Purchasing a Tiny Home

Tiny houses are one of the most significant trends in the real estate industry and are gaining in popularity everywhere, and it's not just a market trend in the United States real estate market. Tiny houses are springing up everywhere; in Germany on the site of a former military base, in Scotland and England, in Spain, and especially in Japan where space is very limited. Many people who build or buy tiny homes want to enjoy living a simple lifestyle while being conscious of the environment. A lot of buyers like the freedom of a home that can be moved at will.

Tiny houses cost less than building or buying a home of conventional size so they appeal to people who are downsizing or who don't want to spend a lot on a home. Some people put tiny houses on residential property to use as a guest house, home office, or extra living space for family members. Statistics show that a significant number of tiny homeowners are over the age of 50, with a median per capita income of $42,038, which is a little higher than the national average for people that own traditional, single-family homes.

What Is A Tiny Home?

While most traditional, single-family homes consist of approximately 2,600 square feet, a tiny home is customarily about 400 square feet. However, the size and floor plan can vary depending on the preferences of the buyer. Some tiny houses may feature 400 square feet of space or be even larger. However, most of the homes aren't usually larger than 500 square feet.

Although the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 had a significant impact on the housing market causing many homeowners to sell and buy smaller homes, there are other reasons for the popularity. A lot of buyers like the concept of living off the grid which is easier with a tiny home. Some people who are do-it-yourselfers are able to build a tiny house for approximately $15,000. Companies that sell made-to-order homes estimate their cost to be between $57,000 and $70,000. Customized tiny houses that are made to order can run in the neighborhood of $80,000 to $100,000.

Advantages and Disadvantages To Owning A Tiny Home

One of the most significant advantages between a traditional home and a tiny home is that nearly 78 percent of all tiny homeowners pay for their home outright and aren't concerned with paying extra costs. This includes having to pay:

  • Principal
  • Interest
  • Taxes

The freedom from paying a mortgage each month is a relief when compared to 65 percent of homeowners who have a 30-year mortgage. Another consideration is that about 55 percent of all tiny homeowners have more savings at their disposal than the average homeowner.

The biggest difference and a big advantage is the cost compared to a conventional home. The median price of a home is currently $272,000. When you add the cost of a 30-year mortgage at 4.25 percent, the cost is $481,704. The size of the average tiny home is 186 square feet and the cost can average $23,000. By contrast, the average size of a single-family home is 2,100 square feet and could fit more than 11 tiny homes inside the interior space.

One of the biggest disadvantages to owning a tiny home is that zoning laws in many areas are very specific about what constitutes a home. In a lot of cities and towns, a home must consist of a minimum square footage for new construction being built on a foundation. Tiny houses that are on wheels don't always meet zoning laws, and many RV parks don't consider tiny houses to meet their requirements. A lot of RV parks require that the manufacturer must be a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

The amount of living space can be a major issue with a lot of people. If you want to live simply with a minimum of furniture and personal belongings, a tiny house can be the ideal solution. However, you must be creative with the layout of the home and how every inch of space is used. Customizing your tiny home to suit your lifestyle can be challenging. The key is to use each space for more than one purpose. For example, if you work at home, you can customize the kitchen area to include a work desk. You will have to learn to make a lot of compromises when it comes to furnishings.

Where To Purchase A Tiny Home

American Tiny House - American Tiny House designs homes that are both affordable and friendly to the environment. The designs are aesthetically pleasing and economical. High-quality materials are used to construct each home, including a roof designed to last up to 45 years. All custom cabinetry and an appliance package with an electric cooktop and refrigerator, are included. Each model has rooms that are spacious with energy-efficient windows that let in a lot of natural light. Many of the models feature a comfortable sleeping loft. Select models even feature two sleeping lofts and a cat walk.

Perfect Little House - Perfect Little House designs homes that are sustainable and take advantage of every inch of space. The innovative floor plans feature the main living areas with high ceilings and open-concept floor plans; while electrical components, plumbing, and bathrooms are hidden beneath stairways and underneath sloping ceilings. Some modifications may be made at the time you purchase your home. Many of the home designs feature two stories and expansive decks or covered porches. Some Perfect Little House designs are ideal as an artist's studio or a home office.

Wind River Tiny Homes - Wind River Tiny Homes builds beautiful tiny homes from the company's existing house plans or those you find elsewhere. However, they will design custom homes based on the owner's specifications and all the homes are mobile so they can be delivered anywhere. The company also has an option available for buyers who want a tiny home on a permanent foundation, which is called the urban micro home. Air conditioning units are available for buyers who live in hot climates.