As a real estate company, we would be remiss if we did not chime in on the latest trend in houses – tiny houses! A tiny house is just that: a complete house with a kitchen, bathroom, living space, and sleeping space, all for less than 700 square feet. In fact, many tiny houses are even less than half that size. The tiny house movement is a growing trend in home design, and they’re not just popping up in big cities. They’ve been spotted right here in central Ohio, traveling down the freeways on the backs of eighteen wheelers.
You may have read about tiny houses or seen them on TV and thought, “No way could I live like that!” We agree that they’re probably not for everyone, but all the fuss made us wonder exactly why people do choose to live “tiny”. Here are some of the benefits of tiny house living, according to those who have jumped on the (tiny) bandwagon:
1. Energy efficiency is probably what most people think of when they consider tiny houses, and for good reason. The cost of heating and cooling a tiny house is virtually nothing when compared with even an average-sized home, making them popular among the energy-conscious. Less energy waste is also a big consideration, since most energy costs in larger homes are spent heating or cooling space that’s not being used at any given time.
2. Increased quality of fixtures and finishes: if you value high-end finishes over extra space, you may appreciate this perk of tiny house living. Obviously it’s much more affordable to upgrade to granite countertops, solid wood flooring, and marble tile if you’re only buying enough to fit 400 square feet, versus a typical home at more than double or triple the square footage.
3. Freedom! Because most tiny houses are designed to fit on a semi trailer, they can be relocated fairly easily, meaning their occupants are free to move about the country on a whim! This is an appealing feature for those whose jobs require frequent relocation: imagine moving to another city without packing a single item!
4. Tiny houses offer an opportunity for home ownership to those who may not be ready or able to commit to a traditional mortgage. It’s said that the national average price of a tiny home is $125 per square foot, for a total price of $37,500 for a 300-square-foot house – closer to the price of a car than the typical home. Some savvy tiny house builders have even taken on the challenge of building their own homes out of reclaimed materials, with their final investment coming in well under $10,000.
5. We have to admit, they’re kinda cute. Tiny houses remind us of the tree houses we played in as children (or maybe always wished we had). Bold design features and bright colors are more palatable in small doses. And, well, it just seems like everything is cuter when it’s shrunk down to a tiny size.
In spite of some obvious upsides, tiny houses have their drawbacks too, such as significantly less room for cooking and food preparation, limited storage for clothing and other belongings, and bathrooms that are more functional than comfortable. As with any home purchase, there are a lot of factors to be carefully considered when contemplating a tiny house. At the end of the day, it all comes down to priorities and what fits your family and lifestyle best. Still, even if you know you’d never live in a tiny house, it’s fun to imagine how you might. And did we mention they’re cute?