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8 Most Lavish Celebrations in Sports Slideshow

8 Most Lavish Celebrations in Sports Slideshow



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1. $2 Million: Los Angeles Lakers’ 2009 NBA Championship Victory Parade

In the midst of the economic troubles of 2009, the steep price tag attached to their NBA Championship victory parade turned controversial. With unemployment numbers rising and a diminished city budget, the Lakers agreed to pay for half of the cost of the parade. The remaining $1 million necessary to fund the parade came from the City of Los Angeles.

2. $1.2 Million: Dallas Mavericks’ 2011 NBA Championship Victory Parade

There is no doubt that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is ecstatic about his team’s first ever NBA title win — he recently willingly offered to cover the entire cost of the victory parade. And with an estimated price tag of about $1.2 million, it’s a hefty sum for the average person. But for this flamboyant guy who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, the parade is just a mere .072% of his self-worth — like what a $72 dinner tab would be for anyone else — states the International Business Times.

3. $332,000: New Orleans Saints’ 2010 Super Bowl Victory Parade

In honor of their 2010 Super Bowl title win, the New Orleans Saints held a victory parade that cost about $322,000. While Parish officials initially balked at splitting the hefty sum for the festivities with the team (after all, the Saints do play in a $10 million stadium just out of town), they felt contributing $95,000 was a wise use of city money that might otherwise go to spur economic development.

So what was the money used for? Well, $2,100 of it went towards a one-song performance of Halftime (Get Up & Get Crunk), which is usually played after most touchdowns at the Saints’ home games, by the Ying Yang Twins. Yup, that’s one expensive song.

4. $157,000 Bar Tab: Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup Win

While it is expected that every Stanley Cup winner will drink Champagne from the coveted trophy, the Boston Bruins went above and beyond the call of duty in their victory celebration this year. Celebrating the win at the MGM Grand club Shrine at Foxwoods Casino Resort, players recently toasted the win with a rare $100,000, 30-liter (40 bottles) Ace of Spades “Midas” bottle of Champagne from Armand de Brignac, along with massive quantities of Red Bull, 136 Bud Lights, and 57 bottles of water. Add to that a $24,869 service charge and you’ve got yourself a $156,679.74 bar tab (and one nice tip, we hope).

5. $110,000 Bar Tab (for Four): Mavericks’ 2011 NBA Title

When it comes to celebrating victories in sports this year, Armand de Brignac’s Ace of Spades Champagne is the drink of choice. The Bruins drank it to celebrate their Stanley Cup win, and Mavericks owner Cuban recently dropped $90,000 for a 15-liter bottle (20 bottles) of the bubbly at the club Liv in Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel for four of his players… and left the staff a generous $20,000 tip.

6. $100,000 Bar Tab: NFL’s Bryant McKinnie’s All-Star Party

NBA All-Star Weekend no doubt sees a variety of big-spending celebrity athletes, but this year, Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie stood out among his peers. At an All-Star “Kick Off Party” hosted by rapper Rick Ross, McKinnie, who will earn $4.9 million in 2011, ordered more than 15 bottles of Champagne and racked up a bar tab of $100,000 during the night’s festivities.

7. $79,500: Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2009 Super Bowl Victory Parade

While it initially looked as though Pittsburgh would go without a ticker-tape parade if their hometown team won the NFL Championship in 2009, in the end, state grants covered the $79,500 price tag for the team’s victory parade held two days after their 6th win at Super Bowl XLIII. Oh, and that doesn't include what the state doled out ($500,000) to cover the cost of police patrols to control rowdy fans in multiple neighborhoods around the city that Sunday night after the game.

8. $50,000 Décor: Kobe Bryant’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Celebration

When you’re celebrating All-Star Weekend and you’re the first athlete to be invited to leave your handprints and footprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, you better throw one memorable party. And LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant did just that earlier this year during All-Star Weekend when he hosted an Asian-themed soiree at the exclusive Boulevard 3 club that boasted tight security, an exclusive guest list, and a $50,000 bill for the themed décor alone.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


12 Tricked-Out Tiny Houses, And Why They Cost So Much

Earth Day arrived last week, ushering in the usual flood of planet-friendly events--from rain barrel contests to the animated Google doodle featuring the puffer fish and Japanese macaque. Among the most fascinating of the stories, by my count, is the tiny house.

Fueled by backlash from the financial and housing crisis, these homes--typically sized 500 square feet or smaller--are having a moment. Earlier this month the first ever Tiny House Conference in Charlotte sold out, attracting some 170 attendees. Tiny house pioneer Dee Williams, who has spent the last decade in an 84-square-foot home in a friend's backyard, is currently touring the nation to promote her memoir "The Big Tiny." Even students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are getting into the game, building an entire floor of 135-square-foot homes inside an old school parking lot.

These home may be environmentally friendly--they force owners to reduce their possessions and, often, to use less power--but they're not exactly cheap. Tiny houses typically cost between $200 to $400 per square foot. On a square foot basis, that's far pricier than the average American home--and tiny homes don't include land.

Take the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, considered the Cadillac of the tiny house world. Tumbleweed prices its 161-square-foot "Elm" model at $66,000, or about $410-per-square-foot. Canoe Bay makes an even costlier model: its 400-square-foot "Escape" ranges from $79,000 to $124,900 (about $200 to $310 per square foot) depending on features. Even midrange tiny homes cost between $20,000 and $40,000--as in the 204-square-foot bungalow by Wind River Custom Homes for $40,000. One builder, Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, proudly priced his 136-square-foot "Boulder" at $27,350. As Parham declares on his web site, the total cost is well below the final price tag of competing models.

Still, even the relatively inexpensive Boulder amounts to about $200 per square foot--a price point higher than the median home price in 48 states, according to Zillow . Only California, where the median price of a home for sale in March 2014 was $268 per square foot, Hawaii (at $420 per square foot) and Washington, D.C. ($428) suffer from higher per-square-foot home costs, data provided by Zillow shows.

But perhaps a focus on per-square-foot misses the point, when (most of) the tiny houses cost so much less than regular ones. The national median price of a home for sale March 2014 was $169,800, according to Zillow, $290,000 for new homes, according to the Commerce department. Those figures are still well above the total cost of even the most expensive tiny house.

Builders say the high per-square-foot price tag for tiny homes is due to packing a bunch of expensive, shrunk-down features--water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner--in a teeny space. "If we added another 100 square feet our costs would go down," points out Steve Weissman, president of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. "We still have to have a bathroom, a kitchen, and all of the mechanicals."

Anyway, the goal of living in one, advocates claim, is a simpler life. "To be out of debt, living within your means, and enjoying your job," says Kent Griswold, who runs Tiny House Blog. The first blogger to cover the tiny house movement, Griswold now works full-time on his blog, which earns him a six-figure income. The majority of his readers, he notes, are women in their 50s, followed by people of both genders between age 20 and 30.

A diligent tiny home builder, of course, can keep costs down. Williams, the author now promoting her memoir, built her tiny home for $10,000 in 2003. According to Ryan Mitchell of the tinylife.com and the Tiny House Conference, the average cost to do it yourself is $23,000.

Four years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison were living in a four-bedroom dream house, stressed out by the costs and work of maintaining it. Today they live with their two dogs and their 14-year-old daughter on five acres in the hills outside Ashland , Oregon. They built--and furnished--their 207-square-foot tiny house for $33,000. "The only thing it doesn’t cover was the mattreses and the toothbrushes," Gabriella Morrison says.

The Morrisons didn't scrimp on details they cared about, including a full-sized kitchen with full-size appliances, a regular bathroom and sink, stairs to their sleeping loft, and room enough for their home offices, where they both work on their blog, tinyhousebuild.com. (It's worth noting that their 17-year-old son is usually away at boarding school in Colorado, and that each of the kids have a teeny house of their own for when they need privacy. Nonetheless, the Morrisons say most of the time their kids' teenage hangouts take place in the main house rather than the extra tiny houses.)

"Because we’re in a small space, there is no disappearing to the back guest room or the second family room behind closed doors," says Andrew Morrison. "Our level of communication and family relationships are so much closer and deeper than they’ve ever been. I can’t think of anything more important than that."

Williams, of the 84-square-foot house, doesn't live with anyone but seems to find small living equally rewarding. "The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time," Williams told FORBES. "There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace or purchasing a new couch to fill the void in the living room. there is no void in the living room. Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It's the gift of time that’s the best part of the deal."

Zillow and Trulia helped FORBES find some fun tiny houses currently on the market. Check them out in the slideshow at the beginning of this post.


Watch the video: DC Heroines - Stronger What Doesnt Kill You (August 2022).