A FAMILY who bought a tiny house on wheels after getting fed up with its sky-high rent in London shared a glimpse of their 20ft x 8ft home.
David Westwood’s Â£ 50,000 miniature property, which he shares with his girlfriend Becky and son Joss, is so small they can’t even stand – but they’re saving Â£ 730 a month.
The trio, along with Dog Digby, were renting a three-bedroom house in the Greater London area, but they realized they didn’t need as much space.
They also realized they were spending far too much time on housework – and an âoutrageousâ amount on rent.
After becoming interested in van conversions and van life, they downsized but still paid Â£ 1,250 per month.
David, 32, said: âIt’s a lot of money to give to someone else and we really wanted to own something.
âWe looked at the boats on the canal, but then found the little house. “
The family quickly moved into the purpose-built prefabricated house on wheels, which weighs three and a half tons – the limit for a pickup truck – in 2020.
After a stint at a campsite, it costs them just Â£ 520 to park on Becky’s mother’s lawn – saving Â£ 730 each month.
And David and Becky claim it’s “exactly the same as living in a conventional house” – although they can’t stand in their bedroom.
Downstairs, David and Becky have a little over six feet of headroom, but upstairs it’s only four feet.
So while 11-year-old Joss can pretty much straighten his legs, adults can’t.
David said: “There are obvious differences [between his house and a ‘regular’ one], since we are not connected to anything, so every three or four days, we have to fill our 250-liter water tank which supplies water to the whole house – showers, washing machine and doing the dishes.
âWe have a separate 10-liter water tank that we use for drinking water that we tend to refill every two or three days.
âOther than those few things, the whole house is pretty much exactly the same as what you would get in a conventional house.
âWe have a living room, we have a kitchen, we have a dining room, we have a bathroom with a large shower, we have two bedrooms upstairs.
âAll of our appliances are exactly the same size you would get in a standard home.
âWe also have a full size sofa bed, it’s not a scaled down version or anything.
“THE FIGHT TO CARRY A CAT HERE”
âOur bed is a king-size bed, not a double bed or a small double bed.
âI guess the only compromise is that we have to climb the ladder to get to our room because we don’t have enough room for the stairs.
“You can get a little bigger house where you could have stairs and maybe more headroom upstairs.”
To save space, the couple have mounted the television and the vacuum cleaner on the wall, and they store their food processor in a stool.
âYou’d be really hard pressed to swing a cat in here without hitting something, but that said, it means there’s a lot less to clean up,â David said.
The family have a composting toilet as the house is not connected to a sewer – but they tend to use the campsite facilities.
And they don’t have to worry about gold as the house has double glazing and underfloor heating to keep them warm during the winter months.
David’s Five Advantages of Living in a Small House
1. Less housework: âWe can control everything all the time and it’s never a big job. It only takes 20 minutes to vacuum the house and only 15 minutes to clean the bathroom.
2. Comfort: âThis house is so comfortable it is ridiculous. Right upstairs in the bedroom, I think it’s my favorite place in the whole house when it’s raining and you’re just lying on the bed. “
3. Money: “Unlike a conventional house where you pay your rent and bills, we only pay ground rent which on a campsite is around Â£ 130 per week.”
4. Total freedom: âIt’s our house so we can do whatever we want with it, we can decorate it. We own it, we own it and we can tow it anywhere and go wherever we want. “
5. Sustainability: âSince we moved in we’ve had to be a lot less frivolous with the use of water and electricity. It just makes you more aware of what you are using and trying to get the most out of what you have.
The unusual living situation suits David and Becky who say the tiny house provides everything they need – though the couple are even considering downsizing further.
David, who runs the YouTube channel Live the little life, said: “There are tradeoffs to living in a small house, but the advantages of being in the house far outweigh the disadvantages in my opinion.
âI wouldn’t want to live any other way, I think our next step will probably be smaller than what we are now.
“I really wish we had done this much sooner rather than wasting tens of thousands of pounds just paying rent over the past six years.”
The tiny house movement has been touted as a creative way to address the lack of affordable housing, lower the cost of living, and lower our carbon footprint.
They are not designed to be towed permanently and are better suited to stay in one place for a long time.
David’s house has a 60 year warranty on the structure, which means they could sell it in the future.
He added: “But when you compare that to the cost of renting or paying off a mortgage and being tied to that for over 30 years, it really is a no-brainer.”