The Tiny House movement is in full swing. From numerous books on the subject, to the documentary TINY: A Story About Living Small, to the new series Tiny House Nation, individuals and young families are rethinking their living requirements. Why do they need to reside in a large apartment or home when they could live and flourish in an area 500 square feet or smaller? There are definitely benefits to owning a tiny home. First, they save monthly mortgage payments since most tiny houses are paid for ahead of time. Second, depending on the height of the tiny house, it can be transported across the country like a recreational vehicle, allowing the owner to avoid items like utility bills and property taxes.
However, a tiny house may not be for your or your young family. Like purchasing a condo or first home, the decision to move to a miniature residence requires great consideration as well as a reevaluation of the money you have available. Without either of these, living in a tiny house can become a miserable experience. Before you sign anything or decide to sell all of your possessions, here are a few items to consider.
Where will you live?
Many tiny homes are built to be transportable. Yet, there may be a time before or after you travel that you want to settle down with your young family. Should that be the case, do you have a plot of land where you can park the house for a period of time? And if you have an idea where to go, will you need to pay property taxes on the land or will the city or town allow you to plant your house anywhere? These are major items to consider before you even decide on any home plans.
What do you want?
Framing the tiny house is fairly inexpensive. What goes into the home is what can cost a young family the most money. In Tiny House Nation the budget they have is $30,000 for everything, including fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen areas. This is based on customer designs as well as some standard items like a compost toilet or refrigerator. But what if you want a Viking refrigerator and marble tile in the shower? That raises the price of the home. Add items like writing the house for automation and powering it with solar panels and the costs can be even higher.
Can you live with less?
There’s no secret to living in a tiny house. All you and your young family need to do is pare down your possessions to the simplest and most needed items. For you and your partner this may not be hard as you can sell or give away most of your items. Your children are another matter. In many cases they have more possessions than you do, which means trying to find the most honored possessions to take with them. There’s also the matter of less space. Do you think you can live with your family in close quarters on a daily basis? These questions all have to be considered before you give the go-ahead.