PF Weekly grab a brew #37: How small is too small of a house?

Grab A Brew

Tiny House Sale Is Not Surprising

Many of us all have our dream home purchased in our minds before we even set foot on the pavement to search for the home that has it all, or at least what we need. Depending on where you live your dream home might be a distant dream because the price tag on most homes in major cities in Canada are just too high for many to handle.

Even in smaller communities we can see house prices are still higher but jobs are far and few for most who opt to commute just to bring in the money to live comfortably in a decent sized home.

If you are out of school and have lots of OSAP and other debts to pay off it may be a long time before you even get into the real estate market. It’s tough enough trying to pay back any debt that most people carry let alone saving for a down payment on a home that will cost them an arm and a leg these days. Sometimes I wonder how we were able to get into the real estate market so fast living in the Greater Toronto Area but timing was on our side but that’s not always the case for everyone.

Prices of houses seem to be moving up still and although interest rates in Canada are still low I also believe we will see them creep up over time. When I read about the tiny house in Toronto that sold for $165,000 it’s not surprising at all.

I bought my first home at 21 and it was a flat which I later shifted and sold up to buy a small home about 3 times the size of the tiny home. Even though I didn’t have a big house I made the space work for me and when I sold it I made back my cash many times over. I believe there will always be a buyer.

Tiny house design

The tiny home is only 230 sq. feet but I wonder how long it will be before we start to see how many tiny houses contractors can fit on a lot to profit the most money from. If you drive around almost any community you will see that homes built between the 50’s -80’s and into the 90’s have relatively decent sized lots but after that they got smart about it.

I often find that it only takes a few people to start the movement of a new craze and I think the tiny home will become something of a craze for many. I’m sure designers are already working on plans to create beauty in these small spaces and figuring out ways to build a small home so that it is optimal for the home owner yet affordable.

New subdivisions that are being put up faster than we can say build are squished together so companies can squeeze every last penny out of the homeowner and get the most bang for the land they own. We see bigger homes these days on tiny lots and they don’t come with a cheap price tag either.

We don’t have a huge lot on our property and our house was built-in the 90’s right when they started to build the homes closer together in our area. Initially when we bought we didn’t think we’d care but over the past few years we found out we do care. We don’t want to have to shake hands with our neighbour in the morning when they leave for work because that is how close the homes are on our street.

Tiny houses for sale

If home builders can get away with the ability to build bigger homes on smaller lots and make a fortune why not build small homes on tiny lots and still make a fortune like the tiny house in Toronto which has only one bedroom and air conditioning. I’m sure for the person with excellent organizational skills and the creative touch they can make this one bedroom home a space that has everything they need. I’m betting this won’t be the last of the tiny houses for sale as the small house movement is becoming an upwards shift I think we will continue to see.

The home will be used as an investment and I don’t see it ever being vacant for long because of the attractiveness of having the outdoor space and it being a detached home rather than an apartment or bedroom rental in someone else’s home.

The house the size of a “tool shed” is how it’s described was used as a retreat for the previous owner which isn’t shocking given the prices of Toronto homes. I think we will start to see homes getting smaller and subdivisions of little homes being constructed for those people who just want to own a piece of property without the huge price tag. Personally I don’t mind having a small home but I’d like to have some property and garages are essential for any man in my opinion. I’m an easy guy to please though.

Could you live in a 230sq. foot home and would you buy one instead of renting if you lived in a major city like Toronto or Vancouver?

PF weekly reading line-Up

If you missed any of the posts from the week you can check them out right here.

Top Recipe

Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans. Each week I pick one of those recipes to share with the Personal Finance world and this weeks TOP RECIPE goes to……. Bunny’s Warm Oven for this gorgeous Apple Dumpling recipe. 


Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #37: How small is too small of a house?

Join me again next Friday when I do it all over again.


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  1. I would love to have something like this as a weekend cottage in the woods. Just a place i can be for myself and enjoy nature. But i, of course see the potential for renters as well. In theory, a tiny house could be placed in backyard – that would give you a nice extra income if you live in a popular area. The problem i see is with keeping overall costs down. I think tumbleweed houses cost what…30k? That’s a lot because you can charge just so much rent…

  2. I lived in my parents house with 600 sq. foot. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I am living together with my mom,sister and daughter so for us this tiny house is good for us!

  3. Wow, 230 sq. ft. – that’s amazing! By myself, yes, I’d do it maybe, but with 4 kids, you need more space, if only for sanity’s sake. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have a small garden house on our property that’s probably about 150sq. ft. When we moved in, the insurance company called b/c they saw the pics and thought this was a second home on the property. After emailing them about how silly this was, I got to thinking that people really did live in such small quarters during the Depression ( My friend’s dad lived with his family in a chicken coop when he was a kid), and that it’s probably not such an unrealistic idea after all, except for the fact that there’s no bathroom. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That’s kind of like a hotel room. I think it would be doable without kids. I kind of like the idea of no wasted space, and you’d have to be neat and clutter free or it would drive you mad. I do still want to travel the US and maybe Canada in an Airstream, so it doesn’t sound that far fetched if the layout was maximized. Thanks for the mention.

  5. Our current house is roughly 1600 sq ft and with 4 of us it can get a little crowded. Our daughter’s 2 bedroom apartment she shares with our grandson is a little over 700 sq ft. Little Mr can make it a total mess but he is a little boy and will learn to be neater as he gets older. She used to be in a place that was 525 sq ft back before he was born. I could handle either of her places if it was just me. The more people you add the more room is needed. That said I would love to have the land for a garden and such to be as self sufficient as I could be. A small house on a bigger lot I could handle so long as I had a decent basement for a freezer or two, washer and dryer and storage of out of season things.
    I already have that recipe saved to try at some point. I will be checking out the other blogs on the weekend…. Hope you have a good weekend and take it easy some…..

    1. I’ve had that dumpling before my sister in law makes them. I’m pretty sure i have a photo of them somewhere on the computer. You will love them. I like the basements now considering i never had one in my life so i’d miss it if it was gone. Our house is close to 3000 sq ft including the basement and it’s more than enough for the 2 of us. We don’t want to be cleaning all the time.

  6. 230 sqft is pretty small, but depending on the design and location I think it could be wonderful. Some of the well designed tiny homes out there that are actually mobile are so neat and allow their owners to live in lots of different locales and bring their home with them.

  7. I think I could live in a tiny home. 230 square feet might be a bit too small for me though. I would love to live in 600 square feet of well laid out space though. I’m thinking that the micro home trend is only going to continue to grow though. And I think that’s awesome.

  8. I doubt I could ever live in a place that small…even if it was just me. My place is already just enough space for me, but when two people are here it can feel crowded, and I think it’s around maybe 600SQ feet.

  9. I know exactly how much space it would take for me to live comfortably… 1420 square feet. That’s the size of our 2 bedroom lock-off timeshare. There’s room for guests, room for an office and all the amenities I consider essential.

    If I was to win a massive lotto… I’d do just that… live in a timeshare condo 52 weeks of the year! Gardening and cleaning services are provided. Pools, exercise rooms and whatnot are maintained! Pretty sweet if you ask me! What a dreamer I am!! LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. That’s an absurd amount of money for a small place haha. If I were to live in a place that small I’d probably rent instead of buy simply because I don’t see it as being a very attractive investment. Owning a home is great but it should also make financial sense. I bought my first home in my early twenties like you, and one of things I often considered when searching was “can I get something better for the same price.” Some people value homes by what the look like or when they were built, but the majority of the value comes from the land itself. Space is limited in dense cities like Toronto and Vancouver so owning a piece of the city is what entices many to buy at these inflated levels. I think this trend of smaller homes, tighter property space, and shoe box condos is here to stay. Thanks for the share ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Mr. CBB, I am dreaming of a tiny house. I have the coffee table book, Tiny Homes Simple Shelter, and I have looked through it and dreamed on many occasions. I would love it if developers would start the communities which you mention. I do not like yardwork, so a small plot of land with enough room for my tiny home would be just enough. I think it would be preferable to our townhome because our patio view is blocked by a fence. I think being able to see the sights around my home – whatever they are would be lovely. If you hear of any of these developments going up in the States, please let us know. We have searched and they are non-existent at least here in TX – despite a tiny home builder who is just down the road about two hours on Interstate 10. I might just have to try to contact him and see what he has up his sleeve for the future. I could very comfortably live in a tiny home! Thanks for writing about this topic!

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