I’m a nomad at heart. While I currently “live” in Asheville, I only spend about two-thirds of my year here. The other third, I live and travel all over the U.S. (and the world) for short periods of time.
I’m also debt-averse. Blame the nomadism or the recession, but the word “mortgage” makes me cringe. I’d rather save and buy pretty much anything outright instead of going into hock for it.
You can see why I’ve never had much interest in 12-month leases or traditional home ownership. Since college, I’ve mostly lived in month-by-month room rentals in shared houses. But the allure of home—having one’s own place—has never left my mind.
Owning a house outright is one of my goals. When I turned 30 in September, I started thinking seriously about this goal, with the above considerations in mind. This led me to discover tiny houses (homes under 500 sq. ft.) and various other homes-on-wheels that are cooler than RVs, but are considered RVs for the purposes of zoning and taxes.
In this post I share some of the neatest stuff I’ve discovered in these fields. I resisted the temptation to dive into pro/con lists and lengthy discussions of how “liveable” these are in the long-term. But if you have direct experience with any of them, please do comment. Click on the images to find related articles.
Update: I forgot to mention that I’m also very interested in building something like you see below with my hands. I spend so much time in front of a computer that I really crave some tactile project. I like the idea of customizing every facet of a home, too. The book Shop Class as Soulcraft also inspired me.
Tumbleweed & Four Lights Tiny Houses
The offspring of tiny house guru Jay Shafer, these are the preeminent tiny house design and building companies. The houses run in the ballpark of $20,000 for materials alone or $50,000 pre-built.
Don’t miss Jay’s ingenious idea for a tiny house community in Northern California: The Napoleon Complex. “Co-Housing for the Antisocial”—ha!
This master’s degree project—not a house for sale—demonstrates some of the best design I’ve seen for a tiny space.
A tiny house design/build operation in northern Canada. The model featured below sold for roughly $43,000.
Certainly not suited for full-time habitation, but still awesome.
Like the Cricket, these aren’t really home solutions, but worth a gander.
Renovated Airstream Trailers
Books I’ve read
Books I plan to read
Got any advice for me?