Downsizing in a Big Way


Why it's OMG: Dreaming of downsizing? Talk to Jay Shafer, author of "The Small House Book." Seeking a simpler life, Shafer started making closet-size homes in 1997. Today, Tumbleweed offers 16 diminutive home plans for kindred-spirit customers. Designed for max efficiency and sustainability, the tiniest houses range from 65-140 square feet. Plans start at $399.

The cheapest route is to purchase plans and materials and build yourself. Carpentry-phobes can also buy tiny homes ready-made. Prices vary depending on design, number of bedrooms and who does the building.

Perfect For: Modern-day Ralph Waldo Emersons, chronic road-trippers, and lucky-duck kids with robust treehouse budgets.

Price: $16,000-$59,000

Ask Santa: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company