While many potential home buyers who have begun to make some headway with their careers or who are expanding their families may wish to move out of their "starter homes" to a larger home in a more desirable location, others are taking the opposite path: downsizing most of their material belongings and moving into a "tiny house" in a more integrated community.
Tiny house living can have a number of distinct advantages, but it's not perfect for everyone--so before you sell your current home and begin auctioning off your belongings, you'll want to consider some of the below factors to ensure you're making a well-informed choice to relocate.
How Tiny Is A Tiny House?
In an age of McMansions, even an average-sized house can often appear small when compared to those in a newly built community. However, "official" tiny houses are even more pint-sized than the average houses of the mid-1900s and are generally defined as houses under 500 square feet—just slightly larger than a 20'x20' room.
While this may sound impossibly small, tiny house architects are experts at maximizing available space and ensuring every object performs at least double duty; many tiny homes make good use of vertical space by using loft beds, Murphy beds, or overhead storage so that the center pathway within the home remains clear and clutter-free. Other homes, especially in mild climates, put some space-hogging features and appliances outside to further maximize indoor space; it's not unusual to see a tiny house with a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen on the back patio. Cooking outside can also conserve energy by minimizing the amount of indoor climate control you'll need to perform.
What Should You Consider Other Than Space Restraints?
Even if you're comfortable with the idea of downsizing your current home's contents to fit into a 500-square-foot (or smaller) house, there are some other factors you may want to take into account when deciding whether a tiny house will fit in well with your lifestyle.
Tiny homes are often unable to offer the amenities appreciated by those who have physical or mobility difficulties, like extra-wide or deep bathtubs, grab bars, or wide doorways. In addition, tiny homes will often require residents to climb narrow ladders to access bed space; those who have joint or balance problems may find this to be a dangerous prospect.
If you're still in love with the idea of a tiny house but aren't sure you can physically handle it, you may want to look for floor plans specifically designed to accommodate those with mobility issues to see whether they present any solutions.
Ability to Entertain
For those who hate hosting guests, a tiny house can seem like the perfect solution—no longer will you be expected to host Thanksgiving dinner or transform your home into a bed and breakfast for out of town relatives on short notice.
However, this can be a double-edged sword; if you enjoy spending time with far-flung family and friends, you may find this more difficult (although certainly not impossible) in a pint-sized home. Your children may also find it tough to reciprocate social invitations like slumber parties with limited bed and floor space. If you have your heart set on a tiny home but don't want to scale back your social life, it might be worthwhile to consider creating an outdoor gathering area that is more conducive to entertaining.
The tiny house trend has taken off in recent years, with many consumption-weary consumers pushing back against the trend of larger homes meant to accommodate the average family's overabundance of "stuff."
However, before you sell your average-to-large house and downsize into a tiny one, you may want to consider the future resale value of your tiny home if (or when) you decide to move again. Certain areas with a high cost of living will probably always generate a demand for small, well-built homes; however, those living in more rural or inexpensive areas may find it hard to offload a tiny home when average-sized homes are selling for a comparable price.
By keeping these factors in mind, you'll be sure to make the best decision for both your current and future self.Share