Struggling home owners find inspiration in Tiny Houses

Jay Shafer is featured on the cover of the current issue of Parade Magazine, which has about 70 million readers each week and can be found inside many Sunday papers. The article is titled, Help for Struggling Homeowners.

Many of us have already learned the hard lesson that committing to too much house in just too risky. Tiny houses represent an interesting extreme solution that some find to be the ideal solution. But I suspect for most people tiny houses are simply an icon of freedom, a symbol that illustrates the true value of a home. Shouldn’t the true value of a home be measured by the happiness and security it brings instead of its size and cost?

Photo credit to Parade Magazine.

Jay Shafer was onto this fact years before the housing crash and was living in a tiny home of his own design and construction. In fact it was an early version of his Small House Book that inspired me to reflect on my own housing choices and start blogging on Tiny House Design.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from the tiny house movement is that less is more sustainable… and I don’t just mean square feet.

Life can be complicated. The more irons we have in the fire the busier we’ll be tending to our commitments, which also adds more risk and chaos to life. By choosing to move toward a simpler life, each step we take moves us closer to increasing our personal freedom and happiness. This freedom can come in the form of reducing debt, paring down on possessions, cutting back on commitments, and of course… downsizing.

6 thoughts on “Struggling home owners find inspiration in Tiny Houses

  1. marci357 says:

    Now if one could only get the “city fathers” to buy into this thought…. while one can find a cheap enough lot out here, the house one builds on it MUST be at least 1000 sq ft…. or the city will not allow it to be built…. actually, this is EVERY city in our county has this requirement…. Bummer!

    • dzent1 says:

      If things continue to deteriorate economically, I imagine these cities are going to have a l’il RETHINKING to do.

      About every fourth house in my city is empty now.

  2. Scott J says:

    It was a great cover. A family member who knows of my love of tiny houses gave it to me to read.

    Unfortunately the actual article was little more than some captions beneath 4 quarter-page photos of 4 owner built homes, and what the eye immediately jumps to is the >10,000 sq ft lemon yellow pyramid! At least they seemed to get the facts regarding Jay correct.

    I’m afraid it came off to me as a bit like “Look at these kooky houses built by these eccentric people”.

    Still, there’s that old saying that ‘any press is good press’. Something with the circulation of Parade magazine is bound to expose the idea of tiny houses to a lot of new people. I guess that’s a good thing, though I would’ve certainly hoped for a more informative article . . . . . .

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I agree Scott. There was definitely a disconnect between the article itself and the use of tiny house photos and Jay on the cover. I wish they had made the connection a bit better.

      I still have my fingers crossed too that more main stream media channels will do more features on tiny houses and not just use them as eye candy.

      (Did I just say Jay Shafer was eye candy?) haha, I may never live that one down. 🙂

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