Tiny houses have become a huge thing – do a google search and you’ll find countless blogs about it, or just flip through the channels on TV, there’s Tiny House, Big Living, Tiny House Nation, the list just seems to go on and on. These tiny, compact, affordable houses are practically everywhere you look.
Simply put, tiny house living is a social movement in which people decide to downsize the space they live in. The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. They come in all sizes and forms, but they’re all about simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.
There are lots of reasons people decide to join this popular movement, but the primary reasons are generally the desire for more time and freedom, environmental concerns and finances. Most Americans shell out a third to one-half of their income to put a room over their heads, and if that’s you, it means that you’re working 15 years of your life, just to pay for your home, which results in this disheartening statistic, according to CNN Money: 76% of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck.
With so many benefits to tiny house living, let’s take a closer look at what this lifestyle can offer – you might even want to start considering one yourself.
1. Building A Tiny House Costs Significantly Less Than Purchasing A Traditional House
The financial aspects of a tiny house are admittedly a big draw. They’re obviously going to cost a whole lot less to build than a traditional house, although pint-sized abodes do vary widely in price as they’re just diverse as their larger counterparts. It’s important to keep in mind that building materials and necessary appliances, fuel costs and potentially parking fees and the like, are all just a few of the things that can drive up the total cost of owning a tiny home.
Not everyone has the skills and knowledge to build their own tiny house, so they have engineers design it for them, and that’s obviously going to add to the cost, but it’s still going to be less than the price tag of the average home as it requires only a fraction of the necessary materials. If you don’t want to hire someone to design it for you, do a google search and you’ll quickly find practically endless options for free tiny house plans.
If you’re looking for a tiny, roaming house that comes with all of the essential conveniences for full-time living, The Spruce reports that after comparing prices in 2017 for 25 tiny homes built by companies in 13 different states, the price tag is a little under $60,000.
If you want to do it the cheapest way possible, there is a selection of homes that can be had for closer to $25,000, like this 144-square-foot cedar home on Tiny House Listings. If you can design and build your own tiny house using mostly free building materials like reclaimed lumber, you may even be able to do it for under $10,000. On the other end of the spectrum, are more luxurious tiny homes. If you want one that’s decked out with high-end features like upscale appliances, granite countertops and even a hot tub, all packed into under 400 square feet, you can expect to pay at least $150,000, says The Spruce. Still, when you consider that the median cost for a brand new, traditional home in 2017 is nearly $300,000, either way, you’re going to save a lot of money building a tiny home.
2. Freedom From Debt
While this is all part of the financial aspect, the potential to be free from debt deserves its own spotlight. A big house comes with a big mortgage. With a tiny home, you may be able to pay for most or all of it with cash if you do it right. With a mortgage, you won’t be under all of that stress to make a large payments every month if you lose your job or have another financial hardship of some sort.
3. You Can Take Your Home With You Wherever You Go
Well, almost. One of the biggest benefits other than the cost to build is the ability to be able to hitch up your tiny home to your vehicle and drive it to a different location. Got a new job and need to move? You don’t have to worry about finding a new place to live, just pack up your tiny house, attach it to your car or truck and be on your way.
You can even go on vacation with your home without having to pack a suitcase. Never again will you have to struggle to find an affordable, decent hotel room when you go out on the road, whether you want to visit the Grand Canyon, enjoy a beach holiday or what have you. You’re all set.
Of course, you may be wondering, what about water, electricity, and sewer? Most tiny houses have things like rain barrels and solar, so you don’t have to worry about that. They’re kind of like an RV – in fact, you can even get a tiny home that has RV hookups so that you can pull it up to a campsite. These homes are designed to allow you to live totally off the grid and can be parked almost anywhere. There are some types of tiny homes that were built more traditionally, however, requiring water and power hookups, and these are better suited to dedicated plots of land.
4. A Tiny Home Can Be Anything You Want It To Be
A tiny house doesn’t have to be a full-time place to live. Some choose to use a tiny home as an office or to have a nice little spot ready for when friends or relatives come to visit. Some parents who’ve seen their millennial children return to the nest have utilized tiny homes as a way to give their adult kids a place to live while they still enjoy their privacy.
5. A Tiny Home Limits Your Impact On The Environment & Lowers Your Energy Costs
Tiny houses are typically very eco-friendly and can be set up to live totally off the grid, using solar or wind sources for power, a rainwater catch, and filtration system, and installing a compost toilet, making it functional anywhere while limiting your impact on the environment. You can pretty much re-purpose everything to – even the materials your home is made from can be made from all recycled materials to help promote a cleaner earth for future generations.
Whether you use solar power or hook up to a power line, the energy needs of a tiny home are significantly less than the energy needs of a traditional home. Plus, smaller appliances work more efficiently, and a smaller space means less power to heat and cool the air. If you need to connect to a power source, you’ll still have an electrical bill, but it’s likely to be a fraction of the cost of the bill for a traditional house.
6. Decluttering For Simple Living
After living in a traditional home for even just a few years, most people end up with piles up stuff – in bins, in bags, in closets and so on, it just piles up everywhere. You can’t fit everything that will fit into a 2,000-square-foot home into one that’s a tenth of that size, so you’ll have to declutter and simplify by donating or selling many of your things – often things, you’ll realize, you didn’t even need in the first place. When you take a hard look at those possessions, decide what truly matters to you and get rid of the rest, that can be very freeing in itself.
7. You’ll Spend Less Time Cleaning
If you love to clean, this may not be a benefit, but for most people, another one of the biggest benefits of a tiny home is that having less space means there is less to clean. A traditional home can be very time consuming to clean. But with a tiny home, you could vacuum or sweep your floor in less than a couple of minutes. The size of your home is inversely proportional to the free time you have. As it will take just minutes to clean up every week, you’ll have lots of time for doing the things you really want to do, which is incredibly liberating. You’re also likely to learn to keep things more compartmentalized so you don’t end up with piles of stuff or other clutter as it’s just impossible to deal with in a small space.
8. It’s Easier & Cheaper To Decorate
You won’t need much in the way of decor for a tiny home, so it’s going to cost a lot less to decorate, and it’s also going to be a lot easier and cheaper to change up. If you’re the type of person who loves to redecorate every year or two, a tiny home is an ideal canvas. You can repaint the entire thing in a single afternoon if you choose to.