An exciting and innovative trend, tiny homes are taking the country by storm. But what exactly is it? The name itself will likely give you a good idea, yet there are many different kinds of tiny homes to explore.
The average american home is usually between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. Tiny homes can be as little as 100!
What defines a tiny home?
A tiny home is a living space designed to simulate a regular house on a much smaller scale. It will usually have a living room, small bedroom (commonly connected to the living room), bathroom, and kitchen. Tiny homes are generally custom built or purchased, however, renting options are becoming readily available. It is much more affordable to build a tiny home as compared to an entire house of a standard size.
Tiny homes can be fixed on a property or sit on top of a trailer mount, allowing for easy transport. Either way, they are meant to be portable. Many companies specialize in making tiny homes more comfortable to live in and easy to transport. Although spotting one is pretty easy, there is no specific criteria to what constitutes a tiny home.
Why would anyone want to live in such a small space?
Being a homeowner in the 21st century can be very expensive. Most Americans spend as much as half of their income on their living space. To many people, particularly the younger generations, owning a home is a pipe dream with the median price of a new home bought in the United States sitting at $318,700, as of November 17th, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A tiny home can cost much less than a classic home with many tiny homes affordably priced between $15,000-$40,000. Tiny houses can be custom built to accommodate personal preferences and making additional upgrades to a tiny house is also significantly cheaper on average.
It can have the same comfort and convenience of a regular home, simply presented in a much smaller package. Perhaps the biggest distinction of a tiny home compared to a trailer home or an RV is its traditional appearance of a home. There is more opportunity for interior and exterior decorating. Higher end tiny homes can be quite spacious and even have enough room to accommodate guests. For portable tiny homes, the width is limited to fit the roads, but they can easily make up for it with length and height. For some examples on what a tiny home can look like, click here.
One of the biggest reasons that people are moving to tiny homes is for their ability to be transported across the country with relative ease. Travel enthusiasts can go on adventures while upholding the comfort that they’re accustomed to. With a growing number of people making their living working online, the choice to live their life traveling while working remotely is becoming more popular.
What are the drawbacks?
A tiny home needs to be parked somewhere, whether permanently or temporarily. This can pose a problem if the owner does not have land they can legally reside on. Inexpensive land is available to rent or purchase for tiny homes and similar fixtures (i.e. trailers). Tiny home travelers have the options of renting a spot at an RV park or parking at rest stops and public parking lots (where they can fit). Tiny home owners must be careful with where they park to avoid legal trouble due to trespassing.
Cheap electricity is not always accessible from a tiny home. Stationary tiny homes can be wired to an electrical grid. However, those looking to use their home for travel must seek alternative sources of power. Gas generators are standard, but many newer tiny homes are equipped with advanced solar power systems.
Water and sanitation are an important concern when residing in a tiny home. This function in tiny homes is very similar to that of an RV. Portable tiny homes should have an internal water tank equipped to take in pressurized water from a hose. This will allow owners to use their sink, shower, and toilet. The system is efficient and affordable, yet access to water is still limited by the size of the water tank. Long trips away from a source of pressurized water have to be carefully planned out. For sanitation, a sewage hook-up, although unpleasant, is a convenient way to use the toilet.
Tiny homes are a relatively new phenomena and many local laws have not yet adapted. There could be a variety of city and state laws that can affect the placement, transportation, and even the construction a tiny home. These laws should be carefully researched and considered before purchasing or moving a tiny home.
This infographic by The Tiny Life provides some noteworthy statistics: