Are you tired of the high prices of single-family homes? Want to avoid paying a 30-year mortgage? Have you considered a tiny home? College graduates, senior citizens, those wanting to downsize, adventurers and anyone looking for a more minimalist and affordable lifestyle gravitate toward tiny homes. Let's take a look at how the tiny movement is changing the real estate landscape and why it might be a great option for you.
Many people choose to live in tiny homes because they are affordable, use less energy than traditional homes, require less maintenance, are efficient, easy to clean and can be moved around (in many cases). Let's take a look at some basics of tiny home living and see if it's a good fit.
Size & Cost
Tiny homes have been in the news for well over a decade. The tiny home movement grew rapidly following the financial crisis of 2007-08, but it was made popular by HGTV shows like "Tiny House, Big Living". The popularity of tiny homes is driving more and more builders to construct these tiny spaces. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to over $100,000 depending on your lifestyle and budget. Lot rent, ranging from $500-$3000/month, utilities, and insurance are additional costs to factor in. Overall, it's a much more affordable option than buying a single-family home, and the money you've been saving for a down payment might be enough to buy a brand new tiny home.
On average, tiny homes range in size from 100-650 square feet and they are typically on wheels. These homes are placed on the back lots of family properties, in tiny home communities, and on remote plots of land. Before placing a tiny home on a property, take time to learn more about the zoning laws in your area, which may forbid them.
Tiny home living spaces mimic those in standard-sized homes and typically include a kitchen/dining space, lounging area, bathroom, shower/tub (sometimes), and a sleeping space. Sometimes washers and/or dryers are added to tiny homes for convenience, but some homeowners prefer to wash the few clothes they have by hand. Many homes take advantage of composting or incinerating toilets so you don't have to use water or connect to a septic tank or sewer system. Storage is at a minimum in tiny houses so it's best to start learning about minimalism before moving into one.
Some tiny home features serve more than one purpose to help get more from the small space. For example, a drying rack for clothes may also serve as the dining room table legs. Features like chairs that fold up against a wall or shelves built into staircases will help make the most of the tiny space.
If you want to stretch your money, consider building a tiny house yourself. Start by going online for free plans. Save even more by building it from recycled materials and living off the grid. Using these money saving tactics, you could find yourself investing as little as $4000 into your tiny home.
Talk to your real estate agent about finding a tiny home community, whether you want to bring in your own tiny home or purchase a home that already exists in the neighborhood. You'll be joining a group of like-minded individuals that are sure to support your desire to live in a home that isn't going to put you into debt for many years.
In addition to standard tiny home communities, others provide affordable housing to help veterans get off the streets and to rebuild struggling communities. Many of these programs are transitional, allowing people to live in the tiny home until they can afford to rent an apartment or buy a single-family home.
Americans typically pay 1/3 of their income toward monthly house payments, according to the Bureau of Labor. It’s no wonder tiny homes have become so popular. If you're interested in buying a home but staying out of debt at the same time, consider a tiny home. This affordable, minimalist way of living will help you invest more in other areas of your life including paying off school loans or travel. Talk to your real estate agent about tiny home communities in your area and start enjoying the tiny home life.