The post that grabbed my attention most this past week was this story of this nearly complete Tumbleweed Lusby being offered for sale. The seller is asking $38,000 for the tiny house but is throwing in a free piece of land in northern California. The house is on the east coast.
Elaine’s story is one we hear a lot these days… someone who is ready to move on but stuck in a big house they can’t sell. I’m certain the real estate will eventually turn around but it’s still sad to hear that someone has to put their plans on hold until the economy heals itself.
The other part of this story that captured my attention was the offer of free land. The lot is located in a housing development called California Pines. You might remember the infomercials with Eric Estrada describing pristine land for sale and ‘free trips’ for prospective buyers.
But as you begin to peel back the layers of the California Pines onion you can see that there really might be a few good deals up there especially if you want to get away from it all. There are still a few lots on the market and Modoc County seems to be welcoming to owner-builders.
The lot in this offer is apparently buildable, but still needs water and ceptic. Camping is allowed on the property but not year round. So theoretically one could camp in this Lusby tiny house for a good part of the year without breaking any rules. The local codes require that houses be a minimum of 500 square feet so you could eventually build a small house while living in your tiny house and then use the tiny house as a guest room or office.
The only trouble I can see with the place is it’s remote location. California is a big diverse place and this is about as far as you could get from civilization and still call it California. On the upside it’s private and quiet, but don’t expect to find too many jobs in this neck to the woods.
If I wasn’t stuck in my own big house, like Elaine, and had a little more financial flexibility I’d be taking a much more serious look at this tiny house offer myself. But I would definitely do my homework on the transportation costs of moving the the tiny house to California, the buildability of the lot, the status of California Pines and it’s homeowners association, and with Modoc County to determine if there were any red flags for future construction. When the deal looks too good it always pays to do your best due diligence.
I have an appreciation for an eclectic set of design styles but there is something really attractive to me about these modern prefabs. As a do-it-yourselfer-to-a-fault I’ll probably never build a modern prefab myself, opting to build from scratch, but I really find a lot of inspiration from them. Recently Shedworking covered a story on some tiny modern prefabs which included this one by Habode.
This is a great short story about a tiny vintage tourist cabin renovation at Tiny House Blog. It’s always exciting for me to run across examples of older tiny houses because living simply is not a new idea.
In fact I’d suggest that living in smaller homes has been the norm throughout human history. The new normal, these big expensive homes, are what is so new and quite possibly one of the reason’s we have trouble finding time for anything beyond working to pay for them. But I digress…
You don’t see too many really tiny straw bale houses but there’s no reason why you couldn’t build one. It would probably be the most insulated and thick walled tiny house around too. Stephanie at Coming Unmoored wrote up an article this week on the folks at Building with Awareness who specialize in straw bale construction techniques and education.
The State of Michigan is helping people buy and renovate abandoned homes. As you might already know Detroit is one of the hardest hit cities in this economic tsunami. To help breathe life back into the local economy the government is providing many incentives to buyers who want to move in, fix up, and live in these hard hit communities. Read more about these $100 Homes.
Finding clever ways of using the space we already occupy more efficiently is always a challenge. The first hurdle is identify the need which is quickly followed by thinking outside the box and coming up with a good solution. Sometimes it helps to see what other people are doing to meet their growing needs in small spaces.
This really caught my eye; it’s a pull-out multi-function kitchen cabinet.It was designed by Melanie Olle and Ilja Oelschlägel and is called Oma’s Rache, or Grandma’s revenge in english. It’s a reinterpretation of grandma’s good old multi-purpose kitchen cabinet. It measures a little over 8-feet tall, 2-feet deep, and 6.5-feet wide.
There is a lot of great tiny house video content out there but it’s not really easy to find it all. YouTube does a pretty good job of surfacing relevant videos but it’s not perfect.
At first I was just going to put a page in Tiny House Design but quickly realized that there were so many videos that the navigation would become too unwieldy. So I decided to setup a separate website just for a collection of tiny house videos.
At the moment there are just a few there but I’ll be adding more regularly. Take a look at what I have so far atTiny House TV
Dee Williams has been living in her tiny Tumbleweed house since 2004. She built it in three months for $10,000. She has teamed up with builder KT Anderson and their are offering a tiny house construction workshop in Portland, Oregon on June 27, 2009. For more information see this post on Tiny House Design.
Last week one of the top stories in Tiny House Living was about a tiny house in southwest Texas owned by John Wells. Over the past week I’ve been diving into John’s online content which includes a lot of great how-to information on rain water collection and low-cost cooling. While looking through his growing collection of YouTube videos and photos I spotted this video which really summarized his adventure in a poem. It made me think about how much I focus on the houses and how the people are really much better at telling the story. If simple living is a dream or passion for you this is a must watch video.
When you’re done watching the video dig into all the great stuff he’s putting online.