It seems like stories about tiny home living are all over the place these days, and the idea of dramatically downsizing your home into something just a tenth of the size appears to be catching steam. But, is it all just a fad?
I don’t think so, and for good reason. While not right for every family, a tiny home can change the landscape of homeownership and enable easy debt-free living to almost anyone willing to give it a try.
And as for resources, they are everywhere. One of my favorites, TheTinyLife.com, is run by a guy named Ryan Mitchell who writes about so many angles to tiny home living. Looking to build your own tiny home? The Internet once again has you covered. Check out TinyHouseBuild.com or TheTinyHouse.net for a good start, but resources are literally all over the damn place. Google it and yee shall find. A lot of it. And quickly.
The resources are only out there because people are doing it. A lot of people. Yeah, just a ton. Hell, there’s even a couple television shows about tiny home living, like HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living and Tiny House Hunters. FYI TV has a show called Tiny House Nation.
In other words, the tiny house movement is all over the place through virtually every form of media. People are writing about it. Networks are televising it. Folks are downsizing and moving in left and right. Though I acknowledge that some of the attention that tiny homes get is due to these things being so new and “different”, the tiny home is probably here to stay.
Why are tiny homes so popular?
Think simplicity. Think 10 minutes to clean all the floors in your entire house. Think tiny mortgages, too – if any mortgage at all! Speaking of mortgages, 68% of tiny house people have no mortgage, according to TheTinyLife.com. Compare that to more than 70% of traditional homeowners that DO.
Here, enjoy some other stats:
- Almost 80% of tiny house people own their home
- The average size of a tiny house is only 186 sq/ft
- The average tiny house can fit inside the average traditional home almost 12 times
- More women own tiny homes than men: 55% to 45%
- Nearly 90% of tiny house owners have less credit card debt than the average American
Okay, but what defines a tiny house? Despite what you may hear, there are no hard and fast rules regarding where the maximum sq/ft threshold between a true “tiny home” and just a small house really is. That said, tiny homes are traditionally smaller than 500 sq/ft. Some, like this tiny house, is only 84 square feet and was built for around $10,000 – the cost of some people’s annual vacation! The humanity.
Why are mortgages rarer in the tiny home community?
People build their own tiny homes with their own two hands. Often, future tiny house dwellers will purchase floor plans off of a tiny house designer or manufacturing company, then get to work by utilizing salvaged wood and other materials acquired very cheaply, not to mention cheap labor (friends and family). Tumbleweed was one of the first companies to enter this space and offers a wide variety of tiny home floor plans, workshops and pre-built homes. Tiny home building eCourses are available too around the Internet as well as this list of tiny house builders.
Tiny homes are much less expensive to build and maintain because, naturally, there isn’t as much TO build and maintain. Most homes range in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000 for smaller, sub-100 sq/ft models to upwards of $100,000 for larger and nicer homes with upgraded fixtures. Tackling the job yourself will be the cheapest option provided it’s done right. Hiring a contractor mid-way through to fix your screw ups, of course, will add to the project’s bottom line, so plan accordingly and honestly assess your skill set before getting yourself in too deep!
Do keep in mind that tiny homes traditionally do not come with land, so finding a place to park the house is another consideration to the overall bottom line. Most campgrounds do not consider tiny homes to be recreational vehicles (even those that sit upon a movable trailer) and often do not allow these homes into their grounds. This is one reason why I prefer RVs to tiny homes.
Tiny homes are here to stay
Tiny homes are no fad. While still in their relative infancy, these extremely small homes offer people a simpler way to live. With less space comes less surface area to maintain and pay for, reducing the cost of living and making these homes more accessible to more people.
What say you? Do you believe this whole tiny house movement is nothing but a fad, or do you think living small in tiny homes is here to stay?