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Small House Society offers alternative to McMansions

Small-house resident has big dreams

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Even by astronauts' standards, Greg Johnson lives in a small house. For the past few years, he has resided in a 10-by-7 trailer-mounted home, dubbed "The Mobile Hermitage," that stands in stark contrast to the super-sized McMansions cropping up in suburbs across the country. As the name suggests, the house can go anywhere -- the trailer allows it to be towed by a truck. Most of the time, the house is parked on land in Iowa City, Iowa, that Johnson's family has owned for 70 years. Johnson is part of a growing movement for shrinking house sizes. He is coordinator for the Small House Society group that offers information about building techniques and the professionals who design and build these simplified structures. An activist who is involved in several organizations and causes, Johnson said he doesn't plan on picketing or staging any big-house protests to promote more humble dwellings. Instead, he is simply providing living proof that small homes are viable options. "I think it's goin...