In recent years, the popularity of tiny houses has surged as rising home prices, and global climate concerns continue to gain traction.
Also referred to as small houses or micro homes, tiny house living has certain pros and cons that are synonymous with a minimalist lifestyle.
Measuring anywhere from 300 square feet to 500 square feet in size, a tiny house can either be unmovable (fixed) or on wheels (mobile).
Are you wondering what it would be like to live in a tiny house? Read through our tiny house living pros and cons to decide for yourself. If you're ready to buy or sell a property, give us a call to schedule an appointment or visit our website for more information.
Summary of the Pros and Cons of Living in a Tiny House
- No mortgage
- Easy to own a home
- Tiny houses are portable
- Low maintenance
- Environmental benefits
- Legality and location
- Unlikely to secure a mortgage
- Minimal storage
- What is the Tiny House Movement?
The tiny house movement is a social undertaking whereby people are choosing to live with less as they downsize the space they live in. The tiny house movement involves:
- Tiny houses
- Life adventures
- Sound fiscal plans
- Life simplification
- Environmental consciousness
With almost half of their income dedicated to housing costs, most Americans spend a fair amount of time seeking affordable housing.
For most folks, buying a home often translates to a decade or more of their working life repaying a mortgage. According to a recent study, the high cost of owning a standard home coupled with the culture of borrowing to buy a house has led to over 70% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck.
The realization that a minimalist lifestyle is an alternative to the ever-increasing high cost of living has led to an increasing interest in tiny houses. Whereas tiny house living is not everyone's cup of tea, the lifestyle’s associated costs are much lower than living in a full-size building.
Pros of Living in a Tiny House
Easy to Own a Home
Have you been trying to secure a mortgage for the longest time but can’t fulfill the minimum requirements? Now is a great time to consider living in a tiny house.
Compared to building a standard house, tiny houses are cheaper to build. They also provide sustainability and the same level of comfort as a traditional house. Available data shows that the average cost of a tiny house is $100,000 or less which is 80% lower than the cost of building a standard house.
If you wish to avoid the high cost of building a standard home or committing yourself to a costly mortgage, flat packs or pre-built tiny house models offer a cheaper alternative to owning a home. To cut costs further, you can choose to rent land on which you can set up your home.
At 78%, the ownership rate of people living in tiny houses is higher than the 65% ownership rate of people living in traditional houses. That said, many people will not realize their dream of owning a home unless they take out a mortgage which only adds up the long-term housing costs.
For instance, the total cost of a standard building adds up to $482,000 for a 30-year mortgage at 4.5% interest. To add on, 30% of U.S homeowners have taken a mortgage for their traditional home compared to 68% of tiny homeowners who are mortgage free.
Tiny Houses are Portable
Because they have a small footprint that doesn't require a large tract of land, living in a tiny house is akin to living in both a camper and a house rolled into one. You can choose to build a tiny home and set it on a foundation.
Or you can enjoy life on the road without giving up all the comforts of a home by towing away your mobile home to a new destination anytime you feel like it. The only rule for mobile homes is having designated parking for tiny houses on wheels or RVs, which are plentiful in the U.S.
A tiny house means less space and fewer possessions, translating to less work and low maintenance. Regardless of the location, tiny house owners stand to reap the benefits of a traditional home albeit with fewer and less costly bills.
To cut down costs further, you can live off natural resources such as solar panels to power your home or harvest rainwater for domestic use.
And when it comes down to the type of tiny house, it's cheaper to build a tiny house from the ground up compared to buying a pre-fab unit.
By selling tiny house shells at affordable prices, big-box stores such as Costco and Amazon have also joined the tiny house movement.
Residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. account for 40% of carbon emissions and use at least 14% of potable water. In comparison, a tiny house consumes 54% less energy and uses between 5 to 15 gallons of water daily. Compare this with 80 to 100 gallons per day for a standard house.
Unlike traditional buildings, the tiny house movement runs parallel to environmental conservation. What’s more, the small size makes it easy to set up a tiny house in a location that is environmentally friendly with a lower carbon footprint and higher energy efficiency.
Cons of Living in a Tiny House
Legality and Location
Though a tiny house can sit on a small parcel of land, many jurisdictions make it difficult to own one. Some states even consider tiny homes as illegal housing, categorizing them into a safety gray area and zoning regulation.
Furthermore, many states have a minimum size requirement making it difficult to gain permits or register a tiny house. Some neighborhoods go further by enacting building codes that dictate the minimum square footage of a house.
Unlikely to Secure a Mortgage
One of the requirements of acquiring a mortgage is that the property must permanently be attached to the ground. Because tiny houses are portable, they are not considered real estate making it almost impossible to secure a mortgage.
Those who wish to finance building a tiny house can consider alternative options such as getting a personal loan, using a credit card or acquiring an RV or trailer loan.
The minimalist lifestyle entails having less space to store items on counters, dressers, or furniture. You can't even stock supplies in bulk.
Also, the limitation of hosting guests translates to less cleaning which is an advantage if you don't like cleaning all the time. Besides the limited living space, you also have to consider the weight, especially for a mobile home or RV.
The Wrap Up
The fundamentals of a tiny house involve living in a smaller space with minimal possessions. But this kind of minimalist lifestyle is not ideal for everyone. People who are claustrophobic or have a deep attachment to belongings that take up much space may find tiny house living challenging.
Of course, a bigger family may find it difficult to share a tiny living space, though there're various ways to accommodate everyone. Do the high home prices in many U.S. cities frustrate you? Contact us today to help you find a great place that is suitable for your lifestyle and budget.Posted by NJeffu Mwaura on