How Tiny Homes are Becoming More Popular

by Nancy

Although the world seems to be slowly reopening in 2022 post-COVID pandemic, one glaringly obvious difficulty has emerged. House prices across the globe have surged. Just in the U.S. alone, house prices rose by 10.9% in Jan 2022, with this figure predicted to continue rising even further in the years to come. 

Consequently, quite a few home-searchers are feeling justifiably discouraged, and overall lacking optimism on whether they will be able to reasonably afford a home in the next few years. So, what is the solution? Is there an alternative?  One such alternative to traditional homeownership is tiny home living. Read on to find out what tiny homes are and why people are turning to them as an alternative to traditional housing. 

Tiny Homes as An Affordable Living Option

What are tiny homes?

Tiny homes are homes generally between 80 and 400sq ft and are uniquely designed to provide the owner with the necessities of a regular home such as a living space, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and sometimes additional storage. 

As a result of being so small, they are generally easy to maintain, low on energy consumption, and incredibly more affordable than traditional homes to buy outright, without the need to apply for a mortgage.  They can either be built on traditional, ground foundations like regular houses or as transportable homes with accompanying wheels. 

Different types of Tiny houses:

There are a few popular tiny house models that people opt for. These can include:

  1. Tumbleweed: 

Tumbleweed tiny houses are characterised by their wooden exteriors and extrinsic styling. They typically range from 117 to 221 square ft and are most of the time mobile. 

  1. Luxury: 

Luxury does not always have to be equated with size. Some owners characterize their tiny home as luxury, purposefully filling it with various expensive furniture and decor, all the way to in-floor heating and a hot tub. The largest benefit is that you can do this all for a fraction of the price that it would cost to create a luxury standard-sized home. 

  1. Micro-Apartments: 

Although you may associate apartments with being essentially small style homes, tiny houses can also be apartments. They are usually less than 400 square feet and are designed typically for single people with only a few rooms.

  1. Shipping Container Tiny Homes: 

It may sound slightly ridiculous, but some tiny homes were actually used as shipping containers and can actually work as a tiny house. As a result of metal shipping containers usually not being cost-effective to be re-used, shipping and storage companies often scrap them. So instead of unnecessary waste, some manufacturers redesign them to be adapted to home design. One such company is G-Pod, which has done precisely that

What is the benefit of a tiny home vs having a regular-sized one?

  1. You can save a lot of money 

Instead of paying the ever-increasing current house prices, some opt for tiny houses to help alleviate the increasingly costly house prices. A recent study found that the average homeowner spends between 25-50% of their overall income, just on their housing.

Tiny house owners, on the other hand, are able to use a large proportion of the housing costs they would have otherwise spent on a regular house on other things they love in life such as travelling and taking more time off of work.  As opposed to most traditional homes, most tiny homes allow you to buy them outright with cash (given you have the financial means). This means that you will actually be able to own a home outright, without a monthly mortgage payment that may have a term of several decades. On top of the initial capital savings, as your house is of course smaller, you can save quite a lot on energy, water and overall bills.

  1. Back to basics- simple living

Although it may not be for everyone, tiny houses offer a sense of simplicity. Some may say society is too caught up with owning more material things than what is needed. So, if this resonates with you, a tiny house certainly offers a pared down and simple way of living.  At the same time, they also offer a more modern twist on an otherwise basic way of living. A good way to see if you would be a good fit for tiny home living is to stay in one short-term via a vacation rental, or go camping in an RV (since they often have the same approximate square footage). This is especially good to do if you plan to live in your tiny home with another person. 

  1. More environmentally friendly and sustainable than regular homes

Did you know that one of the most environmentally taxing things in modern-day society is heating homes? They account for approximately 37% of carbon emissions when including industrial processes.

So, if you are looking to join the effort in a more environmentally friendly future than what is currently available with traditional housing, a tiny house is a fantastic way to do so. Overall, you produce less waste, use less energy and reduce your carbon footprint. 

  1. Community

As a result of tiny homes not being the norm in society, owners have created their own community of like-minded individuals who also live in tiny homes. This means you will meet people and neighbors that you likely otherwise would not have met, in comparison to the ever more isolated regular housing that exists today. In fact, in many states there are whole subdivisions filled with tiny homes. Often, a tiny home becomes a second home, an investment property, or a vacation home. These are often situated in communities that support this type of endeavor, often in very picturesque areas. 

Tips for a person looking at tiny homes as their next home

If you want to find out more, there are plenty of supporters and group gatherings available. A useful tip could be to look in your local area, or where you wish to live, to see if a group already exists. 

One useful resource to find local groups is the Tiny House Map. Alternatively, you can simply search for ‘tiny house’, followed by your city’s name in Google. You may be surprised how many manufacturers, as well as communities already exist.