From HGTV to reality, tiny homes are popping up in communities and cities around the nation. These unique forms of housing push minimalism to the max, with entire families living in spaces sometimes as small as 500 square feet. But what about tiny homes has appealed to so many, and what continues to make them a popular item on the real estate market?
With the housing market continuing to be too expensive for many Millennials to afford, many would-be homeowners are looking for a more affordable alternative that still allows them to own their own property. Enter tiny homes and tiny living, where house prices are shrunk by also shrinking the size. For those accustomed to apartment living, the shift isn't quite as significant as some may think. The ease of purchase has also made them a hot commodity with younger buyers, with some tiny homes even being available for purchase through Amazon. Buying online is a highly marketable trait; after all, about 79% of consumers in the U.S. said they shopped online in 2017. With a simplified buying process, plenty are more willing to take the leap.
For those focused on wellness and clean living, minimalism and downsizing is the name of the game. Reducing one's personal possessions is a must with tiny living, making it appealing for those pursuing simpler lifestyles. Not everyone looking to minimally will necessarily purchase their own tiny home; some look for other "tiny home" alternatives, like moving into a smaller space in a friend or family member's home, like a garage. If you are converting your garage to make the most of this trend, make sure you have at least eight feet of ceiling height, which is required for a habitable room.
For some, the need to go tiny is fuelled less by a desire to live with as little as possible. Instead, many tiny home buyers are intrigued by the small spaces by their flexibility and mobility. Many tiny homes are built on wheels or on a trailer, making them easy to take from place to place. For buyers with a serious case of wanderlust, this makes a tiny home an ideal housing format. Some will specifically seek out vehicles, like buses or RVs, to turn into tiny housing that can easily hit the road. These tiny homes aren't always great for the highway, as it's recommended to drive below 60 mph in an RV. However, their mobility makes them great for those with a need to travel.
Finally, many tiny homeowners aren't in it for the travel or tiny size; their motivations are often environmental. Tiny homes are sometimes constructed by the owners themselves using found items and untraditional but eco-friendly materials. These can include everything from used tires, spare windows and doors, and even old shipping containers. There are approximately 17 million shipping containers in the world, only 6 million of which are in use, and these creative environmentalists are using the extras to create a stable and green structure for their homes. These shipping container homes can be built from a single container or multiple stacked together like lego bricks, making them versatile and eco-friendly.
The tiny house movement continues to live up to the hype, with plenty of homeowners making the choice to live with less. What do you think? Could you see yourself living in limited square footage like some of these homeowners?