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The Tiny Home Trend

We’ve all seen the photos on social media and there’s even televisions shows on channels like HGTV that are featuring these tiny homes.  So what’s the story behind them?

According to TinyHouseTalk.com, Google Trend Searches suggest they are very popular.  Why?  Because people want to be mortgage free.  People coming out of school with big debt are especially more willing to have a tiny home versus your “standard” home.  School debt may even keep someone from being able to purchase a larger home or a person may want to be able to pay it down much faster by living more frugally.

Tiny homes are generally considered to be less than 1000 square feet and you’ll see some very small homes, between 200-500 square feet.  There are things to consider though before investing in one of these. 

  1. Per square footage they are generally more expensive.  That’s because there are always going to be some fixed costs when you build, such as heating and cooling systems.  As you build larger homes, price per square foot goes down.

  2. Consider placement of your home.  Land is not cheap.  Do you want your home to be in a permanent location?  On a foundation or do you want it to be mobile?  There are different rules for building each.  Can it go in an RV park if its mobile?  You’ll have lot rent to consider in an RV park or mobile home park.  Buying land and putting it on a foundation has the cost of the foundation, plus electric, water, and sewer/septic costs.

  3. How many will live in the house and will your relationship withstand a very small space to share?  If you have kids, pets, are in need of an office, or own lots of things, you might want to reconsider a tiny house.  Or reconsider your attachment to “things.”  And don’t forget about porches, decks, your general outdoor area. 

  4. Stay in a cabin or RV before you buy or build a tiny home.  This will give you a good feel for the space and how you adjust to it.  Montana especially is an area where you need to be really sure about a tiny home before you buy or build one.  We have long winters where you can get stuck indoors for days.  If you’re not a winter sports person or don’t enjoy the snow, this can be especially trying. 

So before you invest in a tiny home, consider your reasons, make a plan, and go into it with eyes wide open.

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