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Non-Traditional Homes: Are They Right for You?

Small HouseThe house as we know it, is a luxury, an excess, and not at all essential for sustaining life. This is easy to forget, and hard to believe if you have never thought about it deeply. Just look outside – no, further, further… Now, what do you see? Animals.

Not a one of them lives in a house. They live in nests, in caves, in holes in the ground. That is not to say that you should go and do likewise. It is only to say that there are many configurations of home sweet home. And none of them have to be a 3,000 sq ft McMansion.

Such houses are expensive, hard to maintain, and energy inefficient. But they are plentiful, relatively easy to get financed, and convey a sense of stability. There are pros and cons to living in a traditional house, as there are with the following:

Log Cabins

The words log homes Montana have a natural sounding ring to them. When you think Montana, you think big sky, open fields, and rugged people working with their hands. One gets the impression that everyone in Montana knows how to build their own log cabin by the time they are six.

Log cabins are beautiful. If nature built a home, it would be a log cabin. They are energy efficient, and built from a renewable resource. A kit can be much less expensive than a traditional stick and brick home. You can do the math at about $30 a sq ft for a 1,500 sq ft home.

As much as you like living in logs, critters like it more. There are not that many contractors who are really qualified to build them, though they will certainly give it a go. And, not to be an alarmist, but aren’t logs those things people use to keep fires going? Log cabins are not for everyone. But if everyone had to pick a home outside of the traditional square box, log cabins would be in a lot more demand.

Tiny Homes

What you have to understand about tiny homes is that is what they are officially called by the people who promote them. They’re not joking. These tiny homes are 300 to 500 sq ft. Some people have rooms bigger than that.

Then again, that is part of their charm. Tiny homes are small houses with no wasted space. They are a little like New York efficiencies, but a whole lot cuter. If you want to live a simpler lifestyle, and have a relative who will let you park a trailer-sized box on their land, and if you don’t mind composting your waste, a tiny home may be perfect for you.

As for the cons, did I mention composting your waste? You may want to let that sink in. Also, did I mention these homes are tiny? You will likely have a tiny set of steps for getting up into the bedroom crawl area. You won’t be doing any standing up there. And every piece of furniture is both small and multifunction. Finally, be sure to play the requiem to privacy. You won’t be getting any more of that anytime soon.

That said, there are a lot of big ideas packed into tiny homes. They may not suit you for your whole life. But they may be perfect for a time and a season.

Manufactured Homes

They’re beautiful. They’re inexpensive. And if you get the high end models, they are really quite durable. For many people, a manufactured home would be preferable to a traditional home. Unfortunately, they are heavily regulated, and cannot go just anywhere in the city.

Zoning has to allow for them. And good places to plant one are hard to find, especially in convenient locations. Because they are so inexpensive, they tend to drag down the property value of other homes in the neighborhood. Do you really want to live in a trailer park, in a home you may never be able to resale for profit?

Log cabins, tiny homes, and manufactured homes all have their charms, as do traditional homes. Neither is the best. It is only a matter of what is best for you.

About the author: Katherine Smith (Kat) is a San Diego based freelance writer who enjoys writing on a wide variety of fitness and entertainment topics. In her free time Kat enjoys the beach and playing volleyball with family and friends.

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