While bigger lips and larger breasts may be at the top of some people’s wish list today, the opposite can be said for homes. If you’re an avid fan of the HGTV network, then you’ve likely seen Tiny House, Big Living or perhaps caught an episode of Tiny House Hunters. Beyond cabins and shipping containers, this was my first exposure to the concept of living small. Really small. My initial assumption that tiny homes are to be reserved for the financially dire or off-the-grid-enthusiasts proved to be very wrong.
What’s the big idea about these tiny homes?
I discovered there was, in fact, something really BIG about this not-so-little idea. Something that appeals to all age groups and all income brackets.
Yuppies are trading in their chic downtown penthouses for tiny abodes; newlyweds are swapping Mikasa for mortgage-free living and single folks are ditching bar hopping in favor of road tripping.
In essence, the tiny home/house concept reduces your square footage while increasing your livelihood. With varied homeowner tastes and preferences, style offerings range from bohemian chic to modern sleek. I witnessed tiny homes with all the personality of a stick built home, just manufactured and minimized.
Episode after episode, (energy efficient) light bulbs were going off. I found myself asking my husband, Ron, how he felt about the idea. As entrepreneurs who work remotely, this could prove to be extremely challenging – for even the tiniest of small-living enthusiasts.
But, the payoff? Forget a down payment. These homeowners are buying their tiny homes with upfront cash and long-term savings. No mortgage. No rent. No water or electric bill (for some). The tradeoff? Small living for big freedom.
This lifestyle does take some decisiveness, decluttering and downsizing. But, how much ‘stuff’ do we really need anyway? Is your stuff weighing you down? Do you even know where you stuff is? It’s these questions that many tiny house owners pondered prior to joining the freedom bandwagon and debt-free movement. And, you can, too.
Tiny homes, big decisions
While I witnessed many homes I could see myself living in, the opposite can also be said. Some were shabby, others too small with no shower or closet space. But, with the tiny home craze so hot right now, many builders are willing to customize these at very cool prices to suit every client’s need and personal preference. Considering downsizing into a tiny home? Check out this episode of Earth911TV!
Initially, I didn’t see a lot of contemporary designs with modern day luxuries. Until, I discovered the Escape Traveler. While it’s designed for RV road warriors, it certainly fits the tiny-house bill at 269 square feet. And, with options like an electric fireplace, big screen TV and dishwasher, it’s no wonder the company refers to it, it’s a vacation wonder on wheels.
The builders, Escape Homes, are known for park models and tiny homes constructed with a kind of American made craftsmanship that you don’t see anymore. While you certainly can find (or build) more affordable tiny homes, I also believe in investing in beauty:
‘If you invest wisely in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.’ ~Frank Lloyd Wright
What I really love about this particular home is that it’s a turn-key energy efficient gem, which can sleep up to six people.
- It offers full size appliances, soaring floor-to-ceiling windows and a washer and dryer.
- The Escape’s emphasis is on eco-conscious construction and energy efficiency that’s designed to withstand very cold temperatures.
- Green features include sustainable wood custom cabinets, large and Low-E windows and closed cell foam insulation that provides a 7.4 R value per inch.
- They even offer a solar powered option. Um. Hello Kermit. Who said (tiny) green living wasn’t easy?
The Escape Traveler home offers mobility that’s easily transported with a standard pick-up truck. What’s great about having a tiny home on wheels is you can move whenever you please, visit the country and even lease land should you choose not to purchase your own. Plus, water and power hook up takes mere minutes, allowing travelers to literally take their vacation getaway on the road on a moment’s notice.
Measuring at just 28 feet long by eight and a half feet wide, it’s hard to image that under around $66,000 initial price tag, you get all of these features:
- Bedrooms: Upper sleeping loft with queen bed, second sleeping loft or attic plus first floor daybed that folds up into couch (can accommodate up to six)
- Kitchen: Full size 30″ LP range, venting 30″ M/W, 30″ refrigerator, optional ice maker stainless upgrade. Extensive oak cabinetry (optional: maple or cherry), stainless sink, Hansgrohe faucet, 48 x 30 kitchen table.
- Bathroom: 60″ vanity, sink with Grohe faucet, 60″ tub/shower, Toto toilet, LED lighting, large mirror, chrome towel bars, unique aluminum pegs.
- Exterior: Cedar lap siding and trim with steel accent and protective panels. Full light 36″ glass entry door. Low-E windows.
- Interior: Dakota Planking, 100% recycled, eco-certified TG. Options: painted drywall, pine or cedar TG.
- Insulation: Closed cell foam using recycled products, 7.4 R value per inch.
- Climate Control: Baseboard heat with thermostat. Optional LG Split system A/C with heat pump.
- Storage: Multiple cabinets of various sizes, oak cabinets std, (optional: maple or cherry), bookshelves, build-ins, aluminum pegs, upper shelving.
- Utility hook-ups: Standard RV hook-ups including 50 amp or 30 amp electric plug, 3/4″ water connection and 3″ quick couple septic connection. Optional water tanks available.
- Plumbing: 3/4″ pex water lines, on demand LP hot water heater.
- Other options: Pella Windows, electric jack, laminate flooring, double bowl vanity, electric fireplace, big screen TV with Blu-ray, washer/dryer, ceiling fan, stone countertops, dishwasher, spa tub, USB outlets, exterior awning, generator, cellular shades.
If this still seems too small for you, you might try the Escape Getaway starting at $57,000 or the Escape Classic on for size. At 14 feet wide and 392 square feet, it can be customized to suit your needs and price point with designer fixtures and finishes. The Escape models are high in craftsmanship, low in carbon footprint. For more wiggle room, check out the Escape Two-Bedroom. All offer easy financing and qualify as RVIA certified RV’s. Seeing is believing
Take a quick tiny home tour now:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think you could join the tiny house social movement? For many, bigger may be better. For others, smaller is just plain smarter!
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Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of The Healthy Home Dream Team® and the 30 day online program, Change Your Home. Change Your Health. She is the author of the children’s book My Body My House and co-author of Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet, Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office. Lisa’s TV appearances include “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “TODAY,” “The Doctors” and “Fox Friends,” “Chelsea Lately on E!” and “The Suzanne Somers Show.”