Modern Living: Now, the No-Frills House

Thanks to inflation and the continuing energy shortage, the compact car seems here to stay. Now, with driveway ready, comes the compact house. In suburban areas around the country, builders are turning out no-frills houses that sell for prices ranging in most areas from about $20,000 to $36,000. Aimed primarily at buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford a home of their own in today's market, the small houses in some areas are breaking sales records in a recession-dogged industry.

The "affordable" houses, as a Texas land developer calls them, are cheaper to maintain and run than standard-size homes....