Tiny house or condo

tiny houseI am obsessed with the idea of living in a tiny house. I live in a small one now but not a tiny house. Last week I looked at a 370 square foot condo in downtown St. Paul. For some reason the designer put in a full sized kitchen otherwise the place would be just about perfect. There are a few units on the market right now that are less than 500 square feet.

There isn’t really an agreed upon definition for a tiny house.  Some call houses less than 1000 square feet tiny houses. When I think of them I think of homes that are less than 500 square feet and have found many that are less than 300 or even 200 square feet of finished living space.

These dwellings are much less expensive than a more standard size house. The idea is to spend less on housing and have fewer belongings and more time to spend doing something besides working for money and accumulating stuff that requires space. They also cost less to heat and cool and to insure. They require less maintenance and less furniture.

On average people who own tiny houses have money in the bank and many of the have no mortgage.

Today is isn’t at all unusual for first time home buyers to be looking for at least 2000 square feet and the averages for new construction, at least in the burbs is closer to 2400 square feet. They don’t have enough stuff to fill it up so they start acquiring and accumulating.

Some studies have suggested that families who live in tighter quarters get along better because they spend more time together. Yet the most common reason for wanting a bigger house is to have room for children.

Many of the tiny houses are mobile and can be moved to a lot. Of course in the city you mostly can’t do that but in some parts of the country the demand for tiny houses is changing local zoning laws.

I think there is a market for tiny condos in downtown St. Paul. There are spaces that are less than 500 square feet. They are never marketed as tiny condos but they should be. Most have full sized kitchens which really seems like a waste of space. Why not have a galley kitchen? I like the idea of a murphy bed too or a sleeper sofa that can double as a place to sit.

There are numerous websites dedicated to tiny houses and they can be built from kits that can be ordered online but there aren’t any kits for tiny condos. 🙂 We are not seeing micro apartments yet but they are sure to travel from the coasts and make it inland in the next decade or so and eventually maybe we will be able to put some tiny houses on city lots.

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3 Replies to “Tiny house or condo”

  1. Teresa, do you know anything about that little structure that shares a property with a much older house on the block of Superior just west of Western? It’s too small to be a garage; it has a patio door and what looks like a loft. Not connected to the old house, either. Just wondering if you knew.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      Looks like a glorified tool shed. I don’t think it would be possible to get a permit to build a tiny house on a lot that small that already has a house on it.

  2. I wondered about the proximity to the existing house. Thanks, Teresa.

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