It’s almost certain a friend, neighbor, or coworker have fantasized about the idea of living somewhere requiring less work, more sustainability, and less cost. Insert the easy solution: A Tiny House. But somehow, to many of us, Tiny Houses seem out of arm’s reach.
The Small House Movement started in 1997, with Sarah Susanka‘s release of The Not So Big House. Tiny Houses emphasize the design of the building, not the size of the building which makes for extremely creative and compact spaces that are utilized by creative professionals, families, and everyday people looking to reduce their environmental impact.
It’s important to note that there is a significant difference between SMALL and TINY Houses. Small Houses are between 400 and 1000 sq ft and Tiny Houses are less than 400 sq ft. Both are built to last as long as conventional houses, but Tiny Houses are more versatile and cost WAY less. Tiny Houses can be built on a flatbed to be mobile, they can be nestled into urban and rural lots, or BOTH! The sky really is the limit with these compact modern designs. If you’re looking to build your own, here are some creative floor plans for log Tiny Houses!
How accessible are Tiny Houses as creative live and work spaces? Currently on the market, Tiny Houses are built for $20K and have enough space for a family with a baby, this middle of the range beautifully designed house is going for $46.5K for 210 sq ft., and there are luxury Tiny Houses that start at $79K. And with this announcement from SolarCity (where Elon Musk is a co-founder and current chairman), the company has reached a new record for solar panel efficiency, making living in an eco-friendly Tiny House even easier.
So where can you park your newly acquired Tiny House? Spur, Texas is the first town in the United States to be recognized as a “Tiny House friendly town.” With a total area of 1.6 sq miles, land for sale in Spur will cost you roughly $500 for a 50 by 165 foot lot. There are approximately 900 people who live in Spur with 307 students enrolled in K to 12. Plus, the affordability of owning a Tiny House makes your dream of owning Tesla’s Model X that much closer!
But if you don’t want to move to Texas (I love the West coast), there are plenty of options. You can park your Tiny House in a backyard where an RV or a shed is allowed. There is also the option of renting or buying your own parcel of land, while this might be harder in more urban areas, you can probably find land for a good price just outside of town. Conveniently, many RV parks will let you park your Tiny House for a monthly price. There is also this useful map of communities and parking places that are open to having Tiny House owners!
So you’ve done some research, you know you can afford a Tiny House for your live and work space, and you’ve found a place to park it. But how do you REALLY know a Tiny House is for you? Here are 5 signs a Tiny House might be the right choice for you:
1. You fantasize about minimalist living. Now I’m not just talking about paring down from 15 pairs of winter socks to 5. I’m talking about the type of person that fantasizes living a minimalist lifestyle where the abundance of items simply does not fit into their space.
2. You crave a more simple lifestyle. People who live in Tiny Houses often explain their lives feel less cluttered and therefore less unplanned. Going through the process of moving into and living in a Tiny House forces you to plan out your space and all of the things in it.
3. You want the option of moving around. The Tiny House lifestyle is excellently catered to the dream of living where you work and working where you live. This dream is also tied into traveling when you work. With your house and office on wheels you can literally take off whenever you want and drive to your next destination.
4. You indulge in the dream of not being tied to a mortgage for 35 years. With the average sale price for a house in the United States at $353K, being mortgage free is the ultimate goal for many American families and creative professionals. Investing in a Tiny House requires an upfront investment which can be paid off in much less time than the purchase of a conventional house. Plus, you have the benefit of traveling and living where you want, without being tied down.
5. Living off grid is super attractive to you. People looking to reduce their carbon footprint are turning to Tiny Houses as a viable option for their living space. With increasing accessibility of solar panels and 3D printed wind turbines for Tiny Houses, living off grid without a power hook-up is easier and easier.
These signs are, of course, simple starting points to take into consideration. For many of us, we have already recognized that we are ready to downsize into smaller more eco-friendly living spaces. Our dreams of living simpler, more compact, and eco-friendly lifestyles have been realized, now it’s just a matter of taking the first step.