By Amanda Weiss
Perhaps you’ve heard—tiny house living is in right now. Tiny houses provide the amenities needed for living on a much smaller scale, usually between 250-500 square feet. Some of the most popular tiny houses in which people reside are bus conversions, shipping containers, RV’s, and custom builds. Depending on location and lifestyle, one option may work better than the others. In the United States, the movement is gaining momentum, especially in California, Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado, among others. However, with enough research and the proper resources, tiny houses can be built and maintained elsewhere. So, for your careful consideration, here are 11 ways to decide if tiny house living is for you.
1) Location to Build or Park
One of your first concerns, if you are considering a tiny house life, should be your location to build or park. Most residential land already has full-size houses on property. If you want to stay within a suburban setting, you need to find an area that allows tiny houses. When planning your placement, you need to decide whether you want a mobile mini-home or stationary. This may depend on your lifestyle, as well as your job and other stable aspects of life. If you use a mobile home as a basis, you will have less control over design. If you are dedicated to having a tiny house, you may have to be willing to move away. This is because some areas are not suitable for these homes. So, if living in a certain town is a priority, you may need to consider that aspect. See if a friend has room on their property to park your tiny home.
2) Sense of Community
Different neighborhoods have different atmospheres about them, and sometimes a unique sense of community. Depending on your lifestyle and level of socialness, you may want a very particular type of community. For example, if you aren’t home much, a tight-knit community might not be necessary for you. If, however, you want to spend time with neighbors, you are likely to deliberately seek one. Recently, tiny house co-ops have been on the rise. In these communities, there are places for gathering and spending time with others. Since the houses are small, there are many opportunities to meet neighbors in these communal areas. Resultantly, if you live in these communities, you will get to know those around you. Additionally, you will be able to bond over similar values and tiny living experiences.
3) Simplicity vs. Luxury
Going from a traditional house to a tiny house comes with many lifestyle changes. So before deciding, you need to consider how well you can deal with a much simpler existence. Though many regular-sized houses are not considered especially luxurious, they are larger in comparison to tiny homes. Having a simple life can be beneficial because it can reduce your stress, responsibilities, and expenses. You can eliminate unnecessary clutter from your life in this way. However, if you feel that you need everything that you currently own, scaling down will be difficult. Much of this relates to what you are accustomed to. If you grew up with a life of luxury, it can be much more difficult to simplify. If you are used to working with virtually only what you need, a tiny house may suit you well.
4) Building Cost
It might be true that a tiny house is cheaper than a large one. However, even small houses can carry hefty price tags. For instance, if you are building from scratch, you need to buy a lot of supplies. This alone may cost around $20,000-30,000, according to In-House Realty. And unless you are very handy, you may need to hire someone to help construct the house. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-built house, but this may cost double or triple as much. So, if you decide to build one, you need to consider what materials are both strong enough and affordable. In addition to the house itself, you will need land upon which to build or park. The closer you are to urban centers, the more expensive this will be. Therefore, making sure to plan a budget is highly important for starting out in tiny house living.