Thanks to the Tiny House Movement promoting living life without the stress, clutter and costs that larger homes can bring, tiny homes have become so popular. They also give people a chance to own homes sooner when housing costs in the U.S. continue to rise.
But, are tiny homes really beacons of light for those looking to live minimally and save money… or are they wolves in sheep’s clothing? It’s finally time to find out.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of tiny house living to help you decide whether living in a tiny home will be worth it to you, your lifestyle and your budget in the long run.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Tiny House Living:
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- Tiny House Pros
- Modern Appliances are Tiny House Friendly
- Tiny House Cost of Living is Cheaper
- Tiny House Travel is Real
- There’s Less to Clean in a Tiny Home
- Eco-friendly Tiny Houses Make a Big Impact
- Tiny Houses Cons
Pros – Why Live in a Tiny House?
Tiny houses are typically around 300 to 500 square feet so, naturally, tiny homes have an appeal to minimalists and travel enthusiasts since they don’t have to be grounded.
However, people from all walks of life, single and families, have taken up the lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the pros for how good of a life you can live in a tiny house.
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Modern Appliances are Tiny House Friendly
Good news! Just because you’re living small doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable. Tiny houses can be built with air conditioning, a washer and dryer, stovetops, even a small bathtub! Many tiny homes resemble a large home with modern and even luxurious conveniences such as heated tiles, towel warmers, and more to become quite the tiny masterpiece.
Tiny House Cost of Living is Cheaper
Building a tiny house can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $180,000, depending on how luxurious it’s built and if any changes happen along the way. However, the average tiny home homeowner budgets around $30,000 to $75,000. Once it’s done, you get all the same benefits having paid off a regular home, but with fewer and less expensive bills.
It’s also typically less expensive to build a tiny home than to purchase a pre-fab one. Many big-box stores like Amazon and Costco have jumped on the Tiny House Movement and are selling shells to help aspiring tiny home owners to affordably start building their tiny home.
Tiny House Travel is Real
Tiny homes are like campers and homes in one. Some choose to keep their home on a foundation and in one place, but many love taking advantage of the fact that you can slap some wheels onto the bottom of it and tow it away to a far-off destination.
One day you could be waking up to the sounds of ocean waves hitting sandy beaches, and the next you could be sipping coffee in the mountains!
There’s Less to Clean in a Tiny Home
Moving into a tiny house means you need to get rid of a lot of non-tiny things like couches, treadmills, dining tables, mattresses… you get it. The whole idea behind tiny living is to live tiny, so it makes sense since you don’t have a lot of furniture, you have a lot less to clean.
You can get through cleaning the whole house in a fraction of the time it takes a regular home, and it’ll make you feel pretty great about disposing of all the household stuff you used to have. Tiny houses force you to downsize and live to the minimum. So, when you’re moving into your own tiny home, call LoadUp to haul your big stuff so you can live tiny.
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Eco-friendly Tiny Houses Make a Big Impact
Residential and commercial buildings in the US account for 40% of carbon emissions and 14% of potable water, so tiny homes set out to reduce the negative impact of building a home and maintaining it. Smaller means it’s more environmentally friendly with a lower carbon footprint, less consumption, higher energy efficiency, and more.
It’s been shown that on average, people who downsized into a tiny home consumed over 54% less than the average American. Which, makes sense since there are teeny tiny cabinets and teeny tiny storage compartments that limit how much you can hoard.
Cons – Are Tiny Houses a Bad Idea?
Now, onto the flip side. It’s easy to romanticize living in a tiny home, especially after thinking about all the money saved and the freedom to travel without even needing to book a hotel. However, once the tiny home craze took off and people actually lived in their homes for at least a year, some tiny house cons have come to light.
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Tiny House Laws Vary and Aren’t Easy to Comply With
People have repeatedly found themselves shoo-ed away from even remote locations once word makes it out that they’ve parked a tiny home here. And the word of a remarkably tiny home spreads fast, so it happens a lot. Which makes us wonder: Why are tiny houses illegal?
Tiny houses aren’t considered legal housing in some states because they fall into a zoning regulation and safety gray area. Most states find tiny houses don’t have the minimum square footage to be considered a residence, making it more difficult to register or gain permits. However, most states classify tiny houses as recreational vehicles (RVs), so they are allowed to park at campsites and RV sites for a fee.
The Tiny House Resale Value
Standard houses depreciate in value mostly due to location, whereas tiny homes depreciate not quite as a car does, but almost. Because of the gray area tiny homes fall under, getting a loan is difficult, selling is hard, and tiny homes can actually be a pretty crazy investment when you consider cost per square foot.
Unfortunately, tiny house prices depreciate and most people lose money on their tiny house when they go to sell. Upgrades do increase the overall value but not necessarily enough to make your money back. Unless the home is super unique or incredibly well maintained, it’s the sad truth. But, who knows. If local governments start adding tiny houses as residences, more of them may appear and create stability for the tiny house real estate market.
Towing a Tiny House Means You Need a Truck
While yes, you’re unhinged and free to travel wherever you want with your house on wheels, you need a vehicle strong enough to literally tow your entire life with you. So, if you plan on getting a tiny house for yourself with plans to travel, don’t forget to factor in the cost of purchasing a truck, hitch, and trailer.
Also, keep in mind that traveling with tiny houses puts them through a lot of wear and tear since they’re being lugged through all sorts of climates. Tiny house owners make repairs and upgrades as they live in the home and find the winters too cold or the summers too hot.
Less Space Makes Tiny House Storage a Challenge
Obviously the whole point is to live small, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Having a small home means way less storage for leftover foods, no more shopping at Costco and no buying in bulk, there’s a limit to guests, you find yourself cleaning all the time because one thing out place equates to massive clutter in your tiny home.
Not only do you have to consider where you’re going to put things, but you also have to worry about how much the things weigh. Tiny home dwellers often decide between two things by going with the item that weighs less. A truck can only haul so much before problems start.
Tiny House Cooking is Tricky
Aside from the fact that you’re cooking with half a counter and half a stovetop, cooking can be pretty difficult. Since the fridge and pantry are also tiny, owners find themselves driving to the grocery store and cooking more often, which forces them to use more propane or they end up abandoning their kitchen and eat out more often than not.
Also, if you’re eco-conscious, this also means you’re driving to the store a lot since you can’t just go once a week and store the rest anymore. On top of that, you’re often forced to go with unsustainable packaging as you’re buying one at a time rather than bulk.
The Tiny House Composting Toilet
Last but not least, the composting toilet. There are different types of toilets for tiny house living, but this is one of the most popular choices. Since there is no plumbing, your number ones and twos kind of stick around for the ride with you. They’re built to keep solids and liquids in separate champers to help keep the smell better contained, but we get the feeling user error can make for some tough summer scents.
However, you can add drops of vinegar or sugar to the toilet to reduce odor. It’s smart to invest in a good toilet since you don’t want to share the 200 sq. ft with frightful smells.
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Also, because of the way the toilets work, men have to sit down when urinating. So be prepared for that conversation every time with your male guests. Then, there is cleaning it out. Toilets and families vary, but you can expect a single person to need to dump urine every 3-4 days and solid waste every 3 to 4 months. Don’t forget, eventually, it’ll need a deep clean.
Living In a Tiny House Isn’t for Everyone
Whether you want to give up all of your belongings, build a tiny home, and go off-grid, or you have an overwhelming urge to get rid of a lot of your things but not quite move into 300 sq. ft and have to “crank” your toilet, call a junk removal company like LoadUp.
LoadUp will remove, haul away, and dispose of pretty much anything you don’t want. Plus, we strive to recycle or donate in order to dispose of your things as eco-friendly as possible. We’ll get the job done quickly and safely so you can feel at home, regardless of how big or small.
Combined with the Marie Kondo and minimalism craze, it’s natural to get caught up in the romance of living with just the necessities and traveling wherever the wind blows. However, many find themselves missing numerous aspects of traditional housing. Sometimes you think you want a tiny home, but maybe you just want to live with less. For all your decluttering and downsizing needs, make your life easy and call your friends at LoadUp.
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