Richard Brown likes the idea of Tiny Houses so much that he's not only living in one, he's building them right here in Whitmore Lake.

Here's a photo of the model home he displayed at March's Cottage and Lakeshore Living Show.   More of his story appears in a follow up MLive report, 'Tiny houses' are big at 2015 Cottage and Lakefront Living Show.

Living in a tiny house means choosing carefully between needs and wants, Brown said.  "People that take the plunge are forced to really think through what is important to them.  Obviously, it involves letting some things go."

Brown's facebook page chronicles the building of a Tiny House.  His website steers you to his facebook page.


MLive's Jim Harger penned this story about Hudsonville Tiny House builder, Travis Rabenberg. 


n.b.  Seems like these dreams have collapsed.  On 12/7/2020 I checked the links. Brown's facebook page hasn't been updated since 2017.  Brown's website,, is gone.   Rabenberg's website,, is gone too.  Both domains are availble for purchase. 


"What are Tiny Houses? The Tiny House Movement? Tiny Living?

Simply put it is a social movement where people are downsizing the space that they live in. The typical American home is around 2600 square feet, while the typical small or tiny house is around 100-400 square feet. Tiny Houses come in all shapes, sizes and forms but they focus on smaller spaces and simplified living.

People are joining this movement for many reasons, but the most popular reasons are because of environmental concerns, financial concerns and seeking more time and freedom.  For most Americans 1/3 to 1/2 of their income is dedicated to the roof over their heads; This translates to 15 years of working over your life time just to pay for it and because of it 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

So what is the alternative?  One might be to live smaller.  While we don’t think tiny houses are for everyone, there are lessons to be learned and applied to escape the cycle of debt where almost 70% of Americans are trapped in right now."

- the Tiny Life Blog


- the Little House in Little Rock (Blog)

"The number of tiny houses in the U.S. is, well, tiny -- just in the thousands per unofficial industry surveys. Their popularity is growing, however, as the U.S. homeownership rate has fallen to 64.8 percent, the lowest in almost 20 years, and the median size of new single-family houses is the biggest ever -- 2,384 square feet in 2013, a 3.4 percent increase from 2012.

Historically, residences under 500 square feet weren’t considered “tiny.” In 1950, houses averaged 983 square feet, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders. The first units in the iconic early American suburb of Levittown, New York, were 750 square feet."

- Nina Glinski, Bloomberg News, Tiny Houses Are Big With U.S. Owners Seeking Economic Freedom

"I moved into my first tiny house eighteen years ago. I've been making beautiful, functional, little dwellings for other folks to live in ever since. In 1999 I published my first article about the merits of simple living and began speaking out against the legislated ban on small homes in the US. I believe people should be allowed to live as simply as they choose. Since the recent housing bust, bank bailouts, and subsequent economic downturn, there has been increasing demand for well-designed, affordable homes, and more sensible laws."

- Jay Shafer, owner of the Four Lights Tiny House Company