SIOUX CITY (AP) — Dakota Dunes it isn't.
Carter Smith, 24, has downsized after moving out of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Vermillion, S.D. Downsized in this case means relocating into one of the smallest homes in Sioux City, fitting his possessions and two cats into 387 square feet at 1120 17th St.
``I lost a lot of space,'' Smith said. ``I like it. It is a good change of pace.''
Woodbury County Assessor Office records show there are eight single-family homes with less than 400 square feet of space in Sioux City. The smallest, in the 2500 block of South St. Aubin Street, is 312 square feet.
Andrea Cook's house, at 2325 W. 14th St., is about 40 square feet bigger. She moved in two months ago.
``I just knew it was less than 500 .... This is the first time I've ever lived in a small house,'' she said.
Cook, 48, said she enjoys the simple, one-bedroom rental home, which was built in 1925 and has an assessed value of $13,800. She's had to use a walker since losing motor skills following a head injury, she said.
``I like it. I felt comfortable, because of my disability,'' Cook said.
When she first saw it, the house looked too small, but she changed her mind upon seeing the inside, the solid foundation and the finished basement, Cook said.
Some of her possessions are now in storage. She had been living in three- and four-bedroom houses, often duplexes.
``With me, I just like my basic needs,'' she said. ``I am a simple person.''
The Census Bureau in 2010 calculated the average new American home had 2,169 square feet of space, compared with 1,525 square feet in 1973. The data, like the Woodbury County records, does not include rental units in multi-housing buildings.
Locally, some of the biggest homes are in Dakota Dunes. A five-bedroom property on Firethorn Trail on the listing website realtor.com, for example, totaled 6,033 square feet (listing price: $895,000).
Smith, the Vermillion transplant, said smaller living has its perks, like paying less for housing.
He moved to be closer to his job at a North Sioux City call center. His house, built in 1900, has a value of $7,700 and needs a lot of work. It had been empty almost 10 years until he moved in June 1.
``I moved in and it was partially done. It is going to be a two-year process,'' said Smith, who wants to restore the hardwood floors, remove a wood stove and replace shower tile. ``I know what I am getting myself into.''
He talks a lot with the owner, Amy Walters, who lives across the street, and they're intrigued by old facets of the house, such as trap doors and coal chutes.
Smith also has possessions in storage and he gave some away. Friends questioned his move.
``When I explained how small it was, they said, `Well, how are you going to fit everything in there?' I'm like, `Well, I just got rid of a lot of stuff.' I kind of realized that I don't necessarily need a lot to be happy,'' Smith said.
He couldn't think of a true negative about tiny-house living, other than his two felines have less room to roam.
``They get in a lot more trouble a lot faster. Those guys have broken several dishes,'' he said.