My Interview with Tiny House Talk’s Alex Pino

Tiny House in Garden

Photo Credit: Brabourne Farm

Continuing our series of posts on Tiny Houses, I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Alex Pino of TinyHouseTalk.com. Alex is a fellow blogger and friend in the “blogosphere.” His website acts kind of like a clearinghouse for any happenings in the Tiny House world. So, I thought he could give us some good insights to this movement and its benefits and drawbacks. So, with no further ado here is our interview.

On a personal note, what initially drew you to the idea of tiny houses?

Alex: “I have to say that it was the desire to change my life. I was at a job that I didn’t like and the idea of simplifying my life and lowering my expenses so dramatically really resonated with me.

I thought, ‘Hey this could be a really powerful way to make a change in my life.’ At the end of the day if you had a really, really small house that would really cut costs the most and I’d be able to make a big change. So, my real motivation was to change my career, change the way my life was. It was just kind of this re-prioritization of my life.

I had always been searching for ways to make this change. Somehow, somewhere I ran into tiny houses online, and when I saw the picture of one for the first time I got really happy. I was like, ‘Hey this could be it, this could really be it!'”

Tiny Cottage

Photo Credit: MyDesignChic.com

What do you think it’s going to take for the Tiny House Movement to go more mainstream?

Alex: “I think this is a great question! There are a lot of people in this country that want to live in tiny houses but they are just not available. Then even if you want to build one yourself it’s hard to find a place where you would want to live and still be a part of society. So we face that challenge.

We also have to find easier ways to finance them, even though part of the movement is about saving up cash and not getting a mortgage or a loan so that we don’t depend on banks. I believe in that whole-heartedly, but if people were able to finance these little houses I think that could be a good thing because these houses could make a huge change in people’s lives on a monthly basis.

Next, we need zoning adjustments. We need to find a way for the goverment to allow these houses. You can do this a number of ways. One idea is to take existing RV parks and transform them into Tiny House communities. Another way would be choosing neighborhoods where you can put them in backyards and things like that. Have them as accessories! We just need more ways for these houses to be more available. Easier to get, easier to buy, easier to find a place to put them.”

Why do you think the Tiny House Movement’s followers are so passionate? What drives them?

Alex: “Thats a great question, and I think the answer is really easy! They see a cute little house which is not only beautiful, but it represents much more than just a house. People see freedom in these little housesIt represents them having the American dream.

Even though it seems so ironic and is the opposite of what most people think the American dream is. A huge house with a bunch of stuff, a Ferrari and a motorcycle. [These houses] represent having a choice in our lifes. Controlling our own lives and making relationships a really important thing, like #1 on the list, above stuff, above the house, above everything! I think that’s why they are so passionate.

Little Green House

Photo Credit: Betsy Veldman

What are the drawbacks to a tiny house?

Alex: “The first one is very obviously the size. If you move into a tiny house and you end up having a kid or multiple children you’re probably going to have to move out of it eventually. You can still have a baby in a tiny house. I think that’s totally fine, but as that child starts to grow they’re going to need more space.

Another draw back of a Tiny House right now is all the zoning obstacles that we face. Sometimes you just can’t seem to find the right place for one. In some cases, a tiny house moves people out to a rural area where they are far away their work, from all the places that they want to go.”

What would you say to a family that is interested in the idea of a tiny home, but just doesn’t see it as a feasible option?

Alex: “They’re probably right! It’s kind of hard to design a tiny house (especially one that fits on a trailer) for an entire family. Sure, it’s been done before and there are examples of how it can work, but it’s not ideal. In this case, my opinion is for a family of four you’re probably looking for a small house not a tiny house.

Tiny houses aren’t for everyone. But the idea and goals, those things are for everyone. The idea that you can take away some things in your life to make room for something better. More happiness, more freedom, I think that can go for everyone.”

Where do you see the Tiny House Movement in 10 or 25 years?

Alex: “Great question! I see all of these ideas going mainstream in 10 years. I definitely see multiple RV parks throughout the world where people are able to get into these homes. In 25 years I can see it continue even more!. If you live a simple life you have the ability to control your life, to really direct your life more so than if you’re stuck in the rat race living paycheck to paycheck.

Not only that but also the environment is super, super important! We only have one earth and the Tiny House Movement is great for the environment in comparison to apartments, houses and mansions. All in all the garbage that’s produced when you build, the electricity you use, everything is less! That means answering questions like why do we as a society go to the bathroom in our own drinking water. Can’t we find a better way like using recycled water from our own house? Tiny Houses have answers to all these problems but it takes time for these changes to take place in this world

So, I see this movement continuing to grow and grow and grow. In the next 10-25 years, i see phenomenal growth in the Tiny House Movement and smaller, smarter housing in general.

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by Scott Sidler

Scott is the owner of Austin Home Restorations, a company that specializes in renovating and restoring historic homes in Orlando, FL and the creator of The Craftsman Blog. When not working on, teaching about or writing about old houses he spends time fixing up his own old bungalow with his wife Delores and their son Charley.

http://www.austinhomerestorations.com

2 comments

  1. What would you say to a family that is
    interested in the idea of a tiny home, but just doesn’t see it as a feasible
    option?

    Alex: ”They’re probably right! It’s kind of hard
    to design a tiny house (especially one that fits on a trailer) for an entire
    family. Sure, it’s been done before and there are examples of how it can work,
    but it’s not ideal. In this case, my opinion is for a family of four you’re
    probably looking for a small house not a
    tiny house.
    And, I might add the following: Book: Women Without Children, page 21

    AT 51, she wrote her now famous book, River of Grass, about the Everglades. She
    has never stopped writing since. At her advanced age, she had no living
    relatives she could think of. But if family didn’t seem very important to her;
    and she makes that clear in her autobiography:

    “We make such a fetish of the family. I think we’ve created a tremendous mythology
    about it. We believe the family must be maintained, it’s the basis of society,
    etc. Yet for a great many of us, the family has been difficult. Many of the
    troubles of mankind are family troubles, more devastating and more lasting than
    other kinds of troubles. Almost any well-run orphanage would be better than
    some families I’ve known. There are countless unjust and narrow-minded
    families, and parents who bring up children in hatred for reasons that are
    invalid. Just being a family is not enough.” The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

    This year I spent Thanksgiving with a local holocaust survivor and author’s home,
    and I was given a copy of his book.

    Single by choice & childfree

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