Are you one of the many Americans struggling to come up with a down payment for a home in your area? You are a renter and feel like you may be for the rest of your life at this rate. However, if you happen to be a minimalist and are looking to live by modest means in your own home, a “tiny house” might be the right fit for you (size pun, I know). Of course, you may be wondering what is considered to be a tiny house, and before you say it–no, it’s not like a play house a little girl has in her backyard or a tree house when we were kids.
- Tiny houses typically range from 100 sq ft to 400 sq ft
- Average dimensions for a tiny house: 16’2”L x 6’10”W x 6’6”H
- Tiny houses can be built to be stationary or mobile
- Low carbon footprint in space, heating/cooling, emissions, and building materials
- Low homeownership taxes and maintenance costs
- Non-dependent on the city utilities and able to “live off the grid” easier
- Average price: $23,000 (not including land)
- 68% of tiny house owners have no mortgage
- 40% of tiny house owners are over the age of 50
- Make great guest houses, emergency housing, and external offices on a regular home property
- 78% of tiny house dwellers own their own home as opposed to 65% of traditional homeowners
- 89% of tiny house owners have much less credit card debt compared to average Americans with 65% of tiny house owners having no credit debt at all
- Some cities have given tiny houses to poorer communities to offset their homeless issues
Tiny house fans and owners also have their own advocate groups such as the Small House Society and held the first annual Tiny House Conference last year in April to discuss the benefits and future of tiny houses. Companies such as Tumbleweed Tiny House Company are popping up around the country to meet the growing demand for these unique residences, and will often deliver them to you fully assembled due to their uncanny ability to fit on the back of a flatbed truck. Large concentrations on tiny houses can be found in several states, including California, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, and Florida.
Another awesome thing about tiny house living is that you can quite literally design your house from the ground up to suit your needs, which can get extremely costly when constructing a regular average home on a plot of land. You might pay the same amount for a customized tiny home as you would for a mid-priced automobile in today’s economy. Take a look at a slideshow from Forbes to see a few of the wilder (albeit more expensive) designs that people have come up with in both remote and populated areas around the United States.
Some may complain that in actuality, it costs more per square foot to build a tiny house; ultimately this is due to that fact that basic amenities and utilities must be scaled down accordingly to fit the smaller space and must therefore be custom built as well. It’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things considering that when all is said and done, it is still significantly cheaper to build, buy, and maintain a tiny house than a regular-sized home. Here is an insight into how much more expensive a normal house can be over time:
However, this is not to say tiny houses are for everyone, considering that the mere size of them can be off putting to many. Tiny houses are best suited for singles or couples without children or large pets since space is so limited. If you are a person who also has a lot of stuff, whether it is junk, stuff you’re storing, or a huge coin collection, it would be extremely difficult to store such things. Tiny houses are built mostly for people who wish to live modestly without too much excess in their lives, so if you have much more to your life, you will probably find the minimalist lifestyle constricting. Of course, if you’ve ever rented a studio in New York City, you may not mind the spacing at all!
What are your thoughts on tiny houses? Do you see the trend catching on with more Americans? Let us know on our Facebook page!