Tiny Home Concepts

Living in a Tiny Home

What Qualifies as a Tiny Home?

An average home is around 2,600 square feet. But, a tiny home is a housing structure of 400 square feet or less. Some even have concrete foundations, basements and/or multiple stories.

For ease of towing, the standard THOW (Tiny House on Wheels) is 8’6″ wide, 30′ long, and 13’6″ high with livable area of 120 square feet or less. Anything larger may require a commercial driver’s license and/or an oversize permit for towing.

tiny house on wheels

So, why would someone want to be in a space that small? Well, let’s check it out…

Reasons to Live in a Tiny House:

Tiny House Costs

On average, a tiny home can cost between $30,000 to $60,000. Some tiny home kits can be purchased around $5,000. Note that the cheaper ones may lack indoor bathrooms which may be necessary to comply with local building codes. However, the variation in prices is greatly impacted by the structure materials and features like stainless steel kitchen appliances, wooden floors, fancy shower heads, granite countertops and other luxuries.

Even though a tiny home would require one to sacrifice space and possibly privacy, it can also enable one to pay off debt, increase savings and lower one’s environmental footprint.

Living Mortgage-Free in a Tiny House

In the United States, close to 70% of tiny home owners don’t have a mortgage.

Flip that for all homeowners as about 70% have mortgages. Ouch! Due to the overall lower cost, tiny house owners have close to 90% less credit card debt and over 50% more in savings than the average person living on American soil. Ouch again!

However, it can be difficult to get a mortgage due to the cost and size of a tiny house. And, lenders may require the home to be built on foundation and/or on land already owned. But, if a loan is needed, some of the options are:

  • Personal loan from a bank or credit union.
  • Using the equity of an existing home as collateral or basically a home equity loan.
  • Financing via tiny home builder lending partners.

Inside of a Tiny Home

So, why would someone want to be in a space that small? Well, let’s check it out…

For the interior space, tiny home owners most likely will only need one sofa, one or two mattresses (as opposed to a bedroom suite), one television, and a small number of decorative items. One can get quite creative building your own cabinetry or wooden items like nooks, desks, movable islands/dining tables, bed platforms, bed/sofa/staircase storage and etc. And, can do such with a minimal supply of wood necessary along with less time required to build these small items.

There are plenty of stores that sell furniture for these small homes. Or, basically just find furniture that fits any small space in the home.

Tiny House On Wheels (THOW)

Imagine being able to travel in your full-time residence. Please note that it is best to proactively contact the local state government, parks, campgrounds and the like prior to visiting as some have restrictions regarding these homes. But, wouldn’t it be nice to reside in another state anytime you’d like, for as long as you’d like, and do it in your comfy traditional or modern tiny abode.

While travelling for extended periods, no need to concern yourself about the upkeep of your main house at your permanent residence, since you are taking your permanent home with you. Always knowing, that no matter what event or outing you attend in the city you are visiting, later that night, you will literally be lying in bed at home. Nice!

Building Your Own Affordable Tiny Home

Yes, you can build your own tiny home even if you don’t have any construction experience whatsoever. Do-it-yourself building can save a hoard of moola. Per a survey in 2015, building your own tiny housing structure averaged about $23,000, excluding cost of land. Folk use kits, shipping containers, buses, prefabricated tiny houses, excavating in the earth, and so on to construct their own tiny residence.

But, please do your due diligence in thoroughly researching tiny house info regarding building codes, materials, water and sewage, electricity, solar energy… If diy is just too overwhelming, builders always exist.

Energy Efficient Tiny Home Ideas

Due to their size, on average tiny homes use approximately 7% of energy than what's used for traditional homes. Compared to traditional home using from 20 to 40 lightbulbs, tiny structures may only use 6 to 10. Energy options are:

  • Power Generators: Allows the most mobility. One can lower their carbon footprint even with generators by using propane tanks in lieu of gasoline, or choosing generators running on clean energy.
  • Solar Panels: Can be used as primary energy source for off-the-grid locations, especially in abundant sun-lit areas, or partial source with backup generators and so on. Even though solar panels may be costly, there can be some great tax incentives like the Federal Solar Tax Credit.
  • Wind Turbines: A brilliant option if living in an abundant windy area. Marine wind generators are relatively small and can be folded at ease for traveling. Can also install on top of a tiny structure in windy locations.
  • Regular Electricity: Just as traditional homes, tiny ones can also connect to local utilities. Even though this may not be as sexy as the green energy options, it is the easiest to utilize.  

Low Maintenance Tiny Home Living

Of course, living in a tiny residence means less stuff needed to fill that space. One is less likely to have trivial items throughout the home…like that marvelous collection of animal cookie jars or vintage Avon cologne cars.

Tiny homes tend to have really cool storage but not a lot of it, so likely to curb hoarding and force one to focus on amassing what’s most important. Also, it’s easier to find those important documents as there’s not a lot of places one has to search.

Imagine the ease of keeping the floors clean when the total space of your home is not much larger than the typical size of a living room. You could clean your tiny home in an eighth of the time it takes to clean a traditional home…less chores and more time to do other things like hiking, eating out, or just chilling and relaxing.

Eco-Friendly Tiny Housing

Just gathering the materials is environmentally friendly as there is significantly less to transport…saving fuel. As mentioned earlier, tiny structures require less space and have a lower or non-existent carbon footprint.

One can park the tiny structure anywhere in nature and it will not disturb the area as traditional homes, and will blend in with greater ease. Owners of tiny homes tend to be nature lovers more so than the norm which, overall, is beneficial to the environment.

Awww… The Simple Life in a Tiny House

Although there are other options, tiny home living would definitely enable financial peace. Utility bills and monthly mortgage payments so low, you would think it’s 1999. While purifying yourself in the Waters of Lake Minnetonka. Hmmm...well, we digress.

But, imagine such… exiting that rat-race, getting rid of a lot of stuff, nature becoming one of your living spaces...basically, just minimalizing your life. So Sweet!

And, more…

tiny house movement