It’s the American dream: living in a two-story house with bold shutters and a white-picket fence. Maybe you have a dog or two, a couple of kids and at least two cars. Someday that house will have a manicured lawn with automatic sprinklers the kids can run through after they’re done playing with their friends at the end of your cul-de-sac.
That image is picturesque for most Americans, but not all. Some have the opposite dream. When they picture their future, it’s hard for them to imagine home ownership of that magnitude. Something smaller would be nicer and more realistic. That’s where tiny homes come in. Over the last decade, tiny homes have begun to grow in popularity. They can be so adorable that you can waste hours looking at them online, cash in hand. But would they be right for you? Here are a few ways to find out!
Tiny House Quiz
Think of this as a personality quiz. You have to figure out if you would mesh well with tiny living. To do that, you need to know all your options, and there are many types of tiny houses to choose from:
- Traditional tiny houses. These are the ones you see in pictures your friends share. They’re one story, with maybe a second story loft just for your bed. Once they’re put in place — think miniature log cabin in the woods or cozy beach shack — they’re meant to stay.
- Tiny trailers. Homes made out of tiny trailers are inspired by RVs, but they lack the ability to drive themselves. They include all the necessities you could need in a home and can be hitched to the back of a truck for those who like to travel.
- Converted buses. A bus can be made into a cute home by taking out the rows of seating and upgrading the interior. Some bus houses keep the driver’s seat and ability to move, and others don’t. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
Think About What You Need
When you move into a home, what will you be looking for? There are practicalities that need to be considered. If you have more than just yourself living in a future tiny home, will one bathroom be enough? Maybe you like to cook, and you’ll want some decent counter space. If you consider yourself a tall person, you may be wary of ceiling height.
You also may want more financial freedom. Tiny houses have a big advantage in that area. They’re comparatively cheap to build, so you could customize your future home and pay for it in cash. In fact, the cost per square foot of a tiny home is $134.40, and 68% of tiny home owners don’t have a mortgage payment. That can make spatial sacrifices worth it for anyone!
Consider What You Can Live Without
A big factor to consider before buying a tiny home is the space you’ll be limited to. If you own a lot of things, you’ll want to downsize big time before moving into a tiny home. There won’t be much storage space.
If you like to get away from people occasionally and spend some time alone, you may not be able to do that often if you share a tiny house with someone. Sure, you could walk around outside, but if it’s winter or it’s raining, that might not always be an option for you. You’ll want to consider aspects of your life and your personality before committing to a tiny space.
Make a Pro/Con List
It’s always good to make a list of things that may or may not work out about a decision before you make one, especially when buying a living space of any size. Maybe for you, sacrificing storage space for less yard work is worth it. Maybe you love the idea of driving around the country in your home. Or are you realizing that maybe a tiny house is cuter in a picture than in your actual life?
Write everything down, even if you don’t think it’s a deal breaker or important enough. Consult with trusted family and friends who may be able to help you figure out the list, and then spend some time thinking about your decision before you make it.
People who buy tiny houses are joining a community of others who want to downsize for one reason or another. They can be great living options for those who aren’t ready for a full-size house but are done with apartment living, and they can also be a bad idea for those who lead a bigger life. It’s important to learn everything you can about tiny houses before you look into buying one.
Size, placement and features are all important factors to think about when you’re studying tiny houses that may be in your future. As cute as they are, take your time before jumping into your next home. It’ll be worth it either way in the end.