Part 3: Living Small in Tiny Houses
Part three of a series of three: This series will cover the topic of tiny homes, a new form of living being embraced around the world. In part three, the blog post explains the potential hidden costs and challenges of tiny house living.
A tiny home can be a unique and creative alternative to standard living arrangements. Tiny house living carries many benefits including a better environmental impact and the freedom to be mobile if your house is on a trailer that you can hitch to your vehicle. Overall, living in your tiny home will save you money compared to purchasing a standard home. However, though the overall cost may be easier on your bank account, it is important to be aware of all the costs involved in the process of tiny home living as well as the reality of the lifestyle and the challenges and adjustments you may need to face.
Costs to Consider
There are many costs within the construction of a tiny house, however there are also costs following the making of your home that you need to be aware of.
Property- If you are building a permanent tiny home, you will need to purchase the land you will be building and living on. If you have built your home to be mobile, a cost that is often overlooked is that of permits. You will need to find a property owner or mobile home site that will allow you to park your home for your desired amount of time. If you are staying for a longer period of time, you will have to factor in that you are paying a renting fee for your area. Finding a place to park your home can be a challenge if you don’t own the land yourself. There are also zoning laws to consider that may cause issues in where you park if, for example, you are parking your home on someone’s residential property.
Utilities- There will be hook-up fees for water and septic. Also consider the cost of electricity through a provided line or by generator. Heat and energy will often be lower in cost as there is less space where they are needed however water may be similar in cost to an average fixed house based on your use and number of residents in your tiny home.
Appliances- Tiny homes often house energy efficient appliances with the intention to assist in environmental impacts as well as cost while in use. However, the cost of buying these appliances can be more expensive than the ones you may find elsewhere. This is a cost you will need to cover at the beginning, but will see the benefits from over time.
Challenges to Anticipate
Place to live- Finding a place to park your home can be a challenge if you don’t own the land yourself. Many places have rules and regulations on what kind of mobile home can park on their sites and with tiny homes being a relatively new form of mobile living, not all sites accept them or are able to provide necessary utility hook-ups.
Resale- If you decide to sell your tiny home, it may not be as easy as you think. In most cases, your tiny home was built and customized to fit your needs and desires. However, your needs and desires may not line up with those of others looking to purchase. The more customized your home is, the narrower your prospective buyers audience becomes.
Giving up luxuries- Tiny home living means downsizing and making sacrifices. You may find you just don’t have the space for a bath tub or you have minimal head space due to your loft bedroom. Most tiny homes also use composting toilets which most people are not accustomed to.
Lack of Privacy- One of the major challenges you will most likely face living in your tiny home is a lack of privacy. There is no longer the space to go to the other room or take time for yourself. If you are cohabiting with someone in your tiny home, you will need to take into consideration the close living quarters and make sure you are on the same page with the other person.
Taking into consideration these potential drawbacks to tiny home living, there are still many great opportunities and benefits that come with the challenges. Weigh your options and decide if tiny house living is for you. If it is, enjoy your new home!