A plotline in a recent Life in Pieces episode, 18-year-old newlyweds make a frugal plan to save money and still become homeowners. They bought a tiny house. And while the idea isn’t all that ridiculous for a number of reasons, it was pretty funny they bought one pre-built to be delivered (and installed) in the backyard of one of their parents!
Unless you’ve already heard of the “tiny house movement,” you would probably think living in a “tiny house” isn’t something to get excited about. The bigger, the better, right? Plenty of people happen to think the exact opposite, which is why tiny houses are all the rage in the U.S. These little homes are meant to be just big enough to live in, minimizing distraction, cost of living, and accumulating unnecessary possessions, leaving you with the bare necessities.
How tiny, you ask? The average one-bedroom apartment in the U.S. is around 650 ft². A two or three-bedroom home can be 1000-2000 ft² or larger. A tiny house is typically between 100-400 ft². So like, the size of a living room.
It’s called a movement for a reason. There are all kinds of ethical and moral reasons for living in a tiny house. The idea is that you do don’t need much space to live. By living in a tiny house, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and saving money in the process. You’d think that living in house roughly the size of a single room would be cramped and full of clutter. However, many people living in tiny houses claim that it simplifies life, allowing them to focus on more important things, rather than having a house full of stuff you don’t need.
There are many reasons people choose to live in tiny houses. They’re better for the environment; the resources that go into building and maintaining a house take a toll on the planet, especially when much of western society says you’re supposed to buy a big house. Many tiny houses are made of mostly recycled materials, some even being made of plastic bottles and sand.
They’re cheaper than buying a traditional home; an average new home in the U.S. can cost upwards of $250,000, and that’s just to buy it. A larger home is going to take more money to keep up. On average, people who live in tiny houses own their tiny house, have more money in the bank than traditional homeowners, and sixty-eight percent of tiny house owners have no mortgage. The average cost of building a tiny house is $23,000, compared to a quarter million dollars or more! Extra money, in turn, leads to more financial freedom and more free time.
But most importantly, tiny houses simplify life. Some people don’t need much to live, and may feel like a full-sized house is an unnecessary use of space. Some tiny houses are built atop trailers, so that it can be moved anywhere, allowing tiny house-dwellers to satisfy their wanderlust, not being pinned down by owning a house and a bunch of stuff.
And on top of all of the practical reasons that make tiny houses awesome, many of them are also made to look similar to traditional homes, or are made to look really cool in some way or another. In case you were just picturing a gray cube with no remarkable features.
As great as they are, tiny houses may not be for everyone. They are mostly used by people who live alone, despite the plot of Life in Pieces. Even if you can fit more than one person in one, you’ll probably bite each other’s heads off before too long unless you specifically plan for one to accommodate a couple, and not a temporary solo spate of frugal real estate.
Although, there have been whole families to defy this notion. If you can’t stand small-enclosed spaces, tiny houses are not for you. One would think that shouldn’t need to be advised. And if you can’t live without “stuff,” you’ll need more than a tiny house to fit. But if you think you can handle tiny living, tiny houses are extremely accessible and affordable compared to your average house.