Tiny home not quite tiny enough for Edmonton retiree

With retirement come thoughts of downsizing. But Tracy LaRose has taken things to the extreme.

'There is a place for everything and everything has its place'

Tracy LaRose is looking to sell her tiny home so she can downsize to an even smaller living space. (CBC)

With retirement come thoughts of downsizing.

But Tracy LaRose has taken things to the extreme.

She sold off her 800 square-foot Whyte Avenue condo  last year and had a 240 square-foot house custom made.

Now she's selling her quaint dwelling, because her tiny home is not quite tiny enough.

She wants to squeeze her accommodations down to 180 square feet.

"I want the guy who built the first one to build me another one that's smaller," LaRose, 54, said during a Thursday interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. 
LaRose says her home is too spacious for her needs. She's looking to cut her living space down by nearly 100 sq. feet. (Supplied )
 "Right now, my home is 28 feet in length, and I want to go down to 20."

After spending her first winter in the tiny home, parked at the Glowing Embers RV Park in Stony Plain, she decided the floor plan was too spacious.

"My kitchen could use it. I have too much stuff going on in my kitchen that I don't use, so I can go smaller."

Though the space no longer suits her, LaRose thinks her home could be the perfect fit for a buyer willing to think small.

"It's not for the faint of heart," said LaRose. "I don't know if there is any magic trick or any secret to it, but you just purge and you keep what you need.

"There is a place for everything and everything has its place. It's quite simple." 

The price tag for the tiny home isn't exactly puny.

She's asking $85,000 for the trailer, which comes fully furnished, equipped with solar panels, a washer, dryer, a wood-burning stove and in-floor heating.

"It does seem expensive, but when you see it, I have not sacrificed anything," said LaRose.

"It's insulated and well built. For Alberta, you need something that's well built ... for the weather."

Shrinking her living space has been a financial blessing for LaRose, who was laid off from her job early last year.

"If I had stayed in my apartment, I probably wouldn't have managed," she said. "But here my bills are minor. I have maybe $1,800 in bills on a month. Not many people can say that.

"I wouldn't go back to a regular-size apartment or home. I've never regretted it. I've never had that feeling of remorse or 'what have I done.' "

The tiny home carries a price-tag of $85,000. (Supplied )


Wallis Snowdon is a journalist with CBC Edmonton focused on bringing stories to the website and the airwaves. She loves helping people tell their stories on issues ranging from health care to the courts. Originally from New Brunswick, Wallis has reported in communities across Canada, from Halifax to Fort McMurray. She previously worked as a digital and current affairs producer with CBC Radio in Edmonton. Wallis has a bachelor of journalism (honours) from the University of King's College in Halifax, N.S. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca.

With files from Ariel Fournier