Build a tiny house on a trailer bed using this plan and these guidelines. Materials will cost less than $10,000. (Save up first.) Find some friends on the Eastside who would let us park the house in their large yard. Get rid of most of our stuff, except for some clothes, books, camping gear, and kitchen essentials. After everything is paid for, pay no rent!! And only like $20/ month in utilities. Feel good, clean less, and spend more time with other people outside.
Yeah, yeah?? I ran the idea past B and he barely batted an eye. (His remained glued to his iPhone.) It's hard to let go of private space. I even pointed out that he only truly uses like 100 square feet in our duplex: the couch, his computer chair, the area in front of the stove, the bathroom, and the bed. I also have no idea how the two cats would fare in a dramatically reduced space. Anyway, I wanted to put that out there, as an alternative to buying a house or renting regular (poorly designed) properties, because just think about how much money you could end up saving. And an exercise in minimalism could really help our engorged appetite for material stuffs.
I was chatting up C today at work about housing. Usually it's just the two of us in a small office suite, and we let loose on whatever is going on in our heads. I am generally not great at opening up to coworkers, especially ones who are older (her kid's in college), but the work is so dull that I can't help myself. C lives in a suburb of Austin and commutes 30-40 minutes to work each day. I was relaying the benefits of small communities and small houses, and I got to see the wheels start turning in her head. She agreed with me that living in a 3000+ square foot house was a waste of energy, and having a car per person in the family was also supremely wasteful. "So much of our political issues are tied to oil, we use so much gas and I'm not sure I want my money to go there." As a consultant, C used to travel extensively for her work, and thus lived in hotels most of the time. The idea of tiny houses resonated with her because she knew that she could live with a few number of possessions and still be happy. It's heartening to see someone so mired in living out the American Dream rethink their priorities and needs. I know there are more people like that who live in Austin... it's just that so much has to change here for it to reach the standards of green, minimal, community-oriented living. I am definitely not willing to wait a lifetime for this to happen. In the back of my head, there is an Austin exit strategy waiting to emerge once conditions get fairer.