Is a Tiny House Right for You?

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There’s something cozy and welcoming about a tiny house. They have all of the essentials and none of the extras. For many people, a tiny house solves many problems and offers a home environment that works for them. However, everything has its negatives alongside its positives. Before making the decision to downsize to a tiny house, be sure that this type of home is right for you. You should consider your family size, understand the real costs, take reselling into account, and decide if the minimalist life will work for you.

How Big Is Your Family?

Whether or not a tiny house is right for you will have a lot to do with your family size and lifestyle. Will your family grow or will it get smaller? Will everyone have their own space? These are important questions when you’re making a decision to downsize so substantially. Before taking the leap, you may consider looking into some tiny home designs to see how the space would look for your family. To go one step further, you can even rent a tiny vacation home in your area to give it a test run.

When you’re looking at designs or testing homes, remember each family member’s need for privacy. Not only that, but your pets may need more room as well. The important thing to remember is the size of your family and the room everyone will need.

Understanding the Costs

One of the major perks that come with a tiny home is the cost. It makes sense that a home so small will be less expensive. But that doesn’t mean there is no cost involved. The cost of a tiny house can be just a few thousand dollars depending on what type of home you decide on, but where are you going to put it? Will it have wheels or a foundation? Are you building it? Do you know the zoning rules in your area? Will you need to spend extra to meet building codes? Will you be able to get a loan for this type of home? Not all tiny homes are more cost-effective, and some of the costs can be confusing to navigate.

When you are considering buying your first home, one of the things to consider is how much house you can afford. However, with a tiny home, it’s not a problem of size as it is a problem of lending. Banks may have issue with quantifying the value of a tiny home, so be prepared for these cost hurdles.

Can You Resell?

Before buying a tiny home, it’s worth understanding that reselling it someday might not be as easy as a traditional home. The demographic for buyers of a tiny home is a lot smaller than the traditional real estate market when relocating. For those who plan on having their tiny home be their forever home, this may not be as big of a worry. But for others, the ability to resell may be a deal breaker. On the same note, a tiny home may not appreciate in value in the same way that property will. Getting your investment back may not be feasible depending on the demand of a tiny home and the market you’re selling in.

The reason why a tiny home is hard to sell is that it fits a very specific type of family unit. Buyers have to be okay with not being able to entertain guests, have their family grow substantially, or house any pets that need room to roam. Its marketability is very niche, making reselling it difficult.

Living the Minimalist Life

A tiny house isn’t right for you unless you’re willing to adopt some minimalist lifestyle changes. Though many tiny house fans find this aspect to be the most appealing, it can be more difficult than it sounds. Clearly, you won’t have as much space as you once had, so your moving checklist will probably be cut down substantially if you’re moving into a tiny house — which could be nice. However, it can be hard to let go of things. You’ll want to completely minimize everything you don’t absolutely need, think about every purchase before you make it, and consider things you may want to store.

Living minimally is a great practice for being mindful of everything you buy and bring into your life. However, be prepared for how drastically the minimalist lifestyle will change your life in a tiny home. When you’re downsizing, focus heavily on utility. Remember the 80/20 rule as it applies to minimalism and consider how you can apply it in your life. For example, the 80/20 rule might to apply to your wardrobe because we spend 80 percent of our time wearing 20 percent of our wardrobe. If you can manage this, tiny house life may be great for you.

Tiny houses are amazing for some, but they are not for everyone. Deciding if a tiny house is right for you or not involves weighing the pros with the cons. You won’t have as much to clean, you’ll have more time to spend doing what you love, and your space won’t carry a lot of extras. However, you may not be able to entertain, your reselling options may be limited, and you may have to get rid of a substantial portion of your belongings. Everyone’s priorities are different, so maybe a tiny house has exactly what you need in a size perfect for you. If not, rest assured that there are plenty of houses available at a more traditional size.

About the Author

Chelsey Ranard is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about addiction recovery advocacy, loves talk radio, and prefers her coffee iced. Follow her on Twitter!

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