The Joys of Small Houses

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 16, 2007

Let us pause in our worship of square footage and his ‘n’ her master bathrooms to count the joys of the small house.

1. There are fewer places for things to get lost.
2. You can vacuum more quickly.
3. The heating bill is lower.
4. No room for furniture you can’t afford anyway.
5. Families spend more time together (because they have no choice).

small house-2.jpg

The Small House Society

... is dedicated to talking up the benefits of living small. Needless to say, the message hasn't exactly caught on like wildfire.

Here is the society's overview on its web page:

The Small House Society is a voice for the Small House Movement. That movement includes movie stars who have proudly downsized into 3000 square feet, families of five happy in an arts and crafts bungalow, multifamily housing in a variety of forms, and more extreme examples, such as people on houseboats and in trailers with just a few hundred square feet around them. Size is relative, and mainly we promote discussion about the ecological, economic and psychological toll that excessive housing takes on our lives, and what some of us are doing to live better. It's not a movement about people claiming to be "tinier than thou" but rather people making their own choices toward simpler and smaller living however they feel best fits their life.

I would guess that most people living in small houses are doing so out of necessity, not choice. But the environmental benefits of living small are just as great if they're forced upon you as if you took a vow of poverty.

If the Small House Society succeeds, people who can't afford to move into a bigger house might start feeling proud of the good they're doing the planet. And wealthy people who are thinking of trading up to a rapacious 12-room chateau with power skylight blinds might just reconsider.

Hmmm. No wonder the National Association of Home Builders reported today that its index of builder sentiment fell this month to its lowest level since December.

Reader Comments

ema

February 16, 2008 7:30 AM

I think that is, really simple house nice clean n' absolutly perfect house for a simple liveing

Indrani Mukherjee

March 29, 2008 3:25 PM

I support this Small House Movement in a big way. I wish to start this Small House Movement in India. I need support.
Miss.Indrani Mukherjee (Kolkata- India)
E-mail : asia.care.foundation@gmail.com

Rando

March 30, 2008 9:42 AM

Oh, man! Is this site a great find. It'll take a while for mainstream to realize small houses are the way, but for those of us that already know that, sites that this are sweet! Thank you.

Phil

April 18, 2008 4:44 PM

I am interested in building home plans for one 300-600 sq ft. Any ideas/sourses?

Lori

May 8, 2008 8:06 AM

I'd like a small house built (in any state). Will gladly move. Anyone who does this (or can refer me to a builder), please email: Dondorchi2@yahoo.com

sk

June 27, 2008 3:21 PM

Cool! Go Green...Go Small... :)

ray couture

August 25, 2008 8:12 AM

where is the clothes closet?
and the bathroom commode?

Kat

November 14, 2008 11:34 AM

That's all nice and dandy but...what about hurricanes, floods, etc? I live in Miami and that just looks like a death wish :p

Lisa Machac

March 12, 2009 5:51 PM

If you don't want to live in a small house, please respect other people's wishes to do so and move on. There are a lot of wonderful reasons to choose a smaller footprint that is storm proof and includes places to put your clothes and bathroom. Some of these reasons include: living within your means (which as we are seeing in today's economy is the only way to ensure security), knowing the joys of simplicity, and reconsidering wanton consumption of natural resources. It's why I do it anyway.

raul Behar

March 15, 2009 11:44 AM

It is most exciting to find people like you: lovers of comfort and respectful of the earth.
I have been in search of the arquitectonic concept that would fully reconcile both concepts for me. It is in the light of this exploration that I am writting to you today. I consider myself already a member of you society.

b_radd

May 4, 2009 12:37 AM

I want a small house cuz i'm poor and i cant pay my child support. I have 9 kids cuz i fucked to many bitches without a condom.. whats the excuse of these other people?

New World

July 12, 2009 9:20 AM

I'm divorced, have raised my child to responsible adulthood, and now I want to relax in my own home with my own land in a house I can manage on my own. I'm very excited to be exploring small house plans, they look just perfect for me. People like me make up a HUGE niche, if only builders would pay attention.

Timbo

February 14, 2010 6:06 PM

150 scientist with backgrounds in climatolgy,meteorology and geology not to mention other PHDS as well. They all agreeded that weather is cyclical and could not conclude that man was to blame. In contrast however U.N. countries stand to make alot of money of off the U.S. For our "Carbon imprint". I would still love to minimize drop the ego quit keeping up with the Jones and save my money. Peace unto the earth.

Timbo

February 14, 2010 6:06 PM

150 scientist with backgrounds in climatolgy,meteorology and geology not to mention other PHDS as well. They all agreeded that weather is cyclical and could not conclude that man was to blame. In contrast however U.N. countries stand to make alot of money of off the U.S. For our "Carbon imprint". I would still love to minimize drop the ego quit keeping up with the Jones and save my money. Peace unto the earth.

Timbo

February 14, 2010 6:06 PM

150 scientist with backgrounds in climatolgy,meteorology and geology not to mention other PHDS as well. They all agreeded that weather is cyclical and could not conclude that man was to blame. In contrast however U.N. countries stand to make alot of money of off the U.S. For our "Carbon imprint". I would still love to minimize drop the ego quit keeping up with the Jones and save my money. Peace unto the earth.

Timbo

February 14, 2010 6:06 PM

150 scientist with backgrounds in climatolgy,meteorology and geology not to mention other PHDS as well. They all agreeded that weather is cyclical and could not conclude that man was to blame. In contrast however U.N. countries stand to make alot of money of off the U.S. For our "Carbon imprint". I would still love to minimize drop the ego quit keeping up with the Jones and save my money. Peace unto the earth.

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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