People everywhere are choosing to downsize and adopt the tiny house philosophy. It’s become a social movement to scale down and simplify. To live each day clutter-free with only the things you really need to thrive. There are many reasons to justify this lifestyle. It’s certainly cheaper, it reduces your environmental footprint, simplifies life, and allows you to live a life which encompasses more financial freedom and adventure.
For many Americans, about half of their income is designated to the roof over their heads. The price you pay for a larger home ultimately equates to working full time for approx. 20 years to be able to afford it. There are additional expenses associated with upkeep and improvements as well. Overall, society has adopted a mindset of buying everything on credit now to pay it off slowly in time. Because of this, about 75% of our population are living paycheck to paycheck.
People work very hard to live in larger homes. Harder still, so that they can fill their homes with lots of stuff they don’t need. They spend even more money caring for themselves and their families. Schedules become overwhelming, and we all become exhausted running the rat race!
What’s the alternative to this way of life? Live smaller.
Apartment rental prices have dramatically inflated in recent years making them less affordable and desirable. Enter the tiny house movement! The average cost of a tiny house is between $10,000-$50,000, and the cost to maintain one is minimal. Depending on where you park your tiny house, you may need to pay for land rental and/or insurance, but you could conceivably pay the house off after just 2 years!
A tiny home is easier to maintain because it is significantly smaller (usually under 500 square feet). The average sized home in the U.S. is more than 10 times larger than a tiny house! Imagine the time, money and frustration you’d save keeping up with a tiny home…
One of the most favored reasons to own a tiny house is the flexibility to move freely. You are not anchored to one location unless you choose to be. Being able to travel to new places and experience more adventures is what many Americans dream of doing “one day”.
Is There a Downside Here?
As with everything in life, there are some cons associated with living tiny. While it’s easy to clean a tiny house, it’s also easy to accumulate dirt inside, especially if you live with an animal. Smells are easily trapped in smaller spaces, so cooking, trash and animal odors can easily permeate everything (make sure you have lots of windows). If your bedroom is in a loft-style area you could be doing minor acrobatics every time you change your bedding due to the confined space. When you think you may want to expand your tiny home, you are limited to the size and weight your trailer can hold. This means you have to consider how much things weigh (like your sinks and toilet) when you are designing it. Sometimes finding parking for your tiny home can be difficult, depending on the area. And when it comes to entertaining guests, there is not a lot of space for them to roam, or to use the bathroom.
The Stats Are In…
Studies show that women prefer tiny houses over men, and 2 out of every 5 tiny home owners are over 50 years of age. Tiny house people are twice as likely to hold a Master’s degree and 32% of tiny home owners have more than $10,000 tucked away for retirement.
About 68% of tiny home owners have no mortgage (compared to 29.3% of all U.S. homeowners), and 65% have no credit card debt. It’s no surprise then that tiny home owners have more savings than the average American does.
There are certainly many benefits to switching to a simpler lifestyle. Even if a tiny home isn’t for you, there are many truths to this movement which you can apply to start living a better life.
Below is a video showing a comfortably modern, 800 square ft tiny house designed by Mark Patrick and his wife. It’s a great “happy medium” design and includes links to some other tiny house plans of his as well.