Tiny house movement or Tiny house life has rapidly gained popularity, especially for millennials who wish to embrace a debt-free lifestyle by owning a home of their own without having to worry about paying a mortgage. It is a social movement which supports individuals and families to scale back their spatial needs.
Living compact may not be for everyone, though there are some immediate benefits that can be recognized when the tiny house movement is welcomed. Moreover, with a tiny house, the maintenance costs are a fraction of what the traditional homeowner faces.
Tiny houses take the pros and cons of small house living to their farthest. In comparison to an average, traditional house or even a more normal small house, a tiny house offers you less of everything: less space, but also less expense, less maintenance, and less energy use. Besides, tiny houses have a whole extra set of unique benefits and problems related to their tremendously small dimension.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages that come with embracing this lifestyle, which is why all the pros and cons of living in a tiny house must be analyzed. Before you commit to living in a tiny house, you must read through all that a tiny home has to offer.
Advantages of Living in a Tiny House
There are plenty of advantages of living in a tiny house. Regardless of their small size, tiny houses are perfect for a millennial who want to own their house without the crushing debt.
1. You own your own home – mortgage-free.
The ownership rate of people living in a tiny house is 78 percent, which is certainly more than those living in a traditional house as their ownership rate is just 65 percent. Many of those who own their tiny house don’t have to pay mortgages either. As most millennials are focused on keeping their debt to a minimum, it is no surprise that they are more inclined toward tiny mobile homes.
2. Tiny homes provide all the up to date amenities.
Just because the home is tiny, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the conveniences of modern living. You can have air conditioning in your tiny home, create space for a washer and dryer, and extra sleeping space. Some tiny homes even have a second level available in them for a private sleeping quarter. There are so many customization options for a tiny home are also available and they are the same as they are for traditional homes.
3. Cheaper to build.
Tiny homes are cheaper than standard homes to construct. The average cost of a standard house in the United States is $272,000; while the average cost to build a tiny home is just $23,000 if it is built by the owner. Even if the work is given out to professional builders, the cost to construct a tiny house is still 80 percent lesser than the cost to build a typical home. This way you get to save money as maintenance costs are also lower. Apparently, one in three tiny house owners has at least $10,000 saved for their retirement.
4. Travel with your house.
If you own some property, then you can construct your own tiny house and have a great place to live at a discount. One of the advantages of a tiny home is that they can also be placed on a trailer, much like a fifth wheel; and can take it traveling anywhere you want to go vacationing. While there are vehicle registration issues to consider with a portable tiny home on wheels, many families in the west have the option to travel full-time while still having the option to work from home.
Image: Das Tiny Tirol House
5. Offers reduced maintenance needs.
When you live in a small space, you spend less time cleaning the place and have less space to maintain. With a tiny home, you don’t have to spend much on maintenance requirements. You don’t have to spend much on the cost to replace a roof or update the exterior paint, unlike the traditional homes. Those who have been living in tiny houses have discovered that they have much more free time as there is less space to take care of.
6. You’ll save plenty of money.
According to various cost and saving analysis on tiny house living, people who are dwelling in tiny houses save plenty of money on house construction, maintenance and other related expenses. Outfitting your tiny home with modern equipment, you can make more saving than you would in a typical, regular-sized house. There are options to work in exchange for free camping sites to regulate site rental costs, which means the long-term savings is quite high.
7. Provides prospects for less consumption.
Living in a tiny house means you have to be conscious of every purchase you make. If you do not have room to store up something, then you can’t have it in your tiny home or you would have to sacrifice space for it. When you begin to live in a small dwelling, you start cutting down your consumption and reduce consumerism. Instead of piling things down and worrying about how much you can afford, you are always looking to lessen your consumption.
8. Tiny homes are more energy-efficient than traditional houses.
When you have got a smaller space to heat or cool, then you spend less on the energy requirements to make yourself comfortable. Although intense conditions that make you uncomfortable in a standard house will also affect you in a tiny home, you will find that the concrete processes for heating and cooling are very alike to what you would find in any other home. The energy requirements are so low that mobile solar panels and a good high-capacity battery could take you completely off the grid.
9. No requirement for a septic system.
Tiny homes built in the city can be linked to a sewer system for contemporary plumbing requirements. The advantage is that remote tiny houses do not require a septic system to provide modern age conveniences. With a composting toilet, you can go anywhere without worrying about your connections and about disposing excretory waste carelessly. If you use the toilet full-time, a couple living in a tiny house may need to clean it out about once every six weeks. You can also prepare a black water tank and plumbing capabilities for a traditional flushing system, even on a fully portable tiny home.
10. Gives you chance to go overboard with building materials.
As you have less space to worry about with a tiny home, you can go overboard on certain items with your building materials and budget. You can upgrade your floor to hardwood or bamboo flooring for a minimal cost. You can add stainless steel appliances to the interior without any issues, whatsoever; and you can also opt for more exotic woods for your interior. While space will always be of most value in this type of home, you also have more personalization options that you might normally be able to afford.
Disadvantages of Living in a Tiny Home
While there is abundance of benefits of living in a tiny house, there are many disadvantages as well. Often, many issues that make these small dwelling special and beneficial, can create obstacles in a perfectly comfortable lifestyle.
1. Has legality issues in some communities.
While you are at liberty to choose any sort of house you like, including a tiny house. In some neighborhoods, there may be building codes which dictate the minimum size of a home. In such a case, a tiny home may not be approved for construction. Some jurisdictions catalog the home as an RV, while others may categorize it as an actual house. You will need to review all zoning codes and managerial requests when you choose this lifestyle to ensure you are staying in an agreement.
2. Composting toilet could create a problem.
Although composting toilets are inexpensive and arguably easier to use, they are also smaller than a standard toilet. People with mobility concerns may struggle to find a model with a toilet bowl height which fulfills their requirements. You may even need an exact consent to have it installed in your tiny house. Then there is the cleaning requirement, which needs you to sanitize the toilet on a regular basis. Moreover, not every composting toilet contains its odor well, which can be tough to live within a tiny home.
3. A tiny home requires cleaning more often.
When you live in a tiny home, you need to clean at least 30 minutes on the average day. If you are living in 400 square feet or less, a little disorganization can create a big mess. The house can become a complete mess in a matter of mere minutes. You don’t have a lot of space to neatly place everything you desire in your house, and if things get even a little disorganized it could be a disaster. You may be able to save time cleaning when looking at this issue from a long-term point of view, though you will be cleaning every day in most situations.
4. You may find higher purchasing expenditure for your needed items.
If you live in a typical home, then there is a pretty good chance that you have got space to store canned goods, extra water, emergency supplies, and other required items – you can purchase in bulk with that space to save some money, but you do not have that kind of luxury when you commit to living in a tiny house. You have to buy things individually, which increases your expenses. It also increases the amount of packaging that you will need to process.
5. You have minimal storage space.
You might be saving time on your cleaning with a tiny home in comparison to a traditional house. But you might not be saving time with your meal preparation needs because there is limited storage space with a tiny home, so you have fewer opportunities to make meals in advance. There are fewer possibilities to order out as well if you live in an isolated location. That means you are almost forced to cook every day and carry out portion control. You can use fresh ingredients for a healthier living, though it also means you will spending more time at the stove.
6. Accessibility can be an issue in a tiny home.
When you are discussing storage in a tiny home, you will find that many of the built-in spaces for storages are not easily accessible. You just don’t have space to store items on counters, dressers, or furniture. When you are trying to manage a specific chore or task, this can make it a bit difficult, if not frustrating. That means if you are sharing this space with someone, you will have to compromise and adjust for space through daily chores.
7. You may have to follow unique rules.
If you have pets and travel with them while living in your tiny home on wheels, then there may be legal issues that you will have to face. Your pets will need their shots updated to travel into most states. Some regions or communities may have bans in place for your breed of pet that could force you to change your travel plans and go somewhere else. Moreover, as pets shed a lot, you will be cleaning around a clock and more thoroughly if you are living in a smaller space.
8. You will have a lack of privacy.
When you opt for living in a tiny home, you have to say goodbye to your privacy, especially if you are sharing this space with someone. In traditional houses, you have the privacy of your separate room; but tiny houses don’t offer that luxury. Although there are ways for you to manage that issue to some extent, such as having a second loft, it still doesn’t help much like a separate room would. As there is much less space in smaller dwellings, however, there is no getting around the issue of privacy if you share that space with someone else.
These advantages and disadvantages show that organized individuals, couples, and families can enhance the value of their living space without the same expenses of a traditional home. There are some ordeals to face and the challenge of adjusting to a smaller space, which can be met in time. The portability of these homes, with their cost savings potential on hand, makes it advisable for everyone to scrutinize the full prospective of this lifestyle.