The housing and economic crisis has effectively ended the days of the mini-mansions. Opulence is seen as indulgent, and the size of such homes effectively prices them out of the market for many families. In fact, there has been a growing trend toward simple living by downsizing home sizes and reducing the amount of material possessions. Some have gone as far as to minimize their lifestyle as much as possible by buying a tiny home, or micro homes, which typically have about 200 square feet. Some homes have fewer than that (as little as 90 square feet) and some homes have a little more. These homes can be purchased already made, or you can buy a plan and build it yourself.
While living in a tiny home can take some adjustment, such a lifestyle offers many advantages, both for your pocketbook and for the environment.
Financial Benefits of a Tiny Home
Of course, a smaller house means a smaller sale price and a smaller mortgage payment – or, if you plan well enough, no mortgage payment at all. If you’re handy, you can even build the house yourself. Many companies offer the option to buy the building plans for the house or to buy an already made home. With a lower sales price, you can also expect to pay far less in taxes and in home insurance.
The mortgage is, of course, only one part of the financial commitment of buying a home. The cost of maintenance and increased utility demands (such as power and water) can create a significantly greater financial responsibility each month. However, with a tiny home, you will significantly reduce the amount of water and power you use – in fact, some tiny homes do not have indoor plumbing and rely on alternative systems such as rain collection or fireplaces for heating. Maintenance will also cost much less: Need to replace the carpet? It will likely cost you the same as replacing one room in a traditional home.
Finally, you may have to replace some of your furniture to adjust to a tiny home, requiring an initial investment. Although you may pay more up front, you will still end up saving in the long run.
Environmental Benefits of a Tiny Home
Tiny homes use far fewer resources, both in their construction and in their maintenance, which lessens its environmental impact. Specifically, tiny homes minimize (or even eliminate) the amount of wasted space used in a home, with transitional spaces such as hallways eliminated, roofs lowered, and many spaces pulling double duty (such as a bed being placed over a storage space).
Because of their size, tiny homes also require less energy to heat or cool, and many do not use wasteful plumbing. In fact, many take advantage of rainwater collection or use low flow toilets that do double duty with composting.
Living in a tiny home also requires that you downsize your lifestyle, eliminating unnecessary possessions and limiting the impulse to buy new ones. This helps to reduce your consumption and minimize your contribution to the creation of new goods and the use of newly extracted resources.
Finally, living in a tiny home means that you have less food storage space for food, requiring you to buy fresh food more often. Doing so reduces the amount of food waste that you create and ensures that you are eating fresh and nutritious food.
Have you considered down sizing to a tiny home to save money and lessen your impact on the environment? Will you think about it when you are purchasing a home?