Real Estate Guy Trashes Tiny Houses

An article written by Trey Richards disparaging tiny houses appeared yesterday in Housingwire. Turns out Trey is a real estate editor and that Housingwire was founded by Richard Bitner, who was in the thick of high-risk loans in 2008. At the top of Housingwire are two headlines for articles on the Mortgage Banking Association.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 6.56.21… (Check out the hip subtitle.)

A bunch of people responded, as did I:

  • “First, tiny homes are photogenic; that’s part of the media hype. Secondly, new houses have been getting bigger and bigger — going in the wrong direction. Too many materials, too much cost (high mortgage payments), too much space to heat/cool.”
  • “What’s important about the tiny home craze is that it’s raised the subject of getting smaller — going in that direction.”
  • “Sure, two people will have to get along really well (and have very little stuff) to live in a 250 sq. ft. home. But what about a 1000 or 1200 sq. ft. home? How about the next logical step — the small home?”
  • “A young person not able to afford the rent ($3500 for studio apartment in San Francisco), a college student not wanting to incur $100K in student loans, a surfer who doesn’t want to work a 70-hour week in order to pay rent, a couple who want to have a home on wheels — these are the tiny homes people.”
  • “Tiny homes are a breath of fresh air in a stagnant and wasteful home construction industry in North America. Naturally this industry and the real estate people hate the idea.”
  • “Sure, Trey doesn’t like it. He’s a real estate guy and a financial reporter.”
    –Lloyd Kahn, editor, Shelter Publications and author of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

9 Responses to Real Estate Guy Trashes Tiny Houses

  1. AND…let us not forget about the crappy materials used and crappy workmanship! Class Action Lawsuits! Yippee!

  2. eric johnson says:

    If he was a smart real estate investor/sales agent, he would embrace the tiny house movement and look into actually growing his own business by marketing and selling them! They are a great alternative to the bs, overpriced housing available in todays market. If I was him, I would be a real estate advocate for the tiny home movement!!

  3. Larry Vickers says:

    The magnificent (often rambling) shelters Lloyd has chronicled over the years are touchstones to creativity and often out of reach to conventionally employed folks who don’t have the time to collect and re-purpose materials and build artful dwellings. But they do stimulate dreamy imaginings, and Tiny houses are often the first manageable step toward personal freedom. So what if a 160s.f. house is not the ultimate home-of-a-lifetime? Owners suggest they succeeded in yanking their own bootstraps up while holding a job and pay-as-you-go part-time housebuild. It represents a step that encourages creativity, and it’s entirely compatible with the independent American rural tradition of a humble starter home which can be expanded bit-by-bit as family needs change. The dog-trot re-emerges in tiny houses growing to small homesteads. Who wouldn’t make a few concessions to earn a lane on that open road to freedom?
    People with no personal vision, like real estate guys whose horizon is seen through a tiny commission. How much can they take on a $30K sale? $600 or so? Of course they would denigrate such a market condition because it forces them to consider changes in their own consumption patterns. Tiny houses will change in a few years. The point is, owning one, or becoming part of a Tiny house community, will change your life, set you free! So don’t believe the agent who tells you the only way forward is over the mountain of debt, because he’s definitely dependent on enslaving as much of the public as possible to drag his ride up that mountain! He has a compromised view of the world.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I worked in real estate sales while in college. I was shocked at how many people make a living out of the transfer of a house from one person to another. The realtors, title companies, mortgage officers, mortgage lenders, advertisers, even cards etc. They cannot make a living with tiny houses. I have seen mortgage brokers take about $6000 on a $100k home if they can get the buyer to mortgage at a higher interest rate than they qualify for (kickback from lender). I am buying 5 acres and hope to start a small house come spring (May in the mountains). No more mortgages for me… what a racket.

  5. scott h. says:

    good ideas can never be squashed! a shift in perception, what could be and is possible, living small (er). quality of life and the just pursuit of contentment. the snoball has begun, the bell cannot be unrung….every other platitude insert here. ha…..blessings, scott

  6. Lynn says:

    What a TWIT.

    also, I note, that for one (him) who claims there really is NO interest in Tiny House, he sure lists a LOT of links to Tiny house sites/articles. Have been having a look see, and see some good stuff. Wonder what he would think to know he has “promoted” Tiny Houses? grin

  7. Elspeth says:

    I read the article. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Whatever happened to allowing people to “live and let live”, or “diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks”? He’s shown himself to be a narrow-minded, specious nitwit.

  8. Cory Hagen says:

    Why, oh why does he have to be from Dallas? Freudian analyses of his subtitle aside, I wonder if he realizes there are hundreds of people in his own backyard (I’ve met them!) who are either planning, building or parking their tiny houses right here in “The big D”. And no, they aren’t hunting cabins.

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