In 2013 AT&T embarked on an ad campaign called “More Is Better”. The commercials released under this campaign featured actor Beck Bennett talking to a small group of kids about which is better. He would literally ask, “What is better? More or less?” The kids would then respond to how more is better because…well, you get the picture. If you don’t know, here is an example:
Our daughter was in between 4 years old and 5 years old and we were homeschooling her in a part-preschool / part-kindergarten way. She had more toys, more clothes, and more wants. She had a bike. She had dolls. She had clothes for dolls. I was getting more and more interested in multi-media and I had amassed more: more camera gear, a second computer screen, more cables, etc. My wife had also rekindled her love for cooking and we had more spices, more cookware, and more kitchen tools lying around. Our needs were quickly changing. While I never consciously thought about it, I guess we were beginning to undergo a “more is better” transition. Ours was not so divisive though. It was based on a change in life. Our family dynamic is changing. By 2015 we had come off the road full-time and found ourselves trading in the tiny life for the small life. In October 2015 we had purchased a 2-acre plot of land and a house just under 900 square feet.
With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and the rest just an open space, it seemed perfect for what our life had become. See, we were living bigger but still living tiny. Our ideas of consumption had not changed. Our notion of need -vs- want was stronger than ever. But again, our needs as a family had changed. Is this becoming a trend though? Maybe a tiny house v.2.0 sort of thing?
In the last 2 years, I have had 6 sets of friends go from their tiny house to a small house. Their resolve to live a purposeful life had not changed. Only their needs and their space requirements had. Here is what interesting though. None of them built houses or opted for anything larger than 900 square feet. In fact, my own house may be the largest of them all. Each of the 6 families (ranging from a couple to a family of 4) had purchased pre-existing homes that were older, needed some TLC, and had a lot of potential for creativity and customization. Want to know the truly interesting fact? While all 6 families are in different parts of the United States, no purchase required more than a 15-year loan because none of the houses exceeded $110,000. Considering the median sales price of an existing home in January 2017 was $227,300, each family had beat the odds and claimed a future for themselves that was manageable and approachable. Like tiny houses and tiny houses on wheels the homes were still easier to maintain, took less time to clean, had less debt risk, had less environmental impact, didn’t create a huge temptation to accumulate “stuff”, required less decorating and furnishing, and allowed for a wider resell market.
So is this the new phase of the tiny house movement? Are tiny houses acting more as transition homes? Are they a means to an end, so to speak? Or are they going to take the place of tiny houses in so much as they are 100% legal, are more available, are easier to find financing for, and yet still allow for so many of the wonderful freedoms tiny house provide? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or visit our Facebook page to continue the conversation!