If you haven’t already heard, Tiny Houses are an actual thing. And its popularity is taking off. Think tiny living might be something you want to do, here’s what you should know:
What are tiny houses?
The tiny house movement is basically a social movement where people trade in their 2,000+ square foot homes for something a little more, well, tiny – 100-400 square feet tiny. Tiny houses vary in shape, size, and form but all are designed to have more efficient space and allow people to live simply.
The movement took off when Sarah Susanka published her book, The Not So Big House. Since then there have been other pioneers, including Marianne Cusato who developed “Katrina Cottages” after the hurricane in 2005, who received wider interest beyond the victims of the hurricane. The financial crisis in 2007-2008 attracted even more attention because these homes are affordable and ecologically friendly.
Flash forward to today, tiny houses make up only about 1% of the real estate market but with shows like Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters it seems to be growing in popularity.
Why would anyone want a tiny house?
The reasons for converting to tiny living are simple: financial, environmental, and time. Tiny houses obviously cost much less than regularly sized homes (typically between $20,000 to $50,000) and cost less to heat and maintain. Lifting the financial burden of high mortgage (and also having less space to maintain) and allowing residents more time and freedom to live beyond the confines of their home.
Tiny houses are also used as additional dwelling units on properties – often used for aging relatives, home offices, or guest homes. Some tiny houses are even made on wheels, not to be confused with an RV, as these homes are built using traditional building techniques and materials, making them last as long as traditional homes.
What are the cons to tiny living?
So far the biggest obstacle for tiny house dwellers is finding a place to actually live in one. Due to zoning regulations, there is typically a minimum square footage required for new construction and tiny houses on wheels aren’t always welcome in RV parks since they are not manufactured by members of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). RVs are also not considered suitable for permanent residence, whereas tiny houses are.
In 2015, the nonprofit American Tiny House Association was formed to promote the tiny house as a viable, formally acceptable dwelling option and to work with local government agencies to discuss zoning and coding regulations that can reduce the obstacles to tiny living.
Interested in buying or starting construction a tiny house? Talk to a realtor today.