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Utinga

Would you? Could you? Live in a Tiny Home

  

57 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your 'main' homes sq footage?

    • Above 5000 sq'
      2
    • Above 2500 sq'
      8
    • Above 1000 sq'
      34
    • Less than 1000 sq'
      13


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I am in the process of finding an old shotgun or similar home in East or North Houston with a small lot to remodel with a modern bent. I feel we have slipped past what is important in our daily lives, family, friendships and togetherness without the need of "whose is bigger." I am curious about the members thoughts on the small/tiny house movement. What do you feel is an ideal home size and why? Family size and home business of course may be a factor.

I've included a few FYI, only, links.

Thanks to all thosee who participate, Glen Andersun :-)

http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/sftotalmedavgsqft.pdf

http://www.smallhousestyle.com/

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

And one for "fun" lol

http://dornob.com/tiny-truck-mini-trailer-super-small-mobile-camper-car/

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Are your examples coming from the perspective of a single and childless person ? A Home for 1 at present and for the future ?

I wish your poll answers were a little more realistic and with small enough ranges to be indicative of anything.

Edited by Highway6

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Are your examples coming from the perspective of a single and childless person ? A Home for 1 at present and for the future ?

I wish your poll answers were a little more realistic and with small enough ranges to be indicative of anything.

I have to agree, there has to be a bit more choices and questions.

The SO and I are looking at a home/large apartment to rent, mostly because her two kids are going to be gone inside of 5 yrs and will need to get a smaller place.

In the end, I'll be happy with a small 2/2 or even a 2/1.

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Are your examples coming from the perspective of a single and childless person ? A Home for 1 at present and for the future ?

I have zero examples on here. This is my soul reason for this poll with a touch of curiosity @ HAIFA. Also to hopefully receive feedback on anyone's thoughts of the small/tiny house movement, positive, negative or just plain silly. As I stated in my post, please take into account your family ( single or children or parents or....) and other factors. If some members have the time and care to elaborate, all the better. Forgive me if there is a way of putting this info directly into the poll. I welcome an edit such as that.

"I wish your poll answers were a little more realistic and with small enough ranges to be indicative of anything."

I have zero poll answers. Please explain " more realistic." I am open for your sugestions. I chose this range for several reasons. I hate to disclose this now as I feel it may add bias to this poll. If you are corious please feel free to email or stop by le' casa for a chat.

Thanks so much for your info, much appreciated,

Glen Andresun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3 77026

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I have to agree, there has to be a bit more choices and questions.

The SO and I are looking at a home/large apartment to rent, mostly because her two kids are going to be gone inside of 5 yrs and will need to get a smaller place.

In the end, I'll be happy with a small 2/2 or even a 2/1.

"I have to agree, there has to be a bit more choices and questions."

I've a reason for this poll. You said small 2/2 or 2/1, that helps, but your idea of small may not be near mine. Lol This is why I set it as a square foot basis and not bedroom needs. One can have a 3,700 sq' one bedroom loft in New york and call it your weekend apt. for example. I only need to know the sq'. The choices are only to gain knowledge of a members home size. This helps to gage that persons response. If they want to elaborate, such as you have, I am most grateful for that info. Your one line of " her two kids will be gone inside of 5 years" was most helpful. Just be aware there are families of four such as yourself in 500 sq'. :-)

Thanks so much,

Glen Andresun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3. 77026

Edited by Utinga

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I have zero examples on here.

You have links. Those links contain numerous houses around 500 SF. Those could be said to be indicative of the SF you think should be appropriate of a small house. They are your examples.

I have zero poll answers.

Did you or did you not decide and then type what the poll choices would be? For the users, those would be our answers.

Seriously, in the short time you've been here, your level of combativeness has been incredibly off putting.

You knew damn well what I was referring too in both my points.

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I think your poll answers should have been in 500 SF ranges up to 3000+

5000 is a ridiculous choice that would be hard enough to find much less afford by your average Houstonian.

With that, i think the most telling answers would have been for those that are married and intend to start a family (the status quo), who picks 1500-2000 (desire to try to live small but stay realistic with a growing family) vs 2000-2500 (typical suburban, 3/3 or 4/3 American dream.. the status quo).

So I think your poll choices suck since you have 1000-2500 as one choice. Yup. That would be mine if I chose to participate, but i won't since it would also be meaningless.

PS - Your family of 4 example ( or was that too not an example ) -- It's disingenuous to even bring it up considering we both know that no family of 4 is living in 500 SF because they want to. They aren't choosing to "live small". They aren't living in a silver RV from the 50s in order to be hip or save the earth. And since this is directed to Haifers and is a poll... it's about choice, not necessity.

Guess now i understand your poll choices (user answers)... Is any family living in over 1000 SF wasteful to you ?

Edited by Highway6

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our (2 adults no children) current home is just under 1,500. We have lived more or less comfortably in about 500 feet. Our final home, which we'll build, will most likely be in the 700-1,000 range. We're looking at containers, beach house style with parking underneath, or single shotgun (sidehall style). I'm leaning toward the shotgun. It's a simple design that lends itself to various energy and resource saving techniques, and good ventilation. It also works well with the narrow lots you see here. Can put the house on one side and garage/carport and garden on the other. For the same amount of money, I would rather have fewer square feet of better designed space than wasted or ill-used space. Besides, the bigger the place, the more crap you inevitably fill it up with, and the more time you gotta spend cleaning. I look at my mom's huge kitchen full of extra cabinets with chocolate fountains and fondue sets and 18 sizes of skillets, all I see is more time on my hands and knees cleaning greasy clots of pet hair off 15 unnecessary feet of baseboards. No thanks.

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Personally, I'd rather see some properly built condos (hi rise or not), that are aimed for the $80-$200k market. these $800k-1.5mil places are all well and good, but those of a more modest means would also like to live in quality housing.

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We have 2 adults and a child in 1400 square feet, 2 bedrooms, one bathroom. For the most part, it's fine. However there are a few drawbacks, some due to the age of the house (built in 1952):

One bath isn't enough

There is nowhere near enough closet space, and we don't have that many clothes

There's nowhere to store the vacuum cleaner, br0oms, etc.

No coat closet

The washer is in the kitchen and the dryer is on the back porch

There's no really good spot for computers and paperwork

I figure that we really need about 1800 sq feet to be truly comfortable. If we were to tear down and build new, it would be 2400 sq feet just to make resale a better proposition, if required. We had some frineds who built a 2400 sq foot house in Bellaire on a street full of 4,000 sq foot houses. It hurt them on resale when they retired.

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I think your poll answers should have been in 500 SF ranges up to 3000+

5000 is a ridiculous choice that would be hard enough to find much less afford by your average Houstonian.

With that, i think the most telling answers would have been for those that are married and intend to start a family (the status quo), who picks 1500-2000 (desire to try to live small but stay realistic with a growing family) vs 2000-2500 (typical suburban, 3/3 or 4/3 American dream.. the status quo).

So I think your poll choices suck since you have 1000-2500 as one choice. Yup. That would be mine if I chose to participate, but i won't since it would also be meaningless.

PS - Your family of 4 example ( or was that too not an example ) -- It's disingenuous to even bring it up considering we both know that no family of 4 is living in 500 SF because they want to. They aren't choosing to "live small". They aren't living in a silver RV from the 50s in order to be hip or save the earth. And since this is directed to Haifers and is a poll... it's about choice, not necessity.

Guess now i understand your poll choices (user answers)... Is any family living in over 1000 SF wasteful to you ?

[/quote

I can give you many examples of families who have chosen to live in 500 sq' or less. New York city in of itself, is full of them. I understand that is there and Houston is a completely different animal. That was part of my reason for polling here.

As I seem to have stepped on toes with this poll, I shall humbly retreat. Please accept my apologies for not making this poll clear enough. I had a method for this madness, trust me.I never meant for it to evolve into a he-said-she-said match.

I ask the editor to please remove this thread. I suppose I best sit on the side lines and just observe and learn for awhile.

Thanks so much for all your input truly I am sorry.

Glen Andersun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3 77026

Edited by Utinga

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Here is a good example of a "small" home project. Looks to be 4 shotguns(?), 1 new, 2 rehabbed and one to be rehabbed. 299K.

http://search.har.com/engine/2611-N-Durham-Houston-TX-77008_HAR42632554.htm

A million thanks for your time as well as this link. I really appreciate that. I'm just a poor soul in search of a single home in the 40 to 50,000 range. I found one here in Near North for 35,000 (lots of rehab needed) that was perfect, but its backyard is the train tracks. Yikes! hahaha

Glen Andresun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3 77026

Edited by Utinga

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We have 2 adults and a child in 1400 square feet, 2 bedrooms, one bathroom. For the most part, it's fine. However there are a few drawbacks, some due to the age of the house (built in 1952):

One bath isn't enough

There is nowhere near enough closet space, and we don't have that many clothes

There's nowhere to store the vacuum cleaner, br0oms, etc.

No coat closet

The washer is in the kitchen and the dryer is on the back porch

There's no really good spot for computers and paperwork

I figure that we really need about 1800 sq feet to be truly comfortable. If we were to tear down and build new, it would be 2400 sq feet just to make resale a better proposition, if required. We had some frineds who built a 2400 sq foot house in Bellaire on a street full of 4,000 sq foot houses. It hurt them on resale when they retired.

Thank you so much for taking your time to participate, and I truly understand your predicament with storage and an extra bathroom need. Sorry to hear about your friends resale. I'm surprised someone in that area didn't want to do a scrape-off even with a new home, the way things are progressing in that 'hot' area.

Glen Andresun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3 77026

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You have links. Those links contain numerous houses around 500 SF. Those could be said to be indicative of the SF you think should be appropriate of a small house. They are your examples.

Did you or did you not decide and then type what the poll choices would be? For the users, those would be our answers.

Seriously, in the short time you've been here, your level of combativeness has been incredibly off putting.

You knew damn well what I was referring too in both my points.

My apologies, again. The links were FYI only, never meant to be construed as examples. I have poll questions but no answers as of yet, that is what I thought you meant, apologies for that also.

If you feel I've been combative I apologize for that as well. I was called a lier and several names my Mr. Zappa and I may have carried them over into other threads.

I found when texting, posting to blogs, etc. It is most difficult to get the nuances of the true meaning at times, without eye to eye contact so to speak. My bad.

Glen Andresun

utinga@hotmail.com

1926 Hardy #3 77026

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On that note, I was shocked to find out my folks just sold their ~1500 square foot home in Bellaire for asking price (it's one of only a handful of 1950s tract homes left on the block - 13 left of 30) and the buyer is actually going to live in it (2 adults, 1 child).

I do truly believe that if they had added on to it they wouldn't have recovered anything (it still would have had the same chance of demolition) since the new status quo is like what was mentioned above - ~4,000 square feet (beige stucco boxes).

For me, I live in a two adult/no kids 3 bed/1.5 bath household - ~1,100 square feet - and it's palatial (compared to the smaller places I'd lived in the prior ten or so years).

This has spoiled me, though - we each get an office and have a garage the size of most apartments I'd lived in - though I'd like to *think* I'd be comfortable downsizing if needed.

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Personally, I'd rather see some properly built condos (hi rise or not), that are aimed for the $80-$200k market. these $800k-1.5mil places are all well and good, but those of a more modest means would also like to live in quality housing.

Agreed, I would love to see some nice small condos or modestly priced hi-rises. There seem to be way too many of the three level sameness being thrown up for sure. Metal, faux stucco, brick, or clapboard sided, they all seem to be garage bed/bath first level, liv, dine, kitchen second level, followed with two more beds and bath on third and a nice rooftop deck with a view of...? It does add some density to the city core though, yet at a high price for some of us. haha

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Agreed, I would love to see some nice small condos or modestly priced hi-rises. There seem to be way too many of the three level sameness being thrown up for sure. Metal, faux stucco, brick, or clapboard sided, they all seem to be garage bed/bath first level, liv, dine, kitchen second level, followed with two more beds and bath on third and a nice rooftop deck with a view of...? It does add some density to the city core though, yet at a high price for some of us. haha

Really hard to do "small" when you have young kids. Kids who are 1-2 have a difficult time picking up, and they could completely ransack a house of less than 1000 square feet in minutes.

Dont know what small would be for a family of 5 - 2 adults 3 kids, but I would not ever want to do that in less than 2000 square feet and a garage. I am probably spoiled, but kids just have so much stuff....its cheap so they have lots of it.

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My parents raised 7 kids in a 1700 square foot house...and we never felt cramped. If today's kids have too much stuff, it is likely because their parents buy them too much stuff.

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Agreed, I would love to see some nice small condos or modestly priced hi-rises. There seem to be way too many of the three level sameness being thrown up for sure. Metal, faux stucco, brick, or clapboard sided, they all seem to be garage bed/bath first level, liv, dine, kitchen second level, followed with two more beds and bath on third and a nice rooftop deck with a view of...? It does add some density to the city core though, yet at a high price for some of us. haha

I agree but absent deed restrictions there is little prospect of this happening in any desirable area in the city. Even with DRs, the trend is away from smaller homes to lot fillers. Taking West Montorse as an example there's a relative dearth of affordable options for a family in a bungalow looking for more space - any newbuild is typically going to be north of $750,000. Plan B = the suburbs. That's life in the big city, well this one anyway.

Edited by sidegate

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My parents raised 7 kids in a 1700 square foot house...and we never felt cramped. If today's kids have too much stuff, it is likely because their parents buy them too much stuff.

Consume! We must consume, more, now! Lol For sure RedSquare, the " keep up with the Joneses" is a vicious cycle. I have a farm with a small home in Brazil. It is located in a tiny, less than 40 homes, village. All my neighbors have several children living in 4 rooms or less homemade house. With one bath....outside. Those kids have more "stuff" than they know what to do with. There toys just happen to be the outdoors, a broken bicycle tire and a twig to roll it with, lots of carved wooden toys, a rope in a tree, one soccer ball for the entire village, the creek, trees to clime, etc. Granted most want more, but at a young age they learn the difference between their wants vs their needs.

:blink:

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our (2 adults no children) current home is just under 1,500. We have lived more or less comfortably in about 500 feet. Our final home, which we'll build, will most likely be in the 700-1,000 range. We're looking at containers, beach house style with parking underneath, or single shotgun (sidehall style). I'm leaning toward the shotgun. It's a simple design that lends itself to various energy and resource saving techniques, and good ventilation. It also works well with the narrow lots you see here. Can put the house on one side and garage/carport and garden on the other. For the same amount of money, I would rather have fewer square feet of better designed space than wasted or ill-used space. Besides, the bigger the place, the more crap you inevitably fill it up with, and the more time you gotta spend cleaning. I look at my mom's huge kitchen full of extra cabinets with chocolate fountains and fondue sets and 18 sizes of skillets, all I see is more time on my hands and knees cleaning greasy clots of pet hair off 15 unnecessary feet of baseboards. No thanks.

Containers came into vogue when they were cheap building materials. The prices have risen and now they're mostly just suitable as an aesthetic preference (IMO). Old industrial equipment can often be had inexpensively, though. Have you given any consideration toward living in a converted petroleum products storage tank or a similar aparatus?

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our (2 adults no children) current home is just under 1,500. We have lived more or less comfortably in about 500 feet. Our final home, which we'll build, will most likely be in the 700-1,000 range. We're looking at containers, beach house style with parking underneath, or single shotgun (sidehall style). I'm leaning toward the shotgun. It's a simple design that lends itself to various energy and resource saving techniques, and good ventilation. It also works well with the narrow lots you see here. Can put the house on one side and garage/carport and garden on the other. For the same amount of money, I would rather have fewer square feet of better designed space than wasted or ill-used space. Besides, the bigger the place, the more crap you inevitably fill it up with, and the more time you gotta spend cleaning. I look at my mom's huge kitchen full of extra cabinets with chocolate fountains and fondue sets and 18 sizes of skillets, all I see is more time on my hands and knees cleaning greasy clots of pet hair off 15 unnecessary feet of baseboards. No thanks.

Had to laugh at your last sentence, as it is so true. I too would like a shotgun, I've a great design interior and exterior that I want to do with it. Would even like the deck to have equal or more square footage than the home itself. There were so many shotgun homes in Houston, once upon a time, that have been sent to the landfill. Yea, we must buy more because that's what the advertisers tell us to do. 19 skillets ar even beter. Lol

Best of luck, with whatever choice you make.

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Old industrial equipment can often be had inexpensively, though. Have you given any consideration toward living in a converted petroleum products storage tank or a similar aparatus?

I have not thought of this, but Mike wants to live on a barge in a large river. Can you put one of these things on a barge?

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I have not thought of this, but Mike wants to live on a barge in a large river. Can you put one of these things on a barge?

Yeah, pretty much what Red said. You can do anything from standard wood frame construction (like they do in Seattle) to all-out steampunk on a barge. And barges are cheap (but tugs are not).

I'm still an advocate of cylindrical slipform concrete construction topped with geodesic domes, FWIW. And two spheroid PSTs at the base, covered with vines. But that's beyond the scope of this thread.

Edited by TheNiche

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I've been thinking a lot of a motor home, with a large garage. One side of the building would garage the RV, and the other side would have a den, full bath, and perhaps a bedroom and kitchenette. Free storage for the RV when at home, and freedom to do whatever I want. Cost is fairly low, considering that the biggest costs in a modern home are finishing kitchens and baths. The shell could be completed for about $40,000, leaving lots of money for a nice RV.

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I like that idea.

I'm willing to to go smaller and more mobile than he is. My issue with the barge idea is leaving. Tugs are great until you needed to get downriver yesterday.

You never know when it's time to go. This is still why I keep a passport and and $2,000 in small bills close at hand. Not that any of you heard that, because I might just have to to kill you.

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I like that idea.

I'm willing to to go smaller and more mobile than he is. My issue with the barge idea is leaving. Tugs are great until you needed to get downriver yesterday.

You never know when it's time to go. This is still why I keep a passport and and $2,000 in small bills close at hand. Not that any of you heard that, because I might just have to to kill you.

If rapid escape is your concern, then build yourself a hangar in one of those airpark communities, get a light sport pilot's license (which is relatively cheap and doesn't require the medical qualifications), a cheap light sport aircraft for $50k, and build a nondescript warehouse to serve as a live-in hangar. Basically, that's Red's idea plus an aircraft.

You can still have the RV of course (or a trailerable sailboat if you're more concerned about the power being out and the borders being closed off, as I am), but there's nothing like a plane to avoid getting stuck in traffic during a real or imagined CBRN threat or a quarantine order.

The floor area required for a hangar relative to its living enclosure also creates the effect of an 'inner keep'. Mount two servo-operated firearms controlled by webcams in the far corners and a third above the living enclosure along the back wall to create overlapping fields of fire.

I should mention. The other advantage to airparks is that they're often inhabited by people even crazier and even better-armed than you are.

Edited by TheNiche
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Are you guys plotting your escape from the impending zombie apocalypse?

I have a Subaru sti, and can pretty quickly attach a big metal cow pusher on the front, I can put lots of gasoline in the back and I'm good for a speedy getaway

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Are you guys plotting your escape from the impending zombie apocalypse?

I have a Subaru sti, and can pretty quickly attach a big metal cow pusher on the front, I can put lots of gasoline in the back and I'm good for a speedy getaway

The 5,867 grenades, 95 AK-47s along with our Leopard 2A6's, outfitted with new smoke dispensers we keep out back, should ward off any problems for the short time needed to aid in our escape. No need for any spare cash, we'll just commandeer what we need! :ph34r:

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Yea, we must buy more because that's what the advertisers tell us to do. 19 skillets are even better. Lol

The 5,867 grenades, 95 AK-47s along with our Leopard 2A6's....,

Such a consumer of arms.... It seems a 700 SF home could be defended with a fraction of that arsenal.

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Such a consumer of arms.... It seems a 700 SF home could be defended with a fraction of that arsenal.

Good one. Ah, but you see my good friend it is not our 380 plus square foot apt I care to defend. It would be my partner and my collective butts. As he is ex-military we felt "owed" a few mementos for time served.

post-10151-0-09044800-1315176144_thumb.j

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Good one. Ah, but you see my good friend it is not our 380 plus square foot apt I care to defend. It would be my partner and my collective butts. As he is ex-military we felt "owed" a few mementos for time served.

Looks like a smaller version of my garage.

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Looks like a smaller version of my garage.

Yea, we were debating on an enlargement for future "freebies"

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Are you guys plotting your escape from the impending zombie apocalypse?

I have a Subaru sti, and can pretty quickly attach a big metal cow pusher on the front, I can put lots of gasoline in the back and I'm good for a speedy getaway

Ha, I imagine it sounds like that, huh. Except that no one ever really wins against the zombies. The best you get is a couple of weeks and a false hope of future. But your AWD Sub will come in handy, so you're in!

Assuming we don't have to prepare ourselves for some sort post-apocalyptic or class/resource-war induced dystopian future state, there is something to be said for alternative community 'planning'. Particularly for those of us who don't have children to leech off of in old age. As we age with nonexistent or greatly diminished paid-in benefits or other economic support structure, and lacking the hundreds of thousands in cash to self-finance 20-30 years of non-wage earning life and medical costs, the likelihood that we will need to look to each other for communal support grows. I think the 21st century version of communal living in the first world is going to really take off, and will have lots of freaky but interesting variations.

One great thing about Texas, there's a lot of land yet to claim.

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Ha, I imagine it sounds like that, huh. Except that no one ever really wins against the zombies. The best you get is a couple of weeks and a false hope of future. But your AWD Sub will come in handy, so you're in!

Assuming we don't have to prepare ourselves for some sort post-apocalyptic or class/resource-war induced dystopian future state, there is something to be said for alternative community 'planning'. Particularly for those of us who don't have children to leech off of in old age. As we age with nonexistent or greatly diminished paid-in benefits or other economic support structure, and lacking the hundreds of thousands in cash to self-finance 20-30 years of non-wage earning life and medical costs, the likelihood that we will need to look to each other for communal support grows. I think the 21st century version of communal living in the first world is going to really take off, and will have lots of freaky but interesting variations.

One great thing about Texas, there's a lot of land yet to claim.

So, you're proposing 20 to 30 years of highly inefficient communal labor as a geezer taking care of other geezers...as a substitute for 20 to 30 years of putting off retirement, specializing in a higher-paying occupation within which you're already adept and that doesn't require physical exertion. By doing so, you will be able to afford better treatment by immigrant youths. (They are another great thing about Texas.)

Don't get me wrong. I can understand a concern about becoming unemployable and having no financial safety net. But if the solution requires that all those unemployable people somehow band together for mutual protection and service...yeah, well let's see how well that alzheimer's patient handles sentry duty.

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So, you're proposing 20 to 30 years of highly inefficient communal labor as a geezer taking care of other geezers...as a substitute for 20 to 30 years of putting off retirement, specializing in a higher-paying occupation within which you're already adept and that doesn't require physical exertion. By doing so, you will be able to afford better treatment by immigrant youths. (They are another great thing about Texas.)

Don't get me wrong. I can understand a concern about becoming unemployable and having no financial safety net. But if the solution requires that all those unemployable people somehow band together for mutual protection and service...yeah, well let's see how well that alzheimer's patient handles sentry duty.

Sometimes your attempts to have the last word with a condescending comment lead you to make some remarkably ignorant statements. Crunch correctly pointed out that more people will be growing old alone in the future, leading to some interesting living arrangements, as depleted or non-existent retirement plans lead people to find less expensive arrangements than the senior communities. This could range from unmarried people living together in single family homes, to senior trailor parks, such as those seen in Florida already. It could also see people cashing equity out of their current homes to build small cottages with a central common area.

The savings achieved can be dramatic. A smaller home on a smaller lot costs less. But, other savings could be realized by sharing transportation, meals, and gardening. And, yes, the healthier residents can check up on the infirm, saving money on nursing care. And, of course, all the old folks can entertain each other in that way that old folks do, playing cards or bocci ball, saving on entertainment costs. These arrangements are not new. Prior to Wall Street convincing the middle class that they could retire as wealthy people, old folks did this all the time.

Just because you are apparently too young to realize that these are real issues to those approaching retirement, doesn't mean you should expose your ignorance by chastising others who bring it up.

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Sometimes your attempts to have the last word with a condescending comment lead you to make some remarkably ignorant statements. Crunch correctly pointed out that more people will be growing old alone in the future, leading to some interesting living arrangements, as depleted or non-existent retirement plans lead people to find less expensive arrangements than the senior communities. This could range from unmarried people living together in single family homes, to senior trailor parks, such as those seen in Florida already. It could also see people cashing equity out of their current homes to build small cottages with a central common area.

The savings achieved can be dramatic. A smaller home on a smaller lot costs less. But, other savings could be realized by sharing transportation, meals, and gardening. And, yes, the healthier residents can check up on the infirm, saving money on nursing care. And, of course, all the old folks can entertain each other in that way that old folks do, playing cards or bocci ball, saving on entertainment costs. These arrangements are not new. Prior to Wall Street convincing the middle class that they could retire as wealthy people, old folks did this all the time.

Just because you are apparently too young to realize that these are real issues to those approaching retirement, doesn't mean you should expose your ignorance by chastising others who bring it up.

I agree completely. As I'm looking upon my (semi-)retirement in the next 20 yrs or so, my nest egg may not allow me to live out a life of travel, but will allow for a lifestyle that will allow me to keep my own pace. With the help of my and my SO's kids, we will be looked after quite well.

To be honest, I'm looking forward to strolls through museums, tending to my (by then) grandchildren, and people watching and gossiping with other elderly in the park.

I'll be content as long as I'm not eating Alpo or meow mix for meals,

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Sometimes your attempts to have the last word with a condescending comment lead you to make some remarkably ignorant statements. Crunch correctly pointed out that more people will be growing old alone in the future, leading to some interesting living arrangements, as depleted or non-existent retirement plans lead people to find less expensive arrangements than the senior communities. This could range from unmarried people living together in single family homes, to senior trailor parks, such as those seen in Florida already. It could also see people cashing equity out of their current homes to build small cottages with a central common area.

The savings achieved can be dramatic. A smaller home on a smaller lot costs less. But, other savings could be realized by sharing transportation, meals, and gardening. And, yes, the healthier residents can check up on the infirm, saving money on nursing care. And, of course, all the old folks can entertain each other in that way that old folks do, playing cards or bocci ball, saving on entertainment costs. These arrangements are not new. Prior to Wall Street convincing the middle class that they could retire as wealthy people, old folks did this all the time.

Just because you are apparently too young to realize that these are real issues to those approaching retirement, doesn't mean you should expose your ignorance by chastising others who bring it up.

Please excuse me. In the context of a $2,000-in-small-bills bug-out bag, an escape plan, armaments, and west Texas...I was distracted from a bit of sane tangentiality.

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Please excuse me. In the context of a $2,000-in-small-bills bug-out bag, an escape plan, armaments, and west Texas...I was distracted from a bit of sane tangentiality.

I agree that some of the posts had bordered on the militia section of freerepublic, but crunch's post that you commented on appeared to actually be an attempt at bringing the topic back to just this side of teapartiness. And, let's face it. If the tea party faction of Congress gets therie wish, SSI and Medicare will expire literally 1-2 years before I am eligible to get them. I'll be looking at lowcost living in a big way.

It CAN be done, by the way, and without moving to a South American country. The problem in the US is that people tend to want to live in the style that they see on TV. While checking out living in Belize one day, they spoke of no AC, no cable, and other "necessities" that we've come to expect here in the US. Well, hell, if I'm giving up AC, cell phones, and cable, I could live on something on the order of $500 or $600 a month! Half of that is food. So, if a small group of like minded people got together and built sevral cottages, with a community kitchen and rec room, imagine how little money one could live on. If it were on a bus route, it would be even cheaper. The only issue is, like all co-ops, you have to choose the co-owners wisely.

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I knew it would be a chore to ask a question and pose a simplistic poll on an Architectural forum about what I thought was a related topic, but wow!

Any who. Just another FYI for any one interested in something related to the topic.

http://tiny-themovie.com/.

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I agree that some of the posts had bordered on the militia section of freerepublic, but crunch's post that you commented on appeared to actually be an attempt at bringing the topic back to just this side of teapartiness. And, let's face it. If the tea party faction of Congress gets therie wish, SSI and Medicare will expire literally 1-2 years before I am eligible to get them. I'll be looking at lowcost living in a big way.

It CAN be done, by the way, and without moving to a South American country. The problem in the US is that people tend to want to live in the style that they see on TV. While checking out living in Belize one day, they spoke of no AC, no cable, and other "necessities" that we've come to expect here in the US. Well, hell, if I'm giving up AC, cell phones, and cable, I could live on something on the order of $500 or $600 a month! Half of that is food. So, if a small group of like minded people got together and built sevral cottages, with a community kitchen and rec room, imagine how little money one could live on. If it were on a bus route, it would be even cheaper. The only issue is, like all co-ops, you have to choose the co-owners wisely.

http://tinyhousevillage.com

http://www.twelve3.ca/about_us.html

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I agree that some of the posts had bordered on the militia section of freerepublic, but crunch's post that you commented on appeared to actually be an attempt at bringing the topic back to just this side of teapartiness. And, let's face it. If the tea party faction of Congress gets therie wish, SSI and Medicare will expire literally 1-2 years before I am eligible to get them. I'll be looking at lowcost living in a big way.

It CAN be done, by the way, and without moving to a South American country. The problem in the US is that people tend to want to live in the style that they see on TV. While checking out living in Belize one day, they spoke of no AC, no cable, and other "necessities" that we've come to expect here in the US. Well, hell, if I'm giving up AC, cell phones, and cable, I could live on something on the order of $500 or $600 a month! Half of that is food. So, if a small group of like minded people got together and built sevral cottages, with a community kitchen and rec room, imagine how little money one could live on. If it were on a bus route, it would be even cheaper. The only issue is, like all co-ops, you have to choose the co-owners wisely.

The chief problem with living in the U.S. on such a budget is that most middle-class people don't want to be viscerally reminded that they're living like [insert racial epithet here]. Forgive me, but that's what you've described.

Poverty in the wrong context ain't cool. And this generation of geezers wants to be cool.

The most sane thing I would recommend to aspirational geezers in Texas is to own a home which is your residence homestead. You can go bankrupt from medical-related debt, and nobody can take it away. And where property taxes are concerned, you are eligible for special treatment inclusive of tax deferral. It can also be reverse-mortgaged, which is great if you don't plan on leaving an inheritance to children or to the state. And seriously, none of that is going away.

Edited by TheNiche

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" I could live on something on the order of $500 or $600 a month! Half of that is food"

There are some, outside the governments 'standard', who might consider this as poverty. These 'cool' people are the ones we must encourage to continue their 'cool' lifestyle. The more they consume, the more we [inserting racial epithets here] Trailer trash, Gweilos or 鬼佬, Métis, Honkies, Seppos, Crackers, Squareheads, Halfies, Rednecks, Pommies, Gringos, Peckerwoods, are able to live quite comfortably on their consumed 'discards'. Is air con, cable tv, nutritious food, adequate warm housing, clothing, and an xbox really poverty?

http://www.webpages.ttu.edu/chom/Hom.SRE.pdf

"I'll be looking at lowcost living in a big way."

For those unable to view outside of their own eyes, middle class Americans are already doomed to live in their lives of self- imposed 'poverty'. Adventure is suitable for all people.

“It is easier to stay out than get out.” – Mark Twain

http://www.everydayminimalist.com/

http://www.postconsumers.com/education/

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A perfect design for an in-law cottage.

http://www.good.is/post/when-luxury-and-trashy-collide-inside-one-man-s-dumpster-house

A Berkeley, California man has erected a one-person house in a dumpster, of all places. While the art of dumpster swimming pools and dumpster diving are already ways of life for the thrifty or adventuresome, Gregory Kloehn is elevating the dumpster-centric movement to new levels with his dumpster house, complete with amenities that rival some luxury condos

Edit: I wonder if Houston would still require it to be fully fenced off.

Edited by Porchman

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to be clear, I'm still very much a fan of cash, guns and a passport. But I have far less faith that 20-30 years from now the insurance and banking sectors (tax deferral, reverse mortgages, etc) are providing extra scratch to people without incomes or property assets. Here's an ugly fact: I have the same amount of inflation-adjusted retirement savings now that I did in 2000. That's the effect of being a youngish person aggressively invested throughout two very significant market downturns. It takes a long damn time to recover a 50-70% loss, twice, on a middle class salary in 10 years of mostly secular bear market. At 46, I don't have a lot of faith I will magically quadruple my money in the next 20. I also assume that in 25 years there is no social security check coming to me. It goes without saying I don't have a pension. It's only prudent to think ahead.

But back to my housing ideas: It's safe to say I will have plenty of young and healthy people around. Half the kids today seem to be raised by their grandparents anyway; I don't see that trend reversing. Plenty of little vagabonds will be available. The only problem I see is that I'll be old, and Niche will be going on 40 and will have lost his youthful appeal. Hopefully he'll have a kid or two by then to work the water pumps and carry the compost. Choose your mates wisely, cuz I would prefer visually appealing and articulate help. One lesser hookup and you're risking it!

;)

Edited by crunchtastic

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]I have the same amount of inflation-adjusted retirement savings now that I did in 2000. That's the effect of being a youngish person aggressively invested throughout two very significant market downturns. It takes a long damn time to recover a 50-70% loss, twice, on a middle class salary in 10 years of mostly secular bear market. At 46, I don't have a lot of faith I will magically quadruple my money in the next 20.

Yes. This is me exactly. It was great until CREF drank the Enron Kool-Aid and hasn't been any good since 2001.

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