Housing in the city of Newton ranges from the big to the small — we’re talking really small.In fact, the owners of the smallest house in Newton call it the doll house.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 edition of the Kansan.Housing in the city of Newton ranges from the big to the small — we’re talking really small.In fact, the owners of the smallest house in Newton call it the doll house.The largest house in Newton is on Wedgwood Drive. It is more than 8,687 square feet with a three-car garage.The physician and his wife who live in the home did not wish to talk to the Kansan for this story.However, the tenant who rents the doll house recently had a Kansan reporter over for the 10-cent tour.The smallest house in Newton, set well off the street at 1626 N. Main St., is only 320 square feet.The floor plan is simple — a single room for living and sleeping, a tiny kitchen, a closet and a bathroom.But you won’t hear tenant Abby Roberts complain.In July, Roberts, 24, was living with a roommate in a trailer, but she longed for some privacy and independence.She doesn’t make much as a beautician and was trying to pay off some debt.She wasn’t too interested in living in an apartment.“I wanted my own yard and my own driveway,” she said.Reality Connections connected her with the home’s owners, Jim and Doris Yoder of Newton.“I was kind of leery,” she said. “They said it was a studio apartment. I didn’t think it would be anything cute like this.“I drove by. It is only me. I don’t need any more room. It is perfect.”But living in a space smaller than many people’s garages can be a challenge — a challenge Roberts said she is up to.The water heater is stored in a shelf over the sink. She has an apartment stove, and a small fridge with a freezer.The bottom of her entertainment center is full of clothes. She sleeps on a futon-like bed called a Flip Flop that also serves as a couch.She established more storage in the kitchen and has a small night stand she uses as a computer desk.“It can be difficult because I don’t want to rent a storage unit. There isn’t much space. I do the best I can,” she said.Living in the smallest house in the city does save Roberts some green. Rent is $250 and utilities are low.“It heats up really fast. I only have to turn the heater up to 65. It’s great,” she said.Roberts said she is happy in her little home and plans to continue to live there.“It’s a challenge. It’s new every day, but I don’t have to worry about money,” she said. “I am happy. I think I will stay here a while.”