,in college she took a course on architechial engineering,has friends who are carpenters&plumbers who gave her advise.Her total cost for building her house was around $10,000. She lives in POrtland,Oregon,her best friends offered her to live in the backyard of their property where she lives today. Her monthly housekeeping bill is $8

She teaches workshops on tiny houses,green building&community design. I highly recommend the book Sue

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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 17 of 21

@retiredtraveler - What I meant & should have said that many of us would be happy to have a small, new house that was 1/2 or 3/4 the price of the larger house we were selling, than get the tiniest, cheapest house being built. So it would be a function of the value of your current home, and having similar finishes & amenities, efficiently built into a smaller floor plan.

 

Most people develop a circle of friends where they've spent their middleage, and if they aren't trying to escape bad weather, they'd be happy to move into a nearby community. That might mean being stuck with high prices & taxes .. but it's something you're used to if you've been living there a while. The biggest problem is that it's very difficult to fit everything on a single level, on a fairly small lot .. and I think the older we get, the less we want to do stairs, and are afraid of having them if we ever have mobility issues.


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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 18 of 21

"...but maybe a 1,000 sq ft small house for $400K .. with all the bells & whistles and upgrades I have now...".

 

You and I and a few others could do that, but that is well beyond the means of most Americans. Now, of course, numbers can be interpreted in all kinds of ways, but to make some generalizations, the median income in U.S. is in the $52,000 range. The number I like says that a couple, with a $75,000 a year income, can't afford a house much over $300,000. Of course, there are huge variables with taxes and utilities, but it's a reasonable number.

   The point is, there is only a small number of people that can afford a $400,000 home. And wages are stagnant while everything else continues to get more costly. There simply isn't a market for what you want except possibly in a few, select communities.  I live near one of those  Del Webb "mega 55+" communities. The homes and condos there are pretty pricey, even by Chicago area standards.  I know that houses are difficult to resell there largely due to price. The community is set up next to a town, with bus service, close to tollway, close to trains to Chicago, etc. Has all the amenities, but fewer and fewer people can afford to purchase them. They are mostly in the $250,000 range. When first built, they sold like the proverbial hotcakes. But that was before the housing plunge. Original populace there sold their homes, at good prices, to finance Del Webb. But, that has ended. We have a lot of homeowners that are under water. Most homes, just around me, are 30% less in value than original price. There isn't anything on the horizon to change that.


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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 19 of 21

@retiredtraveler - I personally see that as a very nearsighted & limited point of view by both developers & municipalities! Outdated zoning restrictions exclude all but residential housing in some areas, whereas residents in a new development would prefer having a "downtown core" or peripheral area with basic shops & professional services. So all of these mega 55+ communities are in the boondocks, forcing residents to relocate when they're no longer comfortable driving; few of those communities have bus service. IF that sort of resident-centric mixed use were permissible, the commercial facilities could pick up a larger portion of infrastructure development .. which is what planning boards/municipalities to expect of commercial development in most places.

 

I do NOT want to move into any form of development where you only own your unit & a tiny patch of land around it, with everything else being owned in common, and there are Homeowner Association rules. I'd be happy to move into a development of small homes on small lots that are totally individually owned, that were new & clustered around a "downtown style" shopping/professional core .. the way many towns were developed after WWII .. just not as spread out.

 

The other difference in my view of "small houses", is that the primary focus wouldn't be on them being cheap, but on efficiently & compactly designed. My current house is probably worth around $900K, so I wouldn't be looking for a 300 sq ft tiny home for $35K, but maybe a 1,000 sq ft small house for $400K .. with all the bells & whistles and upgrades I have now.


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Re: Tiny or Small Houses

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Message 20 of 21

   I think I may have posted on this subject in the past. I have a good friend in the infrastructure business. That is, he is an estimator for doing the ground work: earthmoving, roads, utilities,  all the scraping, digging, hauling, gravel, concrete to prepare an area for houses.

     He is always talking about how builders just can't make money unless they put in expensive (a.k.a. profitable) houses because development costs are immense. A small development easily exceeds a million dollars to create it.

   The really tiny house market isn't going too well. Zoning doesn't like them. They're pretty limited.


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