Apart from the ever-popular Property Brothers, you’ve probably stumbled across the show Tiny House Hunters on HGTV. Its counterpart on other networks like FYI is “Tiny House Nation.” There are a variety of series and video blogs that offer the same content, too. There’s the Living Big in a Tiny House channel on YouTube that focuses on Australian homes. There’s even an ongoing movement pushing people to live in smaller homes.
The average size of a single-family American house is still quite large at about 1,600 square feet. However, these tiny house movers are living in houses as small as 100 square feet.
It’s clear that for some people, tinier is better. But why?
Benefits of the Tiny Home
Tiny house owners sing praises about the small space they’re living in. It’s because of the following benefits:
- A Road to a Simple and Minimalist Life – When you’re moving to a tiny home, you’ll be pushed to let go of excess material things. This is because you literally won’t have the space to store them in. You can only have the essentials and the things that are truly important to you.
- More Affordable to Build – The more space you plan on taking up, the more money you have to spend overall. You have to pay for the land, labor, and materials to cover it. As such, tiny homes are just significantly more affordable than traditional ones. The average cost of a new house is $246,334. You can build a tiny home for as low as $10,000, to upwards of $30,000. Because of this, some homeowners don’t even put down mortgages for their homes. They just pay in cash. Others may also get personal loans with shorter terms instead.
- Easy and Affordable to Maintain, Too – There’s less space to keep spick and span and fewer appliances to keep in good shape. Your bills may also be cheaper than you’d have for a traditional home. For one, there’s less space to cool down or heat up. You can choose to live off the grid with solar panels taking care of most of your home’s energy needs. You could also save on water by getting a composting toilet. With a tiny home, you’re not just saving on bills, you’re helping in saving the environment, too.
- Changing Sceneries is a Piece of Cake – If you’re not happy about your current neighborhood or you just want a change in scenery, you don’t have to move houses. With a tiny home, you can take the house with you. These can be designed to fit on trailers, so you can bring them along wherever you want to be. You don’t have to pay property tax if your home is on wheels, too. However, you may want to make sure that you have insurance for manufactured homes to ensure your house, the high profile vehicle it’s attached to, and other belongings are covered against fires, storms, and theft.
What to Consider When Building a Tiny Home
If you’re attracted to the benefits of buying or building a tiny house, here are the essential things you should consider.;
- Power Options –You have a lot of choices when it comes to power for your tiny home. They’re mostly off-the-grid options. The easiest and most accessible way to get electricity is through a gas-powered generator. You get to plan how much fuel you’ll use depending on your consumption. Solar panels are also easier to find and install, so you can get natural, guilt-free energy for your home.
- Land and Zoning Laws – The laws regarding your tiny home depends on the type you’re actually building. Some state zoning laws require minimum square footage for new homes. For example, Florida has a minimum requirement of 120 square feet. If you build one that’s smaller than that, you may run into issues with your local government.
- The Type of Tiny home – You also need to consider the type of tiny home you’re building. If it’s designed to be mobile, you need to register it as a recreational vehicle or RV. If you’re building it on a foundation like a traditional house, you may have to register it as an accessory dwelling unit or ADU.;
ADUs are secondary dwellings located in a single lot. This means that you need to build it on your own land and as an “accessory” to a larger structure, like another house. Your best bet when building a tiny home on a foundation is to find a tiny house community. These are homes built on a single lot. States like California, Florida, and Colorado have flexible zoning and building regulations, so you may find the community for your home there.
A tiny house comes with many benefits. It’s more affordable to build and easier to maintain than the traditional home. However, it also comes with complicated factors that you need to address. Take time to think about the type of tiny home you’ll build, which area you’re settling in, and the options you have for electricity. You’ll thank yourself when you’re living big in your tiny home.