Small House is Big Possession

June 28, 2008

There is a small house for sale near where I am (temporarily) living.  Small houses (less then 900 square feet) are interesting to a minimalist because they are easier to maintain, as well as less expensive to buy and provide utilities for.  Also having less storage space available is good because the owner may not be inclined to buy things to fill up the space.  They are appealing for many reasons.  You can find a few “tiny house society” groups and websites online if you’re interested.

Anyway, as appealing as that little bungalow is to me, I’m not sure that I want to own a house at all.  It seems that renting an apartment is more closely aligned with my minimalist philosophy.  If my goal is to own fewer things, then why would I buy a large thing like a house?  Plus I am debt free now, and that status would change with a mortgage.  Some say a home loan is “good debt”, whatever that is.

One scary thought I had last week was about an old ironing board in my storage unit.  I offered it to a charity because I am trying to clear everything out of storage.  The iron board is an old metal one that belonged to my grandmother, so it has some sentimental value to me (like everything does).  But I’d be happy to donate it to clear the space.  Once this idea of maybe buying a house entered my head, I thought – “of course I’ll keep the ironing board, for the house”! As if owning my living space instead of renting it means I’d naturally return to a packrat mode.  That is scary, like a part of my brain is working against me.

2 Responses to “Small House is Big Possession”

  1. […] with learning all I can about buying land, houses, condos, and also new construction.  The little house that got me interested a year ago is also not sold yet.  Learned a lot but it’s not productive to just research for hours […]

  2. simplydeviant Says:

    I read your rent vs. owning blog and now this one and I have to say I agree with you.
    We “own” our house and while we put a big chunk of money down we currently cannot even get what we owe if we were to sell it. When we bought this house we had two younger kids and needed the 3 bedrooms and now with one gone and one going to be leaving in the next year (hopefully) we don’t need all this room.
    The one thing you didn’t put in with the cons with renting vs. owning though is the fact that you have to deal with neighbors that are directly attached and I have lived in apartments with some nasty neighbors either directly below, beside or above me that are loud and obnoxious (but I guess on the flip side you can still have nasty neighbors and be stuck owning a house you can’t sell next to them too although they aren’t attached close enough to keep you up at night with normal loud noise)
    I would still rather rent though. It seems something is always needing to be repaired and neither I nor my husband are handy (although we DO try to fix things ourselves whenever possible) The money you pay towards mortagage for 30 years mostly goes toward taxes and by the time you are done paying it you have paid much more than the house is worth and in our case not even worth what we owe on it.

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