- Tiny homes are hot right now, but learn more about them before taking the plunge.
- They're much less expensive than traditional homes, but can be harder to finance.
- The web has many resources to help you find the right tiny home.
Ready for that tiny lifestyle?
Many people are jumping on the tiny living bandwagon these days. Tiny houses come in a variety of sizes and styles, but commonly range between 100 and 400 square feet. They can be larger, but the true spirit of the tiny house movement is to do more living in less living space.
Tiny living = tiny price tag?
A big reason that tiny homes are so appealing is the increasing price of traditional housing. The average tiny house goes for just $68,000, while the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently noted that the median cost of an existing American home was $407,600 as of May 2022. Average is not the same as median, and while you can certainly spend a lot more on a tiny home, a lot of DIYers have built cheaper ones by using free materials and doing the construction themselves.
While tiny houses are less expensive than traditional homes, they can be more difficult to finance. You may have to rely on a manufacturer loan or a personal loan to pay for one, as traditional mortgage lenders tend to be hesitant to offer loans for these homes. Of course, since tiny homes cost so much less than their non-tiny counterparts, you may be able to pay for one outright using money you may have saved for a down payment if you were using a mortgage to pay for a traditional house.
Note that while the cost of the home itself will be less, you may end up spending more than you anticipate to furnish a tiny home, as they often require special appliances that will fit the space. And if you're building on an undeveloped plot of land, not only will you have to buy the land, but you'll have to pay to connect water, sewage, and electricity to your new home.
Give tiny living a try before you buy
If you're considering moving into a miniature home, you may be wondering: how do I find one? A good place to start if you are completely new to the world of tiny homes might be a vacation rental site like Vrbo or Airbnb. You can try renting a tiny home for a getaway and see how you like it. Granted, doing this won't feel quite the same as actually owning a tiny house, but you can decide if having less square footage truly appeals to you.
Tiny home resources on the web
One way to find tiny homes near you is to use your favorite search engine to check for "tiny home" or "tiny houses" and your specific state or city. You may find local manufacturers who specialize in building homes that will withstand your area's climate and weather conditions. For example, I live in a part of the country notorious for very cold and snowy winters. If I chose a tiny home builder more used to creating living spaces for warmer climates, the house I end up with may not be well-suited to my area.
There are also a few national and international tiny house companies that offer plans, construction help, and even already-constructed tiny homes. Check them out:
- Tiny Home Builders (tinyhomebuilders.com): This company works in both the U.S. and Canada and prides itself on honest pricing and giving back to the communities it serves. It offers information, home plans, and constructed tiny homes, as well as listings for tiny home communities and areas where you can put your house or find one for sale.
- Tiny House.com (tinyhouse.com): This Oregon-based company notes that it's been a part of the tiny living movement since its inception. It also produced a TV show about luxury tiny houses, and it offers consumers the chance to find the best tiny houses in the world to buy or rent via their database.
- Tiny House Listings (tinyhouselistings.com): While this site offers a few informational articles about living tiny, where it really shines is in its range of home sale and rental listings by city and state. You can browse photos and see prices of tiny homes on offer.
The tiny house movement is welcoming and very user-friendly, so if you're ready to take the plunge on a tiny house, there are lots of resources out there to help you on your way.
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