What are Tiny Homes?
A tiny home is more than an RV and less than a cottage. The concept is a small dwelling, either with wheels or on a fixed foundation, that has all modern necessities and some modern conveniences. They are ideal for singles and couples, but small families can also live comfortably in tiny homes.
Ready to Downsize?
Some people find that they don’t need most of the possessions they’ve accumulated. Others are empty-nesters. When they’ve rid themselves of the clutter, they realize they are paying off mortgages on unused space. The average American home is no longer the sure investment that it was 50 to 75 years ago. The unreliable housing markets have proven that; so if real estate is no longer a safe investment, many people aren’t willing to risk their savings and future income.
Most tiny home occupants own their homes free and clear. The low cost-to-build and the reasonable community fees make a park model house a very attractive option. Some people simply don’t earn enough in this tough job market to qualify for a mortgage. However, they can still get approved for a small construction loan, or residential loan on a pre-built tiny home.
Tiny Utility Bills
Since tiny homes use very little electricity and natural gas for heating, cooking and lighting, their utility bills are almost non-existent. Depending on the community, city water and sewer connections may be available. Some people opt to remain off-grid, sourcing their electricity from solar panels, and installing water capture systems and composting toilets.
Simple Lifestyle–Fewer Possessions
We’ve been conditioned by marketing firms to always “need more.” It often takes a few decades for people to look around and realize that they’ve acquired many objects that serve little purpose. Communities across the globe prove that people can survive, happily, with a lot less “stuff” than the average American has. If you have doubts about de-cluttering, make a list of all the things you’ve bought, then given away, or discarded, before it’s useful life was spent; it may shock you.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that your home is paid for, your utilities and expenses are reasonable, and that you are not lacking in any physical comforts can create a calm and restful mental state. Creative types often build tiny homes as peaceful retreats, but move into them and give up their larger conventional homes.
Save More Money For Other Things
In 2016, the median rent for a one-bedroom in the U.S. was $1200 per month (HuffingtonPost.com, June 2016). That means that the average single person, or couple, paid almost $15,000 per year on an expense that will never become an asset. Rental units are not investments; they will never yield anything. That money can go towards investment, travel, education, a business ventor or even just retirement savings.
Affordable Build Options
The average cost to build a tiny home is in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands. With rents being what they are, and no relief in sight, the average renter would be able to pay off a small construction loan on a tiny home within two to three years.
The tiny home community is a wonderland of inspiration and support. If you’re curious, contact a tiny home builder, or community, to arrange a visit.