If someone told you that for the cost of a new car, you could buy a house, would you believe them? Not only is this true, but it’s actually a growing trend. The catch? Your house will only be slightly larger than the size of that new car.
Tiny homes are sprouting up around the world. Whether you’d like to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on mortgage and energy, or take your home along on adventures, the tiny home movement can be an unconventional — yet satisfying — solution to your needs.
How much does it cost to build?
It depends. Your building materials and if you outsource the labor to someone else both affect costs. Tiny homes can cost as little as $2,000 and as much as $30,000 or more. To cut costs, can build your home with recycled materials found at the ReStore Habitat for Humanity store, local thrift stores, salvage yards or on Craigslist.
Why tiny houses?
At first blush, tiny homes may seem like a glorified playhouse, but tiny homes can be sophisticated and contribute to your self-sufficiency. Tiny homes have a smaller drain on your wallet — not just for building but for sustaining.
Average electric bills for a tiny home run between $10 to $25 per month. Compare that with a traditional house that can easily costs 10 to 15 times that amount.
Another reason to choose tiny home is the portability. Many tiny homeowners build on wheels, which allows them to move the home around, similar to a trailer. Portable tiny homes are especially convenient if your job requires you to move or travel to different locations. It will be just the same size as a hotel room and much more comfortable to sleep in your own bed.
A third reason for tiny homes is simplicity. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes living simply can provide the greatest benefits. By necessity, you’ll only buy or use the things that you need or love. There’s simply not enough space to buy extra items you’ll likely never use just in case.
Is a tiny home for you?
If you’re a packrat, tiny homes are probably not for you. Tiny homes require fearless purging. Similarly, if you’re prone to claustrophobia, tiny homes may not be your cup of tea. That said, if you can live in the average New York apartment, you can definitely live in a tiny home. Ranging in size from 65 to 400 square feet, tiny homes can actually feel roomy and accommodate a family of four — well, a very close family of four.
For more floor plan ideas, check out this list of 20 Free DIY Tiny House Plans to help get your tiny-living dreams started.
If you’ve just graduated from college and have hefty student loans to pay back, a tiny home is the perfect remedy for your living situation. Although it won’t pay back student loans for you, it will allow you to live independently and free up your finances so you can pay back your loans quicker.
What about plumbing and electricity?
Although a home is tiny, it doesn’t mean you won’t have access to all modern conveniences, including indoor plumbing and electricity. Due to the mobile nature of tiny homes, these spaces are generally not connected to electricity grids, but there are plenty of ways to wire your home for electricity from traditional sources. Depending on the size of your home, you may consider solar panels because of their affordability and sustainability.
As for plumbing, you can get plans for tiny homes with plumbing. For these homes, it simply requires that you plug into the sewage line, and you’re in business. However, many tiny homeowners choose to use compost toilets, which are a lot less icky than they sound.
By Elizabeth Borneman Copyright 2017 brass Media, Inc.