From your television to your community, tiny houses are popping up all around you. What is the deal with these shed-like spaces? Are they homes or RVs? Can they fit a whole family or are they for single people? Are they practical for everyday living or better suited for a second home? The tiny house movement seems to be here to stay, so let’s look at what makes these small homes so popular and why people are flocking to go tiny.
The Small Print
Tiny houses are part of a social and environmental movement that began as a response to increasing square footage and mortgage payments of the last few decades. As homes crept up to 2,500 square feet on average, so did the expenses to buy and maintain them. Tiny homes are almost a response to that excess, focusing on a simpler, more affordable lifestyle that appeals to young adults just starting out, seniors who want to downsize, and many others in between. Houses tend to be less than 500 square feet, which means the space inside tiny houses is used is more efficient and functional.
Little Reasons Why
The decision to live in a tiny house is a personal one, but a few of the more common reasons why include:
- Financial freedom – you may be able to pay for your tiny house with savings or a small mortgage, freeing up your finances for other things
- Smaller carbon footprint – you can use less water and electricity, which means your environmental impact is less
- Minimalism – some people prefer experiences over possessions, and the tiny house movement appeals to a simpler way of life
- More freedom – many small houses are custom builds, giving owners a lot of say about design, fixture, and storage options
There are quite a few positives to life inside tiny houses. People may be more mobile, giving them the chance to live where they would like if traditional houses are out of their budget. With less square footage, tiny houses are easier to clean, maintain, and repair, freeing up time and money for other pursuits. The lower cost is a big pro as well; seniors with fixed incomes find them as appealing as young people at the start of their careers.
Not Always the Right Fit
As attractive as tiny houses may be, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone’s lifestyle. Larger families may find the lack of personal space a challenge. Logistics are also a problem because not every community has zoning set up for tiny-home living. Finding a trustworthy builder is important, someone who understands how to design and construct a unique space rather than shrinking an existing home to a smaller scale. While storage is clever, it is not always easily accessible, and if you don’t control clutter, it can get out of hand quickly. Moving your tiny home can be difficult as well, especially if it isn’t towable. One last downside to keep in mind: composting toilets may be a new reality.
Before you decide to go tiny, you should put thought into your lifestyle, goals, finances, and more to be sure it works for you. What are your thoughts about the tiny house movement? Share your comments with us, and be sure to learn more about the latest in the lifestyle section of our website.