Saturday, August 14, 2010

Finding Home

When it comes to domiciles, I’ve done just about everything. I’ve lived in single family homes, I’ve lived in apartments, I’ve lived in a condo. I’ve lived in a large townhouse and a small townhouse. I’ve rented a room in a house, I’ve lived in a dormitory, and I’ve lived in a camper traveling across country and back. I’ve lived in a motel waiting for a house to be built, and I’ve set up temporary homes away from home in luxury hotels a week here and a week there while traveling on University business. One would think that with all that experience I’d have developed a clear preference by now. But the truth is, they all have their pros and cons and I’ve been having a hard time deciding what would make me happiest.

Then a couple of weeks ago did a piece on a fellow named Jay Shafer and his Tiny Tumbleweed houses. The model featured was an 87 square foot home on wheels that you’d really have to say is a glorified camper. But the reader was regaled with stories of individuals who had built tiny homes for barely more than their annual tax return, thereby freeing themselves from mortgage payments, sky-rocketing utility bills and the trappings of a materialistic society. Hmmm. Come on though – 87 square feet? My bedroom is bigger than that. Still, the concept itself is intriguing – small, space-efficient homes that are fiscally, physically, and environmentally sustainable. Even for someone like me.

It turns out, there’s a whole tiny house ‘movement’ going on out there. Somehow I doubt there’s any danger of the tiny house becoming the home of the future – this is America after all, we’re not big on small and humble – but apparently it’s an option. And it’s one I intend to research further. I need more than 87 square feet to be sure. But if I think about the amount of space I have now, and how much of it I actually live in on a regular basis, the not so big house concept really makes a lot of sense. Especially for someone like me.

In coming posts I’ll look at some of the tiny or not-so-big homes and builders out there, but for now check out the photos (right) of Simon’s Eco House in … wait for it ….. Wales, home of at least half of my ancestors. Clicking on any of the photos will take you to more information.


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