I currently live in a 4 bed, 2 bath house in Huntsville, AL. It’s a great house I bought 8 years ago and added a custom extension to with a large covered deck, hot tub, etc. Of course, a lot has happened over the last 8 years and for most of my adult life my aim has been freedom (and more specifically, helping others achieve freedom in their life).
I’ve set my life up in a way that allows me to travel a lot and see the sights, visit family, take courses and classes in other cities, set my own schedule and hours, etc.
However, I was still a slave to the bank.
Each month I still had to make a mortgage payment, and pay my required insurance premium, and real estate taxes, and utilities… even if I was somewhere else across the country skiing in the awesome Colorado powder, at the beautiful beaches on the gulf coast, or catching up with family in California I had still had make all those payments.
On top of that, when I really thought about it, I only used a few rooms in my house (office, bathroom, bedroom and kitchen) but still had to pay for the rest of the house that was essentially just for storage or guests whenever they came to visit…
So fast forward to this week. Here’s a before and after of my master bedroom in my house:
All I have left is my bed and tv which I’m taking with me in my Tiny House. Everything else has gone.
And it feels great!! I highly recommend it!!
I’ll be honest the process of selling and disposing of my stuff at first seemed like it would be hard to do.
After all I’ve had a lot of this stuff for 8 years – some things over 16 years from when I moved out of my parents house!
There’s a lot of attachment to these things but knowing that my tiny house is going to have all the furniture built in and custom created, there’s just no space or need for any of these attachments (couches, side tables, lamps, dining table, armoire, dressers, etc). And that made it much easier to let go of a lot of this stuff because it just wouldn’t fit with the vision I had with my tiny house.
And now that the stuff is gone, I feel so much lighter, free-er, liberated!
Amazing how simply getting rid of stuff and creating space can make you feel so good!
It puts me one step closer to living the ultimate freedom lifestyle in a Tiny House, a house that is super efficient, bright, smart (utilizing all the latest tech) and mobile so I can take my office, my house and my life with me wherever I go (thanks to my internet marketing business). Now when I travel I can still always be at home.
Does it get any better than that?
Oh! Yes, it does. My black lab Claude can also now come with me wherever I go, instead of having to stay behind with a friend for most of my travels which is how’s it been up till now. Very excited.
So stay tuned for further updates. I’ll be sharing pictures of the trailer my tiny house will be built on and the other steps in the process of going Tiny as I continue to pair down stuff from my house and being building my 2 bed, 2 bath tiny house. Talk to you then!
I appreciate you!
– Hans Schoff
(That’s me last week hiking up Horsetail Falls there in the distance near Lake Tahoe, CA)
We like our certainty, to stay within our comfort zones and to live the way we’ve always known how to live. But what if you could have more? What if you could live better? Would it be worth getting out of your comfort zone, changing your ways?
Don’t answer that… yet.
Just suspend your disbelief for a moment and consider the following ideas as ideas for someone else you may know who’s open-minded, adventurous, free-spirited, not willing to settle, tired of not having all they want, or some other way of being along those lines if you’re not… yet.
Let’s first start with some facts and definitions:
The average American house is probably around 2300 square feet.
The average Tiny House is probably between 150 and 400 square feet.
Where I live (in Huntsville, AL) you can get a brand new home for as low as $55/sf on the low-end or as much as $200/sf on the higher end. Alabama is much more inexpensive than most areas of the country, so for comparison sake, these numbers are probably even lower than most people would experience, but I want to make a fair comparison.
So, at $55/sf you’re looking at a 2300 sf home at $126,500 and at $200/sf $460,000 (though houses at that price per sf are usually much larger as well, so probably closer to $700,000 or more).
Now compare that to a Tiny House, which overall would be much cheaper – even fully-loaded with the latest technology, most efficient appliances, windows, insulation, etc and really cool designs and one-of-a-kind features.
A prime example is a Tumbleweed Tiny House company, one of the more popular, bigger and more established Tiny House Builders/Manufacturers, who will build for you a 160sf (24-foot long) Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) from scratch, which you can get with lots of options for 70,000 to $80,000 (that size starts at $66,000).
So if you calculate the cost per square foot of a Tumbleweed Tiny Home , even just using the base model of the 24-foot THOW we discussed above, we get $412.50 per square foot (keep in mind there are many Tiny House builders and manufacturers out there, with prices for a custom-built tiny house ranging from around $30,000 to $70,000 or more, and sizes as small as you can imagine to upwards of usually 400sf, if on wheels).
Quality vs Quantity
So what you end up with is a much higher quality, more functional, custom-designed luxury home for substantially less money than even the cheapest 2300 sf traditional house. You pay much more per square foot for a much higher quality house, making every space you’re paying for count versus spending almost twice as much for the cheapest of the cheap quality traditional homes.
So I’ll leave you with this thought:
How does it feel to be paying so much more each month in housing costs for so much less?
When it comes to square footage and heated and cooled space, more is sometimes less…
What do you think? Did I piss you off? I bet I ruffled some feathers with this post! Share below, I’d love to hear what you think. I appreciate you!
– Hans Schoff
(Above, my view today of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains while blogging here in Denver, CO)
PS> Have you seen our facebook page for the New American Dream Project? We’re using Tiny Houses to help people create Freedom in their lives, in numerous ways. Come visit our page and say hi! And don’t forget to LIKE the page so you can stay in the loop and watch the project progress – it’s exciting!
Honestly, is Freedom the first thought you have when you think of a Tiny House?
For most people it probably is not – but it should be!
In fact, you’re probably thinking right now that going to a Tiny House means you’d have to give up some or all of what you have or want, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m going to share with you several of the many freedoms that open up to you, new freedoms you can enjoy by living in a Tiny House and how Tiny House Living may in reality give you MORE of what you actually want, not less…
Tiny Houses – How Letting Go Creates Freedom
As Americans, we like stuff.
We like buying stuff in order to solve a problem or need (which we may or may not have had prior to watching the infomercial… lol). And there’s nothing inherently wrong with stuff (or liking to buy things…).
However, are all those wonderful things you’ve bought because you had to have them actually solving your problem, making your life better, making you more than you were before?
I’m guilty of it.
I have books, courses, even clothes I’ve bought that I’ve never gone through, opened or worn. It was the simple act of buying that gave us the feel of satisfaction right? For a variety of reasons…
But the fact is – the truth is – a lot of the stuff we own doesn’t really do much for us…
“What have you done for me lately?” 😉
It just sits in our house under the bed, in the closet, on the shelf or some other out of the way place so that someday just in case we might need it, it will be there. Or you may even just hold on to them as trophies. And there are some people who actually cling to stuff or hoard because they are afraid of losing something.
First of all, you are enough just as you are and you don’t need any thing or possession to complete you or make you who you are. Again, there’s nothing wrong with having things, but they don’t determine who you are, no more than your job does, your house, your car or your hobbies.
You are you, and those are simply things you have or things you do. I’m getting a little off tangent here but I think this is a key point that many people overlook. They cling and hold onto stuff out of fear (of loss) or perhaps even to avoid something else in their life that they’re trying to cover up.
But when you “pair down” as they say and start to rid yourself of the clutter, you start freeing yourself, layer by layer. You begin to feel lighter, more raw, more free. It can be a scary feeling if you’ve been buried underneath all your stuff for years and years, but once you experience how great it feels, it can even become addictive and your life begins to shift and transform and you really start to LIVE!
You see, I’ve gone through this transformation initially when I went through my divorce. After carrying around all this stuff year after year, home after home – and all the emotional attachments I had added to it all – it got real heavy, figuratively and literally. And I’ll be honest, after 15 years there were emotions there that got triggered by the parting of some of the stuff.
But I got to the point where I realized none of that stuff mattered.
All my “stuff” is what was keeping me from really LIVING life. I was holding on to everything around me so tight because I thought it meant something about me, I thought it was part of my identity (subconsciously of course, I didn’t realize this until after I started letting it go).
Case in point, a few years ago just trading in my car for another, better vehicle was so hard – or so I had convinced myself. But then we traded in the car that I thought defined me in some way (even though I didn’t want it anymore) for the car that had the features we now wanted, and I pretty much completely forgot about the old car! Crazy, right?
I realized that I was holding onto stuff so tightly because I must have subconsciously believed that I wouldn’t have that thing again, or that I couldn’t have that thing again. Again, totally false! In fact, it opens up the space to have something even greater show up.
In terms of dollars and sense, I literally was paying money out each month to store, condition (heat and cool), pay taxes on, insure, clean and maintain the extra space, money that could have gone towards going out, traveling, throwing an awesome party, going skiing, or whatever else. Again, lots of stuff that sat on shelves, in closets, on bookcases, under beds, etc, etc.
I had spent so much time compiling all my stuff over the years and thinking it meant something about me until I got divorced and realized it was just stuff. Throwing stuff out, giving things away, selling furniture, emptying the house out was such an exhilarating and liberating feeling (and you don’t have to get divorced to do it; in fact, it might even help your marriage if you throw out all that baggage sooner than later!).
I don’t know all the psychology behind it all, but I know how it felt and the transformation its started for me in going Tiny. You start to realize what really is possible, what you really do need, what’s important in your life, and how often times a lot of the stuff we hold onto because of our concern for what other people think… (Do they pay your bills? The truth is, they care a lot less about you and your stuff than you may realize… I learned that too!)
So what does all this have to do with Freedom?
I’ve learned through my personal journey that what really traps us and prevents us from getting what we want in life is ourselves. We get in our own way, but then we want to blame all those around us or conditions or politicians – someone else must be responsible, it’s THEIR fault…
The truth is each of us has the power within us, if we so choose, to create the freedom(s) in our life that we desire, if we are so bold and inspired to do so. With that said, living in a Tiny House can be an awesome vehicle (literally) to help you LIVE that freedom lifestyle.
Without further ado, here are just a handful of the various freedoms that Tiny House Living can provide:
Location Freedom with a Tiny House
This is probably pretty common sense if you have a Tiny House on Wheels (THOW), as you up and move to another location whenever or if ever you should feel like it. The house is on wheels and you just hook up your Tiny House to your truck and off you go, be it for vacation, to visit family and friends, to go skiing for a month (yes!), to the beach for the summer, or to explore a new state or region of the country (or world!). All you need is a place to go (learn more about The New American Dream Project and the Tiny House Communities we are creating here).
Personal Freedom with a Tiny House
Each Tiny House is a unique, custom building. There are so many different options, so many different ways to go that you can be free to really express yourself as much or as little as you like. You’re not worried about making sure its got the right colors or landscaping or furntiure in it so that it will resell well, you’re focused on LIVING. So paint it whatever colors you like, decorate it how you want, add a living roof, drape plants over the side, throw a hot tub down in front, whatever. It’s your house and if its on wheels more than likely you have no building codes or restrictions to prevent you from creating just the perfect house, how you want it. That’s personal freedom!
Financial Freedom with a Tiny House
How would your life look if your expenses dropped $1,000 a month or several thousand dollars a month in some places, depending on where you live? Would that help you rearrange your finances to get you out of debt, build up an investment account, or maybe start up a business from your tiny house? Maybe you could retire now and stop working altogether and live off your retirement or investments now while you’re as healthy and young as you are before you’re at a point where you’re physically unable to enjoy a retirement?
With the technology available today, many people are able to telecommute and work from home using the internet, video chat and other technology that allows them to be productive from home. What better way to work and live than to be able to get paid while you travel around the country? (And if your job doesn’t have that flexibility built in, why not consider starting an internet-based business from home to give you the time freedom as well? Click here to learn more)
As you can see, living in a Tiny House is all about Freedom. But it has to start with the desire to be free. If you’re content living in your home or apartment with all your stuff, your finances are in order, you’re happy with your experience of life and have no desire to really live more, then a Tiny House may not be for you.
But on the other hand if your mind is going and you’re thinking of different possibilities and more of life that you’d like to experience and you’re ready to move forward and create the life you want, then living in a Tiny House may be just what you’re looking for.
If you have yet to get caught up in the Tiny House movement and want to know what all the fuss is about, let me share with you in the following videos what exactly the Tiny House movement and Tiny Home Living is all about.
If you prefer graphics and stats, you can click here to see this cool infographic about the Tiny House movement, but first let me introduce you to what is a Tiny House and share with you a little bit about my story and why the Tiny House movement has really moved me…
Tiny Home Living Defined – What is a Tiny House?
So now that you know what is a Tiny House, let me share with you some of the many advantages of Tiny Home Living and what it can help you do away with, which can reduce your monthly costs significantly freeing up more money for other more important things…
Tiny Home Living – how the Tiny House Movement can help you cut costs & increase your disposable income
But does Tiny Home Living mean that I would have to cut back, settle and live less?
On the contrary! The Tiny House movement is all about creating more freedom in your life, more possibilities, more opportunities, more mobility and a higher quality of life, NOT less! Here’s what I mean…
What is a Tiny House? Mobility, Convenience and Freedom
More on the Tiny House Movement – Is Tiny Home Living for you?
Do you think tiny home living is for you? It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.
So let me share with you my tiny house plan – what I’m going to do to join and become part of this exciting tiny house movement, what it means to me and the impact on my life it will have…
My Tiny House Plan for freedom and a higher quality of life
So now what do you think?
Do you GET IT?
If not, let me know in the comments down below so I can try to fill in any remaining gaps.
Maybe its for you, maybe it’s not. Maybe its for you just not right now. Maybe you know someone who this would be GREAT for (share this with them if you do!).
Either way, whatever way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this cool trend (not a fad – it’s here to stay!).
I appreciate you and look forward to reading your comments down below!
– Hans Schoff
(That’s me in my mobile office, blogging while I travel across the country. Gotta love getting paid to explore 🙂 You can too, just click here to learn more.)
I believe it is, or at least that it should be – the OLD American Dream that is.
This supposed dream that you and I have been sold on as Americans – and even those around the world – that we should strive for, desire and at virtually all cost each HAVE the large fancy multi-bedroom, multi-bathroom spacious home (whether we need it or not)…
My American Dream Experience
A few years ago in my late 20’s I thought I had finally achieved the American Dream – a 4,980 square foot home with 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a 3-car garage, swimming pool, hot tub and hefty HOA fees for access to the community amenities. Wow, must have been nice you’d think right?
Sure, it was nice…
That is until the monthly bills came in.
~$4,000 mortgage payment
~$400 utility payment (3 HVAC units, 2 fireplaces, 2 water heaters, pool & hot tub)
~$3,000 annual real estate payment (In other states, this payment would be 2-3 times as much)
~$200/mo for landscaping
~$300/mo for insurance
~$600/year for HOA fees (whether we used the facilities or not)
(I think you get the picture)
…And these expenses don’t include the random repairs and maintenance of the 3 large HVAC systems, 2 water heaters, pool, spa, etc, or the costs (or time) to keep the house clean. Even with just me, 2 dogs and my wife at the time, we would spend at least one day each weekend just keeping the place clean! Can you relate to any of this?
It was insane.
I was a slave to the bank and a slave to the house. If I wasn’t working on repairing something around the house or coordinating with someone else to do it or service or clean something, I was stressing about paying the bills or worrying about some other aspect of the home. It got old very quick! As nice of a home as it was – and it was very nice – it just wasn’t worth it. Trying to keep up with the Jones’ lost its appeal very quickly, but I was stuck paying for it each month…
For me, I realized that the American Dream I had been sold on had become the American Nightmare!
Does this mean you or I can’t have a nice house? No.
Does this mean you or I can’t live well? No.
Does this mean that you or I are better off renting a home (vs owning one) so that the landlord takes responsibility for the majority of the expenses to maintain a home? I don’t believe so, No. In fact, it is just the opposite of these assumptions. There is a solution that I’m working on that will solve the majority of these issues and create real freedom from the hassles and expense of traditional home ownership while allowing you and I to live even greater, richer, and happier …
Introducing the New American Dream Project – coming soon!
Is the American Dream dead? The New American Dream Project
I’m on a mission to set people free from this lie and to help them live the New American Dream founded on sound/prudent economics (not the overspending, living above your means to impress the neighbors philosophy) and the ability to live free (and specifically, mortgage-free).
It’s an ambitious project I am just beginning but one that I feel will recreate the meaning behind American Dream. A project that will directly impact about 25 Americans, but a model that will be able to recreated around the country and the world that will empower and free Americans just like you and me to live happier, more rewarding, more fulfilling lives and with more disposable, spendable income to boot.
To learn more and stay up to date with the latest on this project and how YOU may be able to participate in it, just enter your information in the form here and I’ll keep you posted with the latest news and information- just click here now.