The Tiny Trend


Tiny Houses have made their way into our TV shows, our social media, and into our vacation sites. But what are they really all about?

The tiny houses are coming! The tiny houses are coming! Have you seen them yet? Tiny Houses have become not only an architectural trend but also a huge social movement. They can be beautifully built and outfitted with some ingenious ways of managing your small storage and living spaces. But is it the right permanent move for you to live small or is it just a fad? TV Shows, beautiful blogs, and Instagram accounts make the tiny life look easy and constantly blog-worthy whenever you snap a picture. But what is the reality of living small and is it the right plan for you? It's not for everyone, but it does have its appeal.

What is a tiny home? A tiny home is a small house that ranges between 100-400 square feet. They can be rented or owned and can either be on wheels or be built on a normal foundation. You can either have them designed and built for you, adapt a trailer or vehicle into a small home, or buy a tiny house kit and put it together and build it yourself! A typical American house has an average of about 2600 square feet. That comes with 2600 square feet of insurance, appliances, taxes, things to fix, utilities, furniture pieces, pets, family members, and years of wear and tear. It costs a lot to reach this American Dream and pay it off in full. For most people who are striving towards this dream, they are living paycheck to paycheck to do so. But a tiny house is only 100-400 square feet to furnish, clean, keep warm and cool, and to care for. That kind of makes you pause, right? Automatically, you would be saving money when living small. Most small homeowners, about 78%, already own their homes outright. Whereas only 65% of regular-sized homeowners own their homes outright.

Many people are starting to turn to this smaller lifestyle for many different reasons, and not just because they're super cute. They're starting to live smaller for the world and environment around them. It does leave a smaller environmental footprint, you have greater financial freedom, and you can live a simple and self-sufficient lifestyle. But what are some of the other pros of living in a tiny home?

  • Taxes, insurance, maintenance, and property interest is way less.

  • It's cheaper to build - and you can build with all of those dream materials you've always loved.

  • Still has all the modern conveniences, and since it is so small a high powered battery and solar panels can be enough to run your tiny home.

  • They can come in all sizes, shapes, and forms.

  • A simplified, more efficient living space where you are living with less.

  • Ability to travel with your own home.

  • Very energy efficient.

  • It doesn't require a septic system. You can get a composite toilet or attach your home to a normal sewer system.

  • You can still have pets in your tiny home

But the Tiny House lifestyle still might not be the thing for you. You might love to have multiple bathrooms, multiple rooms for your family members or guests to stay in, a big yard for your pets to run around in, and you may want the garage and a pool in the backyard. That's okay too. Even as appealing as a tiny house can be - there are still some cons that you need to consider before selling all of your possessions and putting your home on the market.

  • Building Code: Some neighborhoods and HOAs might not classify a Tiny Home as an actual home, but as an RV due to its size. You may not be allowed to build in certain areas or neighborhoods because of this. It may go as far as not approving the construction of a structure so small in these desired areas.

  • Composting Toilet: Even though for some this will make traveling wonderful, and you'd never have to look for a septic hook up or a sewer to plug into, it does come with its downfalls. You have to sanitize them more often, they don't always hide odors very well, and the actual height of the toilet might be an issue too.

  • More Cleaning: You don't have nearly half the storage space you would in a normal size home. Any mess is a huge mess in a tiny home - so the amount of time spent cleaning will most probably increase.

  • Higher Purchasing Cost: Since you can no longer buy in bulk and store items - you will be spending more on things you usually would just have kept in storage in a normal size home.

  • Accessibility: Storage can be in high out of the way locations - so getting to the items that you need becomes more difficult.

  • Unique Rules to follow: If you decide to take a pet with you in your tiny home and you travel, you need to make sure your pets are vaccinated for every new place you travel to and that their breed is allowed.

  • No privacy at all: If you're not traveling or living alone in your tiny home - you'll be spending a lot of time with who you decide to share your home with.

A big home isn't for everyone - and a tiny home isn't for everyone. But everyone has their own dream house. Before you decide to purchase a home of any size, make sure you do your research. A home is a big commitment no matter the size - so be prepared for anything that comes along with it!

Tim Hilkhuijsen