Pros and Cons of Buying a Tiny Home

What was once written off as a short-term trend has proven to have staying power. And, tiny homes are no longer being associated primarily with millennials, either. There are plenty of stories of families choosing to live leaner. Tiny homes are now increasingly the choice of seniors, as well. Today’s average tiny house costs about $23,000, and as a result, 68% of all little house owners aren’t tied to a mortgage. Tiny houses can be built on site, or they can be easily shipped to the buyer, thanks to the fact that they will usually fit on a flat-bed truck. More companies that specialize in compact houses are popping up across the country, making it much easier for anyone to go small.

But is the tiny house movement really all it appears to be? As with any new trend, it’s important to seriously consider the pros and cons.

Pro: Yes, they’re affordable

The price is right for tiny homes regardless of location. A tiny house costs a lot less to build than a full-sized one. Cutting back on housing expenses enables tiny house owners to put more money toward other luxuries, save for retirement, or simply work less. A tiny home also often means no mortgage, which, if the buyer can swing it, means they don’t have to pay interest and can own their home outright.

Con: It’s almost impossible to get a mortgage for a tiny home

If you don’t have the money to just pay for a tiny house, getting a loan is challenging. Properties valued at less than $100,000 aren’t generally going to sit well with traditional lenders. Plus, if your tiny house is on wheels, you’ll probably be rejected outright, as homes that aren’t anchored to a foundation aren’t considered real estate.There are alternate routes of financing to explore, like taking out a personal loan or raising all of the capital to build the tiny home yourself, but those can prove more than a little tricky.

If you do succeed in obtaining a personal loan, be aware that the interest rates associated with that loan can be pretty steep, with some as high as 10% to 11% or more. Another option: you might just qualify for an RV loan, if your tiny home is on wheels.

Pro: They’re portable

If you buy a traditional house, you’re not likely going to load it up on a truck and move it somewhere else when you desire a change of scenery. But, with a tiny home, that’s part of the allure. A tiny house can easily be fitted on a flatbed truck, which makes not only delivering them to buyers easy, but also the future resettling as well. Whether you have a lot of wanderlust, seek new job opportunities, or just want to spend a season living close to a beach…it’s easy to appreciate the fact that you can simply pack-up your house and go on your way.

Con: Yes, they’re small!

Technically, this could also be a “pro” for those keen on tightening up their footprint, but, for most people, the idea of living in 100 to 400 square feet (the average size of a tiny home), is a deal-breaker. Living in a tiny home means you’ll have to do a lot of sacrificing in order to downsize, more often than not you’ll have to give up your private office, man cave or home gym. Your washer and dryer will more than likely end up in your bathroom or kitchen and you’ll have to do some serious compromising when it comes to what you bring into the home. There are ways to remedy these ‘sacrifices,’ but you’ll still be giving up your privacy and downsizing no matter how creative you get with storage.”

Pro: It can be anything you want it to be

A tiny house doesn’t have to be a full-time dwelling. Some choose to use a tiny house as a home office, or keep a tidy little place ready for when the in-laws come to visit. Even the federal government knows the value of a tiny home: Dwellings of 308 square feet served as a welcome alternative to FEMA trailers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Con: Lack of personal space

Forget about that art studio or even a she shed. If you need a little space to yourself, that’s going to be hard to achieve in a tiny home. Living in a tiny home by yourself might be easy, but sharing a small space with one or more people can be a challenge, because there’s no personal space to spend time alone or even roll out an exercise mat and get in a workout. Those of you that are extroverts may have no problem being in tight quarters with others, but introverts may miss the alone time that a larger house can offer.

Pro: They’re clever

You think you have some smart storage solutions in your home? Imagine what you’d need to fashion if you lived in 200 square feet! Look at some uber smart storage under the stairs here and the cabinet walls here.

Con: They still lack storage because they lack space

No matter how many witty ideas you come up with, you’re never going to have an ample walk-in closet and tons of kitchen cabinets—both of which are ingrained in the “typical” vision of the American dream.

Pro: They’re greener

Tiny homes are, by their very essence, more environmentally friendly simply because, it requires substantially fewer building materials to construct, which makes it viable to use more expensive, eco-friendly components and still keep costs down overall. In addition to that solar energy for heating and electricity is something tiny homes are more likely to use than the standard house option.

Buying a tiny house has lots of advantages for free-spirited people with a limited housing budget. But living in a very small sized house is not for everyone. Whatever may be the case, understanding the pros and cons of living in a tiny house can help you make important choices. Here’s to living large — no matter what type of house you choose!

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Source: Realty Times

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