December 28, 2014

Tiny House Hunters: Yurt McGirt

Hippie non-sense. Shut it down.

Description: The title of the episode is the only official description I could find for this episode. But it's accurate.
Available on Amazon

So this episode of Tiny House Hunters is, I think, much more accurate of "tiny houses" than the family of six episode is. This episode actually features non-traditional housing options, as opposed to just small houses built for people who could only afford that.

Anyway, today's tiny house hunter is Melanie.

Melanie is a sound therapist (not a thing) and energy healer. She lives in LA, of course, and is looking for a tiny house. She has $70,000 cash to spend on the tiny house and the land it'll be on. She wants a unique, low maintenance home with good acoustics for her sound therapy (not a thing). She wants to see yurts, treehouses, homes on wheels, etc.

A pragmatic man wouldn't have this haircut.

Helping her is her friend Grant, who she says is pragmatic. I would have bet dollars to donuts that Grant was gay, but it turns out he's just European.

Grant's wife Jen is Melanie's realtor. She says that Melanie isn't a numbers person (shocking, I know), so she's going to have to keep her on track.

House #1 is a 452 square foot yurt. The basic yurt is $8,000, but the model they are seeing has $30,000 in upgrades.

Not an outhouse.

Before they even enter the yurt, Melanie asks, "Is this an outhouse?" She apparently wants an outhouse. I know a cabin in Corning, NY that has one. 

The yurt is actually pretty nice inside. The bamboo flooring, drywall, door, indoor plumbing, and windows are all upgrades.

Stank face! Melanie is surprised that the windows and doors are upgrades and that the basic yurt only comes with flaps. Does she even know what a yurt is? Have anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?

Melanie doesn't need any indoor plumbing because she wants the kitchen and bathroom to be outside.

Hippie non-sense. Shut it down.

"I view a clawfoot tub under the stars." Just because you saw that photo on Pinterest doesn't mean that that is actually something that exists.

Put some shoes on, Lil Abner!

Melanie likes the yurt because she loves, "the fact that it's round. It creates awesome energy." Hippie non-sense. Shut it down. But she doesn't like that there aren't a lot of closets because she's a hippie maximalist. 

House #2 is an Earthbag home from a company called Cal-Earth. I feel like a company like this only exists in California. 

So basically

an Earthbag home is made of sand and concrete put into a sandbag,

and then the sandbags are placed into circles,

and then held together with barbed wire and covered in "earth" to finish the structure. I guess "earth" means soil or clay or something? I don't really know; I don't live in California. 

All Earthbag homes are put together by the owners, or people the owner hires. I know that I would not be comfortable constructing my own home.

They check out the model home. Like the yurt, the windows and flooring are upgrades that cost additional money. The basic structure, materials, and the class about how to construct the home will cost $16,600, but with the necessary upgrades, Jen thinks the home is going to cost between $30,000 and $40,000.

Off the main center space are the "pods," which house the bathroom

and kitchen. Melanie would still prefer for the kitchen and bathroom to be outside so she can use those pods as storage space for all her stuff. Don't be a slave to your possessions, man.

Melanie doesn't care for the bedroom pod, which she says is claustrophobic and "a little tiny." She would prefer a bed loft, but that would block the natural light in the main area of the home.

House #3 is a tiny house on wheels. The model they're seeing is 180 square feet and costs $45,000. The basic model costs $23,000. Melanie likes that it's on wheels because she can be a "gypsy on the run." This is like the fifth time she's referred to herself as a gypsy in this episode. As far as I know, she is not, in fact, Roma. 

It's, obviously, very small, smaller than the current place she is renting. She likes the pine

and the sleep loft. 

She likes all the counter space, but she thinks this space could be better used as storage space rather than a kitchen.

Melanie thinks the bathroom is a good size considering the total size of the home, but Grant points out that she doesn't even want a bathroom in her home.

Melanie, Grant, and Jen discuss the houses they've seen.

House #1 has the bed loft she wants, but with so many upgrades it could get pricey.

House #2 was unique, but it might be too permanent for her, because apparently she is on the run from the law and might need to take off in the middle of the night.

House #3 had the lofted bed and Melanie loved the wood, but it might be too small for her.

Melanie picks House #1, which is what I would have gone with too.

Melanie bought a used yurt for $6,500. She paid $45,000 for the land at auction and she sounds like a real capitalist while talking about it. Greedhead!

It's decorated exactly as you expected. Real talk: it's not my style (though I don't think it's ugly by any means), but she has her own point of view and it's not cookie-cutter, so good for her. I do think she should get an area rug on that bed loft, though, before she gets a splinter on her ass.

She's still working on getting the outdoor kitchen and bathtub set up.

But she can comfortably pee outside now. Only in California.

Tiny House Hunters: This can only end in murder-suicide

Description: Family of six downsizes from 2500 square foot house to tiny home.
Available on Amazon

So there's a new version of House Hunters called Tiny House Hunters. It's about regular-sized people buying tiny houses, not little people buying regular-sized houses. The day after Christmas/Boxing Day, my sister and I were watching this episode and I paused it after about five minutes and then shouted to my mom, "Oh my God, you have to come watch this. These are the worst parents in the world."

Dan and Cindy, parents of the year.

These are the worst parents in the world, Dan and Cindy. And I don't just think Dan is a terrible parent because he has a goatee and is wearing a wacky button-down. Dan is an animator (also not the main reason I think he is a terrible parent) and Cindy is a speech therapist. They live in Santa Clarita, CA with their four kids: Emilia, 13, Isabel, 9, and twins William and Adeline, 2. 

This mansion is just too big for them.

Dan and Cindy are the worst parents in the world because they have decided to move their entire family - all six of them - from their 2500 square foot house to a 600 square foot house in Corning, NY. And why are they doing this? Well, last summer they went on a weeks-long, 30 state road trip with all four kids. Then, when they got back home, all four kids went to their separate bedrooms. Now, this may seem normal to you because you're a sane person who would need to be alone after spending weeks in a minivan with your family, but for Dan and Cindy, this was cause for concern. "I got back from the trip and the kids went off to their rooms and the space spread us all out and I said to Dan, 'I think we could live in a tiny house'," Cindy says. Dan also explains further, "Em is going to be 14 and we just started to realize she's not going to be in our house very much longer and so we need to strip down to the core of what this family is." Because what you want to do right as your daughter enters her teen years is take away all her privacy. A+ plan. She's gonna murder-suicide the whole family.

The older girls look thrilled.

Now, I have lived in some small houses with my family, but we lived in those places because we had to, not because we wanted to. And we got through it, it was fine, whatever, but it's also a huge pain in the ass to be in confined spaces with one bathroom and no privacy and constantly on top of one another. I understand wanting to get out of the LA rat race and live closer to Cindy's family, but you can do so without moving your four kids into a 600 square foot house. There's a happy medium between 2500 square feet and 600.

Your overly attached tiny house hunter.

BUT ANYWAY, Cindy wants their 600 foot house to be a craftsman bungalow, but Dan wants a log cabin. Cindy want their 600 foot house to be in a Claring neighborhood, but Dan wants to be in a rural area with lots of acreage. They both want a fixer-upper. Their budget is $80,000 and they're going to pay for the house in cash. Cindy says, "This is one of those leaps that other people say, 'You can't do this.'" So you're doing this out of spite, got it.

Their realtor is Ruthie. She is a gem and the best part of this episode.

Good for the Unabomber, maybe not a family of six.

House #1 is a $100,000 420 square foot log cabin that comes with 25 acres of land. It has one bedroom and one "sort of" bathroom, the realtor's words, not mine.

The living room is, as expected, tiny. 

Dan loves the stove, but Cindy is rightly concerned about the stove when they have two-year-olds. This is the house's only source of heat, which I'm sure is super great in the winter. 

The twins can sleep in the dual sink. 

The kitchen is, as expected, tiny. The sink uses rainwater that is collected in a big bucket outside and this house has no public utilities; the electricity is from a generator. 

I really wanted Dan to get Clark Griswald-ed here.

The only bedroom is a sleeping loft. Dan thinks the kids will love the stairs to the bedroom. I think he doesn't know his kids.

I think this is the room Charlie's family from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory slept in.

Dan, Cindy, and the four kids would all have to sleep in this one room. Apparently Dan and Cindy plan on not having sex again.

The "sort of" bathroom is, in fact, an outhouse. Well, the Tennessee Valley Authority didn't extend to New York state. Dan says, "The adventure aspect is kind of appealing to me," but I think that you don't drag your family to a home with an outhouse because you want to go all Walden. 

Walden by ThoreauCartman

I also just realized that they never explained how one showers in this home.

House #2 is a 1 bed, 1 bath 620 square foot house for $44,900. This house is close to Cindy's family.

The house is very dated and kind of tragic-looking. 

You can do laundry as you eat dinner.

The dining room is between the living room and the kitchen and has the house's laundry hook-up. 

The bathroom is, as expected, tiny. Cindy doesn't like that you have to walk sideways past the toilet, but I don't know why you'd expect a particularly big bathroom in a house this size.

A very Brady bedroom

The only bedroom in the house is, as expected, tiny.

The tiny bedroom's closet is, as expected, tiny, but Cindy says, "That's a tiny closet," as if that's not what she expected. "Life would be all about getting rid of some clothes, that's for sure." Did they not plan anything out past, "Let's move into a tiny house with our kids because they're growing up and we don't like that they're becoming more independent and are comfortable spending time by themselves"? Why the hell would you think you could keep all or most of your stuff when you move into a house that's a quarter of the size of your current home?

This would make a great bedroom.

The entrance to the attic is through the bedroom's closet and they think this would make a great bedroom for the older girls. I'm starting to think they hate their kids.

The kitchen has carpet, which is somehow even grosser than a bathroom with carpet. They don't think the kitchen makes good use of the space, which is true.

House #3 is a 1 bed, 1 bath 657 square foot house for $72,900. Cindy loves that is looks like a cottage. I agree that it's a cute house, but it would make a pretty sad-ass cottage.

This is the nicest and the largest house they've seen so far. It even has a nice front door.

The dining room is off the living room, but they don't think it would be big enough for a table of six. I can't believe a 1 bedroom house doesn't have a dining room with a table big enough for six.

This house also has the best kitchen of all three.

But Dan, a person who seriously considered a home with an outhouse, gets oddly picky about the kitchen cabinets and says that he doesn't like that they've been painted a few times and that he thinks they would have to replace them. 

The same color scheme as the 1980's game show based on the board game Scrabble.

The only bedroom is very brightly colored and it makes me want to know more about who lived here before.

They check out the bathroom and, again, it's the nicest of the bunch. Cindy says, "It'll be a lot to get used to six people in one bathroom." Again, was this not something they had already considered?

There's a second floor with an open space that they say could be divided into two spaces for all the kids. Again, it's the nicest of the bunch.

Cindy and Dan discuss the three houses they've seen while eating pizza at Cindy's mom's house. That pizza looks terrible.

House #1 is the log cabin Dan wants, but it's over budget and IT DOES NOT HAVE A BATHROOM, JUST AN OUTHOUSE! How is this possibly up for consideration?

House #2 is way under budget but is terrible.

House #3 is close to their max budget and they're going to have to get new kitchen cabinets, but even so, it's the nicest of all of course they don't pick this one

They pick house #2. 

It's move-in day, but they're not having the whole family move in until after the school year ends, so they facetime them.

You can already see murder in the oldest daughter's eyes.