By now, you’ve probably heard of the latest housing trend—tiny homes. While the average American house is over 2,400 square feet, tiny homeowners are opting for a living space that’s a meager 100–500 square feet! This countercultural tiny house movement is picking up speed and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Is it crazy to voluntarily live your life in a glorified camping trailer? Let’s look at some of the practical benefits and reasons why people are joining the tiny house movement.
In this present culture of more, more, more, the practice of downsizing is unusual. Rather than acquiring things, tiny homeowners seek to acquire experiences. They favor a minimalist alternative lifestyle of fewer belongings and more memories made. For tiny homeowners, the focus is on travel, time spent in the great outdoors, and nurturing the human connection. Owning a tiny house is more than just a fun and exciting challenge, it’s a lifestyle that reflects every aspect of what they believe is truly important in life.
A basic principle to tiny living is the notion that owning a home shouldn’t require sacrificing your financial freedom to gain luxury. In fact, most tiny homeowners are able to save more money than traditional homeowners, thanks to the affordability offered by tiny living.
Let’s crunch some numbers. The average cost to buy a ready-made tiny house is anywhere from $30,000–$60,000. Build it yourself and that’s usually between $18,000–$40,000. Compare that to the traditional American home that sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. And get this—68% of tiny homeowners live free of mortgage debt while only 29.3% of all American homeowners enjoy that privilege. Did we mention utility bills? Tiny houses are designed to be partially or fully independent of public utilities which means, for some tiny homeowners, no bills to pay.
Yet another benefit to this lifestyle is the small footprint tiny homes leave on the environment. Tiny homeowners who seek to be 100% self-sufficient and eco-friendly are finding clever and creative ways to live off the grid. For example, tiny houses use less waste—both in the way they are built and in their day-to-day function. Many tiny houses run on solar panels or a generator as their primary or only energy source. Self-sustaining HVAC units used by tiny homeowners include energy-efficient compact air conditioners and wood-burning stoves. Ever wondered about tiny house bathroom plumbing? Most tiny houses use composting toilets, which are completely self-contained, portable, and beneficial to maintaining clean natural waterways.
While some tiny homeowners prefer to stay put, others enjoy the mobility of a tiny house on wheels. Stationary tiny homes are sometimes hooked up to public utilities, like a regular home, and can be built in all kinds of shapes and sizes. On the other hand, mobile tiny homes are built on trailers that can be attached to your vehicle and moved from place to place. One benefit to a tiny house on wheels is the opportunity to buy land in several states and move around the country whenever you want. If you’re not ready to buy land, no problem. Tiny house communities are popping up all across the nation with arms wide open to other like-minded folks.
When living tiny is simple, self-sustaining, and eco-friendly and offers financial freedom and flexibility, it’s no wonder so many people are joining the tiny house movement.