"The median-sized home being built today is smaller," reported Paul Bishop, vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors. "And our survey of homebuyers indicates that as well."Problems getting financing and expenses involved with the upkeep of larger houses have contributed to their lessening appeal, but I'd like to think that an awareness of how much space we really need has fueled the increasing interest in smaller homes.
"Homeowners feel the days of appreciation are not coming back so they are not going to be purchasing homes just for the sake of investing," said Kermit Baker, chief economist with the American Institute of Architects and a senior research fellow at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. "Homebuyers are purchasing because of how they intend to use the home, on the basis of what they need. They are treating their home more like typical consumer goods rather than investment goods."Although I've devoted many posts to housing and I think it's a topic worthy of serious consideration, sometimes it's fun to take a break and think of shelter in a completely different way.
Eve Politanoff at What's up! trouvaillesdujour has three posts about treehouses along with an assortment of great pictures on her blog, including the "castle" above from Portland, Oregon, and an airplane hotel suite at the Costa Verde resort in Costa Rica.
Dai Haifei, a young Chinese architect, recently graduated and unable to afford the high cost of housing in Beijing, built a mobile egg-shaped, solar-powered house that he lived in for two months on the sidewalk near his employer.
Joyce Wadler at the NY Times wrote about Derek Diedricksen, who makes micro-shelters out of salvaged junk. His RelaxShacks blog provides more information about other building projects, his book, YouTube series and Tiny Shelter Building Workshop set for this summer.
Fast Company offers a post about a 90-square-foot minimalist loft with walls covered in . . . 25,000 ping pong balls! The space serves as a part-time bedroom for Daniel Arnshem, partner in the firm, Snarkitecture, where the loft is located.
And, finally, Strictly Paper offers an apartment made entirely out of cartons, white paint and black marker! It's a great artistic statement and timely social commentary.
Please click on the links to see many wonderful photos and learn more details about all of these clever "alternatives!"