Friday, July 30, 2010

Florida Tiny Houses

As I get closer to middle age, I find myself taking informal personal inventories occasionally.  When I was a child I always visioned myself living in a certain type of house, in a certain town, and in a particular lifestyle. I've done my best to achieve those goals.  I live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, and have a good job.  But, each year I focus on those material ideals a little less.

Lately, I've been planning and thinking about ways to pursue an affordable retirement lifestyle.  Will I have enough money saved up?  Will I have health insurance coverage? Will my house be paid off, or will I still have a balance on my mortgage?

I'm beginning to realize that planning for an affordable retirement either means finding a way to increase my household income or decrease my household expenses. Preferably I'll find a way to do both at the same time.  I've started a few micro-businesses here and there that manage to bring in micro amounts of money, but those endeavors remain hit or miss and inconsistent at best.

In terms of downsizing household expenses, I'm paying down debt including auto loans and credit cards, pre-paying insurance policies annually, not buying the lates and greatest new automobile, bolstering my savings accounts, and pre-paying the home mortgage, etc.

Like most people in my early 40's, my biggest household debt is the home mortgage.  Luckily though, I made a large down payment on the home when I purchased it.  I don't have the paper equity that I once did, but I still owe less on my mortgage than my house is worth. I am very fortunate, but there is still a lot of work to do.  If worse comes to worse, I feel confident that I can sell my house for what I owe.

I recently ran across, a blog about living in small houses. was recently mentioned on Relax Shax, which is another small house themed website. Here's an interesting You Tube video that appeared on Tiny House Talk.

The houses they photographed in the video are from Matlatcha, FL.  You can still find these types of houses and houseboats for sale in Florida. Granted you might not find waterfront homes like this in Miami, Tampa, or Jacksonville, but if you look a little harder you can fnd them.  Although painted in some pretty extreme colors, they are practical and people live in many of them.  Some of them are retail locations now, but used to be and could easily be re-converted back to house dwellings.

I'm still getting used the idea, but it's definitely an option. It's time to think inside the box for a change.  Get it?

More tiny house pictures from the Naples area.

Want to read more about living in small houses?  You might like Twelve by Twelve by William Powers.

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