Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tiny Home Living - More Community Based

One downside to the tiny house movement for me would be the need to find land. Often that seems to = away from daily needs, stuff one can walk or bike to in 20 minutes or less. Part of simple and sustainably living for me is the access to daily needs without needing a car. Getting exercise, talking to my neighbors, meeting new people, walking my dog to the library to pick up a book, biking to the stores, etc. Not to mention access to busses and light rail. Having to pay for gas, registration, maintenance, insurance, repairs... I am trying to avoid that lifestyle. I lived it in Northern CA and never want to again! Got that monkey mostly off my back with my current situation. The car essentially gets started every week to keep the seals in good shape for 10 min and is used maybe 1 day a month. Insurance is an on-call as needed deal, mostly a car on storage status and $35 every 6 months in fees. Often I look at local mobile home parks. There is a stigma it appears about mobile homes but in all reality I think they are both cute and often have well designed floor plans. Most importantly, they could mean access at a decent/affordable price. My dream? Owning a mobile home park in city limits (access to everything one needs within a walk), with a center gathering area that has a rec area and kitchen (potlucks!), a large dedicated gardening/community garden area including bee hives and chickens, laundry facility, bike parking facility, and on a bus line. Affordable homes in a community that is not just for yuppies (I have seen some sustainable developments in town... $350k+ price tag!!) People talk a lot about buying land and putting a tiny home on it. Sounds okay in terms of having land to likely add a large plantation but the downside of having to drive often many miles just to get basic supplies or interact with a community, that is not a reasonable trade off for me. I want people around and humans are supposed to be with other humans. I also like the idea of maintaining our garden with others. Lets keep in mind something else. Often, the Tiny Homes are purchased from a builder at more than 35 grand. Often 100 sq ft. A well taken care of mobile home with 2 bedrooms and plenty of living space can be had in the city limits of Portland for 5-$6000. A land fee of $350 a month and access to daily needs often on foot, no more car fees or at a minimum. Do you find the trade off of placing your tiny home outside city limits worth being far removed from community and human interaction? One argument could be finding land, often with no road access, is inexpensive. The cost of gas and car ownership is off set by the inexpensive living that comes with owning land outright. Could be the case in some scenarios. Granted, much of that land is likely in places that I could not see myself living (middle America, conservative areas, etc).

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