The tiny house movement has grown and spread rapidly. And despite how tiny they may look, most include a bathroom, a bed (or two!), a kitchen and even storage space – contrary to popular belief. As people downsize, they learn how to enjoy their hard-earned money in different ways instead of spending it on huge mortgage payments for big houses.
According to The Tiny Life, 68 percent of tiny house owners have no mortgage, compared to 29.3 percent of all U.S. homeowners, and the average tiny house is 186 square feet, while the standard U.S. house takes up nearly 2,100 square feet. Additionally, 55 percent of tiny house homeowners have more savings in the bank and 89 percent have less credit card debt than the average American.
Before selling all your goods and your current home to join the tiny house movement, read on to learn some valuable information about some of the potential benefits and considerations of owning a tiny home.
How Small Are They?
According to the AARP, the average tiny house measures anywhere from 100 to 400 square feet, but they can run as small as 80 square feet or as large as 700 square feet.
Don’t let the petite dimensions scare you. Companies across the country are customizing these playhouse-size homes to satisfy their owners with specific amenities, such as a gourmet kitchen with quartz countertops, secret storage compartments or a full-size bathtub hidden under a Murphy bed.
What Are the Benefits?
Living in a smaller space means you’ll likely consume less energy and water, resulting in smaller utility bill prices. In fact, the average American home operates on 12,733 kilowatts annually, while a tiny house uses only 914 kilowatts of energy in 12 months.
According to the Small House Society, when constructing a smaller home, you can choose more efficient and higher quality materials than you might be able to afford when building a bigger house. Many tiny houses can also be put on wheels, granting you the ability to live wherever you want, from the beach to the mountains.
Who Is Buying Them?
All ages and demographics have joined this tiny house movement for a variety of reasons. As noted by the AARP, approximately two out of every five tiny homeowners are over age 50. In exchange for downsizing, you can travel more, spend time with friends and loved ones, and relax instead of wasting your energy by caring for a larger home.
On the other end of the spectrum, younger folks often buy these tiny bungalows if they already have substantial debt, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Some environmentally conscious homebuyers join the movement to be greener, as well.
Regardless of age, anyone can invest in a tiny home, whether it’s to save on expenses or match your specific style and unique needs.
How Much Do They Cost?
Though the houses are tiny, the prices may not be. According to Forbes, price ranges from $200 to $400 per square foot, not including land. If you’re building a regular-sized home, the figure would be about $150 per square foot, land included, as noted by Home Advisor.
What’s Next for Tiny Houses?
There’s competition on the horizon for the tiny house movement: Tiny apartments are on the rise. For instance, Minneapolis has plans to build several tiny apartment complexes this year. Units in Cozē Flats, a micro apartment project that was developed in Minneapolis last year, sold for a price of $419 per square foot.
You can also try vacationing in a tiny house before actually buying one. For instance, Getaway provides tiny cabins in the woods near Boston, starting at $99 a night.
Whether you’re curious about living in a tiny house or have your heart set on it, take some time to research all the options and whether the pros outdo the cons of such small living quarters. Ask yourself questions about finances, claustrophobic tendencies, space for family and friends, downsizing and comfort before making any decisions.
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