November 18, 2015 Leave a comment
Have you heard about the social movement called the Tiny House Movement? People are choosing to downsize the space they live in and the spaces are smaller and more efficient. Why are people drawn to this? There are few reasons:
- Enables a simpler lifestyle—less house to clean, to upkeep, affords more free time
- Reduces their impact on the environment –using less electricity and heat, using less building material, you can’t just keep buying and accumulating ‘stuff’
- Financial concerns—they are less expensive than a typical house offering financial freedom or less financial burden
Living with less is the philosophy behind the Tiny House Movement. They are usually less than 500 square feet and sometimes as little as 80 square feet. Oh I can hear the Property Virgins complaining! Contrary to what you may think, these tiny homes are not just attractive to first time buyers because of the affordability, but many more savvy home owners are choosing to downsize after having had the bigger more expensive homes.
Things to think about if you are considering it:
Just having a bed for a kid to sleep on won’t cut it. There needs to be space
for a common area where you can hang out, relax. Clever furniture options with multiple functions are available– think Murphy bed that tucks away during the day opening up valuable space or a pull down counter top for cooking or eating on.
Privacy can be difficult to get, there should be separate space for the adults but remember noise is an issue too, so a place where people can have peace and quiet is important.
As kids grow up, they need more space.
Storage is an issue, perhaps off-site storage should be considered.
Using windows helps avoid the claustrophobic feeling.
It can be challenging for sure, people can be uncomfortable and you may need to exercise patience and you must be willing to change.
A big positive is that the kids can’t hide in their bedrooms on another floor, they are forced to interact with family members. We spent a short vacation with the whole family in one hotel room a few years ago and it was one of our best experiences because we had to talk to each other! It was great! Now that our son is almost 17 I’m not sure it would be as well received by any of us.
How popular are these? The stas suggest that less than 1% of homes are Tiny Homes, and even that stat may be high.
When you are dealing with a niche like this you have to consider that finding a buyer for it down the road may prove difficult. It’s a new concept here so there is no track record. Will this trend pick up and become popular? Will lenders start advancing funds on them? Time will tell!