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The Better Alternative to Small Houses That Nobody Is Talking About

Small houses are a big trend, and I like them, but I don’t agree with the idea that they save you money. They’re cheaper than buying big homes, but every time I see a story or TV show about them, the prices are a lot higher than I expect. I think there’s a certain base price that every house is going to cost, and you’re paying that amount no matter how big it is. It seems like your bang for buck is lower with a small house. But that’s fine, there are other advantages to small homes.

When people explain the advantages of small homes, one of the main things they say is that having a small house means you aren’t so attached to material possesions, and you will live more freely and simply, etc. They also mention lower maintenance costs, and a more unique atmosphere.

All these points are valid, but you don’t need to buy a hip small home to get all this stuff. Allow me to tell you about a little something called Shitholes.

Shitholes have all the advantages of small homes, but are not necessarily small.

  1. They’re cheap, because they’re ugly, rundown and most people agree they suck.
  2. Maintenance costs are low. I know I’m going to sound like a guy running a real estate seminar, but let me explain rule #1 here: “You don’t need to fix up a shithole!” You can fix up a shithole, but if you do, you’re sort of opting out of the whole deal. That’s on you.
  3. If you love a unique atmosphere, shitholes are for you! I have been in many, many shitholes, and no two are alike. I used to live in a shithole apartment, and someone painted the bedroom a dark forest green, and there were no lights in there. They also stuck a Genitorturers sticker to the fridge – just that sticker, nothing else. I could have painted the bedroom, or installed a light, or tried to get the sticker off, but I lived there for at least a year without doing any of these things, for two reasons: First, I value spaces with character, and atmosphere, but more importantly, say it with me folks: You don’t need to fix up a shithole!

 

Listen, I’m just throwing this out there, because I feel like nobody talks about this. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I would constantly wind up at shithole houses or apartments of friend-of-a-friends, or strangers, and I miss it. I saw a picture online tonight, of a dirty stove in a dirty kitchen, with a single lightbulb hanging from a really crappy wire, and I was like yes, this person is doing it, they’re living the life that small house people only pretend to live. They aren’t freaking out about having the best furniture or the most electronics, or wasting all their time cleaning.

Okay that’s all, I have no big conclusion or anything, I literally just saw a photo online that made me think how uncommon it is to see a crappy looking shithole house anymore. I’m sure they’re still out there, and are almost certainly under represented online, but I think they’re becoming less and less common.

 

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Ayy, follow on twitter, @bn2b – this post got really big and I forgot to add that elsewhere on this blog.

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9 Comments

  1. Easy way to find shitholes: go to Zillow and search for homes in Seattle that ordinary people can afford. Done.

    • Kristin Mullinax Kristin Mullinax

      Haha!

    • andrew andrew

      Thank you TB

  2. Meg Meg

    This feeds my soul tonight. My man just slapped brown shingles on a black-shingled roof where they’d blown away. We fixed it because it turns out if you don’t have shingles, the roof leaks, and we only have so many buckets. Honestly, who’s going to notice the patch is a different color?! And who would care?! It’s a S#&^hole!

    • andrew andrew

      That’s right Meg, YOU GET IT!!

  3. Ahhhh..the comforts of home 😉 xoxo

  4. Shitholes have a disadvantage in northern climates due to heating cost. A lot of the small house designs incorporate modern insulation and thermal management that can offset the higher cost eventually.

    But it’s great to hear a valid if previously unspoken truth about housing in temperate climates.

  5. masukomi masukomi

    i think you’re missing the key point of buying one of those “hip small home[s]”… they’re generally *beautiful*. People are buying them specifically because they don’t *want* a shithole. They want beautiful little homes.

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