Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Trend: Just a Little Bit of a Place

Small houses are big.  Really big.  Maybe it's the economy.  Maybe it's the cost of heat. Maybe it's just a predictable reaction to years of excess.  But I'm meeting a lot of clients who are looking for a small house.

"Nothing too big," they tell me.  "Just a little place where we can come and enjoy the country."

Our real estate office has all kinds of beautiful home pictures in the windows. But guess which ones generate the most excitement?

"Look at that little off grid cabin for $52,000!"

"Where's that little place in the woods?"

 I've seen a lot of them in the past couple of weeks, from a very rough, rustic place down a dirt road in the mountains to a small cabin nestled among similar neighbors near our artsy enclave of Woodstock, New York.

It reminds me of my parents' summer cabin near Cooperstown when I was a kid. They bought some farm land and then happily scrolled through plan books until they found the simple modified A-frame that was exactly what they wanted. It was a wonderful little two bedroom cabin with a massive A-shaped window that looked down the winding driveway and across to the neighboring hillside.

We'd arrive in the spring, throw open the doors, then vacuum up all the dead flies that had accumulated over the winter.  My mother was an exceptionally thorough housecleaner, but even she could get the cabin sparkling clean in a couple of hours. It was an easy place to be.

I love little places like the ones at Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and Tiny House Design.

I think my clients are really smart. The Catskills are best enjoyed outside - all your vacation home needs is a comfortable bed and the few necessities of life. Walk in, drop your bags and go!

If this is the new economy, it makes sense to me.

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