“Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions.”
― Chuck Palahniuk,
Why live in a tiny house? For a select few I really think that tiny homes make sense.
Even after a number of years I am still drawn to the idea of living in a tiny house. Will it ever happen? I am not sure.
Obviously living in a tiny house may not be for everyone. In a country where the average house size is 2400 square feet(about 3x the size of houses in the 1950’s), most people could not even fathom living in 160 sq. ft. or less.
Also See– Tiny House Built For 4000$ In Six Weeks
It comes down to the basics; everyone needs shelter, food and water. In the modern world that translates to four walls and a roof, somewhere to sleep, a way to cook your meals, clean running water, a place to wash yourself, and a method of disposing of your waste. Everything else is a luxury, not a need. The beauty of a tiny house is that it provides all these things and can still have some of the creature comforts of a large house all while lowering your environmental impact and financial burden. Having less to worry about frees up your time to do the things you want to do.
Do You Really NEED So Much House?
Mortgage in French means “death contract.” Most people will spend twenty to thirty years paying off their house, usually spending twice the original cost because of interest. Your largest expense is always going to be housing, but does it have to be that way? Think of what you could do with your time and money if you didn’t have to pay for a mortgage. You only get one life. Maybe you should be spending more time with the ones you love and creating new experiences, not in a cubicle. It is all about changing the way you think about your housing situation. Just because everyone does it doesn’t make it the “right” way to do things.
What Is The Real Cost of a Large House?
So many resources are required to make a Mc-Mansion, not to mention all the electricity used for heating and cooling. Living in a tiny house dramatically reduces your environmental footprint. People are slowly beginning to realize the damage we have done to the planet and see that change is necessary. A path in the right direction is downsizing. Many tiny homes are built with recycled or reclaimed materials. And because of the size, the electricity demand could actually be handled by a few solar panels.
There are obvious disadvantages to living tiny like lack of space. But this is actually a blessing! You are really limited to the things you can own. You are going to have to declutter in a big way. The average home has over 300000 items in it! Come on! Do you need all that stuff?
Why live in a tiny house? Tasks such as cleaning take a fraction of the time. You have control over your things rather than your things controlling you. You are forced to think about what you bring home. Even a simple fast food container or packaging from items can quickly make a mess. It is important to be responsible and recycle what you can. If you have pack rat tendencies, tiny house living may not be for you…yet.
Could Tiny House Living Work For You?
For me personally I have a great thing going on with my small, minimalist apartment. The rent is crazy affordable. But the draw to have my own tiny home is strong. And paying rent is money going to my landlord of course.
For a single person a tiny house could be a wonderful solution but for a family it could pose some challenges. Families do manage it somehow though so it isn’t impossible! A tiny house lacks privacy but as long as you and your partner are on the same page it shouldn’t be an issue. I am a single empty-nester so it certainly could work for me.
Why Not Just Live in An RV?
Some might argue that you could simply get a RV instead of a tiny home. Certainly if you live in a climate where this is possible it may very well work for you.
Even though a RV is similar, a tiny home has many advantages over a RV. A tiny house is built with the same materials as typical houses ensuring that they will hold up over time. If you look at an RV that was made a decade ago, you can already see the rapid deterioration. RV’s are typically not meant to be lived in 24/7. Additionally, RV’s are typically not insulated well for winter(although people do some amazing RV conversions!). A clear advantage to a tiny home is that you can design it exactly how you want. And because you can use reclaimed materials a tiny home can be less expensive. A tiny house just feels more like home.
Also See- Tiny House Design & Construction Guide
You Need A Big Gas Guzzler To Move The Tiny House!
People may argue that since you have to use a gas guzzler to move the tiny house, the purpose of being environmentally friendly is defeated. It’s true that moving the house can use a lot of fuel. Even though it’s mobile, it is not meant for traveling like a RV. It is more like a “park model” or mobile home that stays in one place a majority of the time. But it does have the option of being moved if necessary. And you don’t need to own a truck. Borrow or rent one if you must move your tiny house.
The purpose of building a tiny house on wheels in the first place is the option of mobility and freedom in building. Any building that is on the ground is subject to building codes. A trailer is not subject to all the regular building codes and as long as it stays under a certain size it is not subject to mobile home codes. The building codes are there to enforce a standard of safety, but they may also limit creative and alternative styles. For instance if you built a house or cabin you would be required to have an expensive septic tank installed in most places. On a trailer you have more freedom to build how you want.
Where Can I Live in My Tiny House?
A big concern about a tiny house is where are you actually going to put it. You have a few options: your own land, a trailer park, or someone’s backyard. Having your own land would be ideal but it’s not always affordable. Depending on what you find you may have to install your own electrical, water and sewage utilities.
Also see– The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir
You could rent a lot in a trailer park. The advantage to that is you should already have the hook-ups you need. However, most parks that I know are not always the best areas to live in. You also have to pay rent which is money you will never have a return on investment on. You could try to park your tiny house in someone’s backyard but it depends largely on your city’s laws. I believe most cities or home owners associations would not allow this. You certainly need to do your homework on this important factor of tiny house living.
Could I Just Buy A Mobile Home
You may be able to use the money you spent on your tiny house to buy a mobile home, but it is my experience that these homes are poor quality. They deteriorate quickly unless they are very well taken care of. Most of the time a mobile home actually depreciates in value. You may also have to live in a trailer park. Or you need your own land with all the systems(septic,etc.) that go with that. Your only other option is to rent an apartment(like me!) but again that is money that you will never see again.
What About Tiny House Plumbing Systems?
Your plumbing is also a concern. You can choose to have a RV flushing toilet or a composting toilet. The commercial composting toilets or incinerating toilets can be very expensive in the thousands of dollars. Or you can make your own composting toilet. I have read that if properly maintained these do not smell against popular belief. Many tiny home people use this method because you don’t have to deal with building a septic tank or having a sewage hook-up. The number one water user in the house is the toilet. So an advantage to composting toilets is that they use no water and are more environmentally friendly. It would take some getting used to.
Why Live in a Tiny House?
I am not promoting the tiny house as a cure all for the world’s problems, but I think the message it sends is that you really don’t need as much as a lot of people think to have a comfortable life. Life should be about living.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…”
― Henry David Thoreau#quotes
— Mark Lowe (@MarkKLowe) January 21, 2017
Most people could not go this extreme but it may get them to think about downsizing. Tiny houses do offer an alternative where people can own their homes and actually live within their means. A crazy idea I know!!
You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses to be happy. Happiness is much more than the big house with the fancy car. Being happy is about spending your time with the people you love and doing the things you enjoy.
It is all about changing your way of thinking. You have to change your programming. You have to Change The Code.
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“Change The Code. Change Your Life.”