A tiny house isn’t designed for dolls, dogs or toddlers. Tiny houses are real living spaces for individuals, couples or families. Typically between 70 and 400 total square feet, these little buildings are opening up people’s lives. Here’s why.
- You Save Money
Purchasing and maintaining a tiny house is usually far less expensive than buying and owning a standard American home. Almost 70 percent of tiny house owners have no mortgages. None. The average price of a full-size home is $270,000. A tiny house sets you back about $23,000. Do the math. That bitty place costs about 8.5 percent of a typical dwelling.
Think about it. That’s like paying less than nine cents for a $1 cup of coffee, and where can you find that nowadays? Insurance fees, property taxes and utility fees are also lower with a smaller structure.
- You Enjoy Simplicity
To move into a tiny house, you have to eliminate a lot of possessions, such as boxes of stuff you hardly use, old sports equipment hiding in closets and other junk. This simplifies your life enormously. Keep what you need and get rid of the rest. What you have is what you see. You won’t often misplace your keys, eyeglasses or wallet. Where could they hide?
You dramatically slash cleaning and maintenance needs. How long does it take to dust and vacuum 250 square feet of living space? Maybe even less time than it takes to read this post. You won’t dread cleaning out gutters, washing windows or repainting house trim. You’ll have more free time to do things you actually enjoy.
- It’s Easier Being Green
A smaller house makes a tinier environmental footprint. During construction, tiny house builders use less energy and produce less waste. Once finished, the reliance on traditional utilities is reduced. And using alternative energy sources is easier with a little building. It doesn’t take many solar panels to produce sufficient electricity. Composting toilets and gray water systems are common. Since you don’t need a big plot of land, you can harvest rainwater to irrigate your lawn.
- You Come Together
Living together in a small space builds strong bonds between roommates. You must deal with problems promptly — there’s no place to hide and brood. You also share more aspects of your lives. No more separating to watch TV in different rooms at night! Everyone eventually needs alone time, though, so porches, decks and acreage become temporary retreats.
Before you become too enraptured with the idea of a tiny house, consider who will share your space. Allow at least 100 square feet of living space per person. If you have a large family, that house won’t stay tiny very long.
Got pets? It may be easy to find space for a fish bowl, but consider the impact of large, free-roaming animals. Fido and Fluffy might engage in detente in a traditional space, but will they get on each other’s nerves in tight quarters? While you’re at it, ask the same question about you and your space-sharers.
- You Can Travel Easily
Have you ever wanted to join the geese and go south for the winter? Maybe you harbor a desire to head north to beat the summer heat. Though some tiny houses are set on foundations, others are essentially homes on wheels. With this option, you hook up your house to a vehicle and take off. You’ll travel with literally all the comforts of home. Because they’re sturdier and better insulated, tiny houses are more comfortable and durable than RVs. If you have wanderlust, you won’t even have to pack.
- You Enjoy Help from Friends
If you join the tiny house movement, you’ve entered an established community. Bloggers discuss their living arrangements, and owners attend conferences dedicated to the topic. You can work with others to change housing codes that restrict homebuilders’ size choices in some areas. Unless you crave isolation, you won’t be alone in your adventure. You’ll easily find support, suggestions, advice, instructions and guidance. New friendships revolve around a shared way of life.
- You Learn About a Different Kind of Wonderful
If you’re not ready to make the big move into a little space, a tiny building has other possible uses. If you need a home office, it’s a more private space than an addition. The same goes for an in-law apartment, guesthouse or artist’s studio. If your area is amenable to the practice, you can make additional income from rental opportunities such as Airbnb. When the tiny home isn’t occupied, you can try living there. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn to enjoy it.
Lots of folks do. What’s not to love? Tiny home owners tend to have less credit card debt and more money in the bank. When you simplify your life, your options expand enormously.
Featured image credit: Benjamin Chun, Flickr CC