In the world of home-improvement television, one thing is certain: Tiny houses are on trend. Show after show features adorable, miniature builds that are supposed to offer all the advantages of modern living while reducing the owners’ cost of living and carbon footprint. Sounds great! And they are super cute. But are they all they’re cracked up to be?
Advantages of Tiny Houses
Downsizing to a tiny home has its advantages. First, it’s super cheap. According to The Spruce, modest tiny homes cost about $25,000. If you want all the bells and whistles, you can expect to pay more, but you’ll still pay much less than you would for a traditional home. You’ll also pay less for utilities. Smaller space equals less energy usage.
With a tiny home, cleaning and maintenance takes less time. What’s more, the simple lifestyle of tiny living frees many up to pursue other life goals, such as traveling and saving for retirement.
Disadvantages of Tiny Houses
You only have to look at the space a tiny home provides to imagine all the challenges of living in one. Storage is next to nothing in most models, as is seating. Tiny homes are not for entertaining; they’re much too cramped for that.
With a smaller floor plan, you’ll also be limited when it comes to future plans and home pursuits. Want to take up a hobby? You may not have the storage and working space to do so. Want to get a dog or fish aquarium? Those options may be out as well. Additionally, it may be difficult to secure financing and find land on which to place a tiny home.
Many municipalities have zoning requirements pertaining to house size, effectively banning tiny homes. Mortgage companies balk at providing financing, leaving many tiny home owners to spend their cash or take out a personal loan. If you don’t have land and enough cash in hand, setting up your tiny homestead may be quite difficult.
Is Tiny Living Worth It?
While the answer is different for everyone, most people regret going tiny. A 2017 Trulia survey revealed that approximately 34% of tiny house buyers wish they had bought a larger home.
Others figure out tiny living is, at best, a temporary housing solution. A growing family requires more space, so young couples looking to start a family often transition to more traditional housing. Some people also find tiny living too restrictive, prompting them to look for larger accommodations.
All in all, tiny living isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. While some homeowners find peace and comfort living in a miniature dwelling, the vast majority do not. Even those who enjoy tiny living often get frustrated with the legal red tape and zoning issues surrounding it. If you’re in the market and have been considering a tiny home, carefully weigh the pros and cons now to avoid buyer’s remorse later.