I had an unusual experience the other day – I went to a clothes store to buy a pair of jeans, and when the first pair I tried on didn’t quite fit, I tried on several other pairs until I found the right ones. It was a such a weird contrast to my usual method of shopping, which is to buy a pair online, cross my fingers until they get to my house, and then immediately send them back when they don’t fit or even remotely resemble what I thought I was buying. And you know what? I’m probably going to keep buying stuff online even though it’s not ideal, because it’s 2018, and I’m sure you’ll agree that leaving the house and interacting with other people is something we should avoid like the massage booth at a Renaissance Faire. (Long story.)
With that in mind, Amazon can now deliver a house to your front door. Life is weird. Let’s look at some of the offerings.
THE ALLWOOD EAGLE POINT – $46,900
This is one of the higher-end offerings on Amazon; with over 1100 square feet of space on two levels, this “kit house” comes flatpacked and ready to assemble. More like, “ready to unpack, be fiddled with for like three hours, and then angrily abandoned.” You thought assembling that IKEA armoire was frustrating? This is that times 70, and your ex isn’t going to come over and help you, even if you promise to order pizza. One of the reviews on Amazon says the buyer “couldn’t figure out how to put it together. Now I live in the box it came in.” He’s probably joking. Probably. The seller does offer an assembly service, and the Amazon page says to contact them for a “free estimate.” (A business offering a “free estimate” is like a blinking neon sign saying “PREPARE TO BE RIPPED OFF.”)
On the plus side, this is significantly larger than a tiny house. This is more of a small house. Maybe even just a house.
THE ROMTEC HUNTER – $50,318
This log cabin comes prefabricated, meaning someone will just drive up with the house on a flatbed truck and set it wherever you want. Seems slightly incompatible with the image of the log cabin as a rugged, hands-on product of the solitary outdoorsman, but whatever. You could have this baby delivered to a Wal-Mart parking garage and be asleep in your new raw-plank bunk bed ten minutes later. Although it’s slightly smaller than the Eagle Point above, it’s also smaller (easier to pack it onto a truck and make a quick getaway if you’re trying to skip out on your lot rent), and comes with a covered porch. I haven’t had a porch in decades.
THE MODS 40 FOOT CONTAINER HOME – $36,000 (PLUS $4500 SHIPPING)
For the price of a mid-market SUV, you could have your very own fully-furnished container home delivered right to your doorstep. This baby comes with furniture, heat/air conditioning, a full bathroom, and a kitchenette. It’s not very aesthetically pleasing, but what did you expect for $36K? On the other hand, container homes are nearly indestructible; this place could take a direct hit from a meteor and all it’d need is a little paint touch-up. The pictures are a little creepy though. With all those bunk beds crammed in there, and the leather sofa, it looks like it’s being marketed to doomsday cults or Blackwater mercenaries or something.
THE BEACH HOUSE GARDEN SHED – $4,352 (PLUS $531 SHIPPING)
Now we’re getting into the gray areas of the “tiny house” category; structures that are clearly meant to be lived in but, for legal/zoning reasons, are marketed as “sheds.” There’s a whole section of “sheds” and “playhouses” on Amazon that are obviously meant for habitation, like this one here. It reminds me of a tiny hovel that subsistence farmers lived in back in the early 20th century, before power and sewage infrastructure was put in, a state of affairs that every economic and political indicator suggest we’re heading back towards. Get ahead of the curve by getting your hovel early!
THE ALLWOOD BARREL SAUNA – $7,990
You could have an entire electric sauna delivered right to your home! Just plug it in, and you’ll be sweatin’ out those toxins in no time. The specs say it can accommodate 8 adults, but the top customer review says six is more reasonable, with some adults lying down and others sitting up. Read between the lines, people – this is a sex sauna!