The increased popularity of the Tiny House Movement has brought us television shows like Tiny House Nation and a new show called Tiny House Hunters. As I watch these shows, I notice a trend among these new tiny house adopters: a lot of them aren’t ready for a tiny house.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, More Space Equals More Waste, the average house size is going up while the average family size is going down. This is leading to instances where a married couple with no kids is occupying a 2400 square foot home. That’s completely unnecessary. These people are tired of cleaning and heating all that extra space, hear about the tiny house movement and decide that will be the answer to all their prayers without understanding what living in a tiny house actually means.
I’ve seen a single woman who lives in a 2200 square foot home with 93 pairs of shoes want a tiny house and not understand why she can’t have a soaker tub, a full-sized kitchen and room for all 93 pair of shoes, not to mention her fiance’s stuff after they get married. If 93 pair of shoes are that important to you, a tiny house is not for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t downsize! Why go from a 2200 square foot home to a 275 square foot home? Why not downsize to a 1000 square foot home? Even a 1200 square foot home will cost you far less in utility bills and save you a lot of space that needs cleaning.
In the 1960’s houses were built to give approximately 327 square foot per occupant. That is easily a family of three in a 1000 square foot house by 1960’s standards. I don’t think people were packed into their houses like sardines back then. Today houses are built to give a whopping 833 square foot per occupant. That’s almost the size of a depression era home that would commonly be occupied by a family of 4.
REASONS TO DOWNSIZE:
There are the obvious ones that get thrown out at every conversation, like smaller utility bills and less area to keep clean. Of course you are going to pay a smaller mortgage and less real estate tax. If you trade down from a 3,000 square foot home to a 1,500 square foot home you could cut your taxes by 50%. It also gives you a chance to bring your family together. I know families that all stay in separate areas of the house and text message each other when they want something. They all have their own TV, radio, computer and cell phone so communicating with each other is virtually unnecessary. Having a smaller house with smaller bedrooms will keep family members from using them as their main living area. Having a central TV where your family gathers and decides together what to watch will bring you closer together. Even having less area to play inside will get you all outside doing something together.
There could be other benefits based on your specific situation. Maybe you and your spouse have retired. Would you rather each have a separate end of the house where you watch TV and engage in hobbies alone? Why not a cozy little cabin to enjoy your new-found quiet time together?
You can also account for the benefits that come from where you decide to move. Maybe a little cabin in the woods will get you away from that neighbor with the constantly barking dogs.If low maintenance is what you’re looking for, a townhouse or condo would include lawn care and home maintenance like gutter and roof cleaning. If you are tired of commuting, an apartment or condo in the city will get you within walking distance of everything you need. Even the desire to travel more can be fulfilled by downgrading to a smaller, yet not tiny home. If you spend less on a mortgage, property tax, utilities and gas in your car, you’ll have more money to spend on seeing the world.
If you don’t think a truly tiny house is going to be right for you, think about downsizing to a smaller house and incorporate some of the incredible space-saving ideas in this post from Bored Panda!