All About Tiny Homes

What’s the micro home movement? To put it simply, it’s a growing trend in people buying smaller homes, typically about 100-400 square feet in size. It might sound crazy, but it’s certainly doable: while not for everyone, the tiny home lifestyle can be beneficial for many homeowners, as you’ll see below. Tiny homes have been around for over a decade, but the recent housing crisis and an uncertain economy have bolstered interest in living smaller in a stylish way. 

So what’s drawing people into the tiny home movement? For starters, a tiny home is much cheaper than your average, family-sized home. Typically, a family might buy a house for around $290 thousand. When you factor in the energy costs for a big house, as well as furnishing and upkeep, and the house will rack up a lot more cost than intended–or necessary. Meanwhile, a micro home can cost as little as $20,000 to make (of course, you would need to find land on which to legally place it.)

It’s important to note that your average, double-income family can make a lot of use out of a large home, making the investment well worth the money. But because American families are shrinking, many may find that downsizing can better fit their budgets and lifestyles. As more and more people are drawn to urbane, apartment living, a tiny home and desire for self-sufficiency can make it easier for owning a home to be within many young adults’ grasp whom might consider a life of renting otherwise.

An interest in a smaller carbon footprint and better environmental living is also a draw for many. Consider this: in a 300 square-foot home, you don’t have much space for extraneous obsessions. Limited space can challenge you to buy and keep only what you need, and to make use of everything you have (or you can donate and sell something that’s outlived its use!) A smaller home requires less energy–which can save a great deal of money on utilities–and you can power a whole micro home by simply plugging it into an outlet.

That said, a micro home or tiny home doesn’t need to replace the one you already have. If you find the quaint, itty-bitty houses to be something you’d love to have without an entire lifestyle change, consider using one as an affordable addition to your home, as perhaps a work space for yourself or a living space for someone in the family. A micro home on wheels makes for a fashionable replacement of an RV or trailer when going on vacation. If you’ve got a plot on a campground, you can turn it into a temporary yard for your house on-the-go!

Tiny homes are easy to build, and resources are readily available online: with different designs and schematics to choose from, you have the opportunity to pick out exactly what you want. A smaller house means your budget can be spent on better materials that might be too expensive to consider with a larger house–so your tiny micro home can work.

So, are you a micro home convert, already romanticizing a life of cultivating the land and towing your house across the country? If a switch to a uncluttered life doesn’t sound scary, take the first steps by checking out our many tips on home organization and de-cluttering. You can find more resources for finding and building a tiny home over at the Small House Society.