In times of universal deceit, telling
the truth is a revolutionary act.
         - George Orwell

Napoleon once observed that "history" is a set of lies agreed upon. In an era of ubiquitous fake news and information warfare, this has never been more true. The very concept of objective truth in history is fading out of our world. Pure propaganda and outright lies are passing into our history textbooks as unquestioned truth, condemning future generations to false views about historical reality. But the task of sifting through the lies and propaganda is overwhelming, limited by the ambition and time constraints of most observors. Only those who have dedicated their lives to sorting reality from falsehood are qualified to rewrite "consensus" history as a duty to humanity. The contributors to this site endeavor to do just that.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tiny Homes - The Answer to High Property Values, High Rents, and Unfulfilling Materialistic Lifestyles

      I recently ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in years. As we were catching up on what we've each been up to since we last saw each other, she revealed that she is in the process of building a 'tiny house.'  "Great!", I replied, as I had made the move to more simplified living myself just two years ago, downsizing my possessions by 90% and moving into my motorhome. Her story has inspired me to write about the virtues of downsizing and living a more simple life in a home you can drag around on the road networks of North America.
     For those unfamiliar, 'Tiny Homes' refers to custom-built homes on flat-bed trailers that can be moved by a pick-up truck.  There are certain laws and restrictions as to what is 'legal', but basically the sky is the limit as to design features. Most range around 2.5m wide by 6m long, and tend to be tall enough to include sleeping quarters in an upper bunk, thereby maximizing "ground floor" space.  I am including some photographs below so you get an idea what I'm talking about.

In simple point form, here are the obvious benefits to living in a tiny home:

  • The cost of a home is cheaper. Instead of having to work tens of thousands of hours to pay off a 30-year mortgage, one can build and own a home at minimal cost.  Most people I have spoken to have built their tiny home for under $15,000.
  • The cost of living is cheaper.  Instead of having a $1000/month set of overhead costs (land taxes, electricity, water, property maintenance, etc), one can live for a fraction of that.  If one is lucky enough to find a place to park one's home for free, then the cost of living drops dramatically.
  • Life becomes simpler and more enjoyable.  Why be bogged down with superfluous possessions?  Why not own less, and enjoy them more?  Why not free your time to do the things you'd rather be doing, rather than having to work all the time at jobs you don't enjoy in order to afford a home you are hardly ever at and rarely get to fully enjoy?
  • One's ecological footprint is smaller.  Most tiny homes are heated with a woodstove, and use gravity-fed water systems.  They consume a lot less energy than a typical family home.
  • They are mobile.  This is perhaps the best thing of all.  Who wouldn't love to wake up in a new place each week, month, or year? Who wouldn't love to take their entire home with them wherever they travel? You can be close to work, close to nature, close to friends... whatever you like.  This makes life really interesting.

I looked online for some articles to add, and found this transcript of a Global News segment which aired on April 29, 2016.  Here it is:

Tiny houses growing in popularity, but looking for a place to call home in Canada

                   By Reid Fiest, Global National Alberta Correspondent,

The popularity of tiny houses in Canada is growing bigger than the small spaces. Made for Canada models are being built across the country, but there's one big problem: few municipalities will allow them within community limits. Reid Fiest reports.

John Robinson’s big idea is a very tiny house. It only takes up a bit of space space, but the small home is functionally designed down to every last corner.

“This is my baby,” Robinson, founder of Regina’s Robinson Residential Design, told Global News.

Last year, he was looking for a way to diversify his business in the economic slowdown and started thinking small.

Dragonfly, as its called, is a modern home on wheels and measures only 6 metres long by 2.5 metres wide.

 Are tiny homes the answer to affordable housing?

Few comforts have been left out: there’s a pull-out couch for mom and dad, a loft for the kids, full kitchen, bathroom, heating for Canadian winter and custom storage all over.

“We’re getting interest from people who want to build them, people who want to build a kit and buy their own, or people who want to buy a set of plans and figure out what they want to do,” Robinson said.

Micro-living has peaked the interest of Benjamin Woolhead.

The Regina man knows what it’s like to live where space is at a premium; he already lived in a basement suite, but he’d be willing to downsize even more.

“You don’t need that much space, so it’s really just about kind of learning to live in a different way than we’re used to,” he said.

One hang up you’ll have a hard time getting mail because it will be hard to find an address for one in Canada.

No major cities or towns will allow tiny houses in their zoning rules.

That’s why Wayne Goodsman is proposing a tiny house development near Lumsden, Sask., just outside in Regina.

His property has scenic Saskatchewan views, which he believes tiny house owners would love.

“They’re unique and I believe looking for unique places to put them rather than park them beside someone else in a trailer park,” Goodsman said.

If there’s enough interest, and zoning is approved, Goodsman said he could have 30 fully-serviced lots ready as early as 2017.

It’s no longer a niche market say proponents of the style of living, first conceived in the United States.

Robinson said tiny houses could also be a solution in over-priced real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver, where fully finished homes could be parked in the backyards of existing homes.

“To me, this is one of the most affordable ways to get housing, whether it be for young people, seniors — anything,” Robinson said.

The cost of Robinson’s tiny houses ranges between $50,000 and $75,000, depending if you want to build it yourself.

That smaller mortgage appeals to some, even though space is at a premium.

“There’s not really anything wrong with it,” Woolhead said. “It’s just simply different from what we’re used to.”

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