In this latest issue of The Memphis Flyer, reporter Candace Baxter visited Tennessee Tiny Homes in Eads ,Tennessee to see their work in building tiny homes all across the country and most recently for FYI's Tiny House Nation.
For the past 15 years, this concept of pared-down living has spread across the Western U.S., as more and more people decided to live more simply. Many tiny house models are designed to go completely off-grid, equipped with solar panels, wood-burning stoves, and composting toilets. Unplug and head for the hills. Others have built them as second homes for vacation getaways, boomerang kid quarters, or mother-in-law suites.
But the tiny house movement, as it is called, isn't just about the house. It is about changing the focus of life. Having less and doing more. Lower cost of living allows for more available cash, but less space to store possessions. Tiny homes aren't just for the "crunchy" sector anymore. In the wake of the housing market crash, with student loan debt at all-time highs, more people are choosing not to spend a third of their income on mortgage. They say they have money to get out and do things. Many downsize as a means to pursue more fulfilling careers for less pay.
I think what was so attractive about the tiny house movement to me was the ideal of having more time and money to spend time exploring and less time cleaning a 3,000 square foot house.
When I chose this beat for Professor Crawford's class, I wasn't sure I would be able to carry it out the entire semester because it was such a specific movement but thankfully the live events and local coverage has begun to take amp up.
The comments in this article were more positive than I thought they would be... I guess I just expect the same sorts of conservative babble you see on The Commercial Appeal website.
RE: Oak Tree's comment: "Pfft! This is Memphis. If you're looking for adventures in small living, buy an old houseboat, and put it in a local marina. My favorite is Riverside Park Marina, down on McKellar Lake. Ask for Pop or Rita. Man, kids these days."
One of the misconceptions of tiny homes are that they must be 125 sq. feet wood shacks on wheels but people have been a part of the "tiny house movement" for years like those who choose to live in condos, house boats, or RVs.
As long as we continue to conform to living bigger by investing in smaller properties, our economy will continue to grow; especially in the entertainment and tourism industries.
I'm a tiny home swooner looking to maximize my life without drowning in debt. Over the next semester, I'll be writing about those who live tiny and its benefits as part of the University of Memphis' Advanced Social Media class.