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RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

Ditching the conventional home

Ditching the conventional home

With the rising popularity of unique homes, more people are ditching the archetypal house in search of homes that present new and exciting experiences. From living in a tiny house or even on a sailboat, the prospect of inhabiting an unconventional home appeals to many. Even some in the RHS community have lived outside of the traditional box. 

In a survey conducted of 100 Rolla High School students, 61 percent of polled students said they would consider living in a tiny house in the future and 59 percent of those stated the affordability compared to other typical houses as an appealing factor. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average sales price of a house in 2023 was 513,400 dollars, which is a 115,600 dollar increase from 2020 when the average house cost 397,800 dollars. In comparison, an average tiny house costs 50,000 dollars according to Forbes. As the price of houses in the US increases, the affordability of a tiny house has become more attractive for prospective homeowners. RHS science teacher Chelsea Millis, who lived in a tiny house for about eight months, does attribute the affordable pricing as a main reason why she decided to live in a tiny house rather than a conventional house. 

“The goal of not having a house payment was nice,” said Millis.

Besides affordability, a widely acknowledged benefit is the minimalistic and environmentally-friendly lifestyle associated with living in a tiny house. In a survey conducted by IPX1031, a property investment company, 48 percent of polled Americans who expressed an interest in living in a tiny house cited “eco-friendliness” as an appealing factor with 44 percent stating the “minimal lifestyle” as another appealing reason. 

When asked to list any other reasons the prospect of living in a tiny house was appealing, multiple surveyed RHS students responses revolved around the sustainable lifestyle associated with living in a tiny house, with one anonymous student reporting, “You can structure your life to live more sustainably and leave a smaller footprint on the earth.” 

  In a study reported by the University of Michigan, larger homes, in comparison to smaller low-income homes, produced 25 percent more greenhouse gasses. For some, this is reason enough to invest in a small dwelling. From this we can surmise that the smaller the home, the less effect it has on the environment. 

An increasingly popular lifestyle among tiny house dwellers is traveling in their transportable tiny house, which many may recognize as “van-life.” For many, the nomad lifestyle is sought after for a new and fresh experience from the sometimes monotonous rhythms of life. For RHS sophomore Hadyn Brooks, her experience of traveling while living on a sailboat provided her a new perspective on life that she feels she may not have gained from living in a typical house.

“I think it was more of an eye opener. I got to be more chill without such a busy life and got to look back at the bigger picture where sometimes when you’re back in [your] home life or normal house, you get caught up in what you’re doing, and you don’t just reflect on everything,” said Brooks.

Brooks and her family first considered starting this venture when they saw other families online sharing their experiences.

“We started off watching videos on YouTube of families doing stuff like this [living on a sailboat], and once we saw these families doing this, it kind of sparked my parents’ interest,” said Brooks.

Throughout her six months at sea, Brooks was able to visit many places, including the Bahamas and Virgin Islands which gave her the opportunity to experience different cultures firsthand.

“It was a really good experience and we got to meet all kinds of people and see all different types of cultures,” said Brooks.

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About the Contributor
Emma Allison
Emma Allison, Staff Reporter
Hallo, I’m Emma Allison, and I’m a senior! This is my first year as a reporter for ECHO. I’m also in NHS, Project FIDO, and German Club. Outside of school, I’m most likely reading, creating art, or spending time with my friends!