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What is the tiny house movement?

March 5, 2018

The tiny house movement has transformed the way many people look at housing and how it can help them downsize not only their residences, but also their lives.

Living small has been embraced as an eco-friendly way to cut costs and simplify life. According to the tiny house resource The Tiny Life, the typical American home is 2,600 square feet, while the typical tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Many tiny homes are smaller than the average urban apartment. Proponents of the small house movement say that living the tiny life isn’t really a sacrifice, but a way to experience a simpler, fuller life that frees them from expensive

mortgage payments and unnecessary clutter.

One of the advantages of tiny house living is that buyers are often able to buy their homes (whether stationary or mobile) outright, eliminating the need to finance their purchases. Tiny homes also boast much lower utility bills than more traditional homes. Outfitting tiny homes with wood-burning appliances can keep heating costs to a minimum. In some instances, tiny homes are completely off the grid, harvesting electricity through solar panels and employing rain-capturing technology to supply water.

According to the resource Living Big in a Tiny House, the tiny house movement is eco-friendly. Small homes create much smaller carbon footprints than large homes. In addition, the resources needed to build and sustain such homes pales in comparison to those needed to build and maintain more traditional homes. Furthermore, with less interior space, residents of tiny homes are less likely to acquire items they don’t necessarily need, reducing clutter and saving money.

The following statistics, courtesy of The Tiny Life, paint a picture of the tiny home lifestyle:

• Sixty-eight percent of tiny house people have no mortgage, and 78 percent own their home.

• The average cost to build a tiny house is $23,000 for do-it-yourselfers.

• Eighty-nine percent of tiny house dwellers have less credit card debt than the average person.

• Tiny house owners earn an average of $42,038 each year.

• Many tiny home owners are age 50 or older.

Those interested in the tiny house lifestyle can find many companies that now specialize in these dwellings. Empty-nesters looking to downsize may find tiny homes are an affordable way to simplify their lives.