Housing market growth in two small areas!

by Karen Topakian

Some people just like living small. Small living spaces often appeal to people’s sense of economy and resourcefulness.

So how about a tiny house that’s between 100 and 130 square feet?

According to a recent article, “Let’s Get Small” in the July 25 issue of the New Yorker, the tiny house movement is on the rise. Between several hundred and a thousand tiny houses exist in the US.

In the past year, one design company, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, sold a thousand plans.

The Fencl, their most expensive house, costs $23,000 to build yourself and $54,000 to have built.

A cross section of the public desire these tiny houses built on trailer platforms.  From those who can’t afford a mortgage or a bigger house to those who want to live off the grid. Live with less. Regardless of why, they are attracted to living in small quarters with little space for possessions. Neat. Tidy. Compact. Though often a violation of building codes because of their size.

Another residential building sector shows signs of growth. According to a July 21, New York Times article, “Child’s Play, Grown-Up Cash” this one sector reported a 40% increase this year alone.

What sector is this?

Custom-built playhouses for children.

One such playhouse of 170 sq foot includes amenities that would be the envy of many Americans. Matching stainless steel mini-fridge and freezer. 32-inch flat screen TV. Air-conditioning.

The owner of said custom built playhouse, Kristi Schiller* described it as “bling for the backyard.“ For her four year old daughter.

According to the article you can buy them for as little as $4,000 or as much at $50,000.

While reading these articles, back to back in a 24-hour period, I was struck by the desire by one part of our society to live with less. And the other that wants to live with more. Much more.

*(It shouldn’t matter but…Kristi Schiller’s husband, John Schiller is an oil executive drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and she is a former Playboy bunny turned volunteer philanthropist and blogger)