What is a Tiny House and the Tiny House Movement?

A tiny house is a small house that is typically sized under 600 square feet. Tiny houses that can fit on a trailer have max dimensions of 8 feet 6 inches wide, 13 feet 6 inches tall, and 40 feet long providing a total maximum of about 340 square feet. Often, these houses are built on trailers since they are too small to be allowed as permanent structures according to most local code enforcement agencies. Because of this, most counties classify tiny houses as recreational vehicles (RV’s).

The Tiny House Movement is the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. Some of these people buy their tiny house and some choose to build their own. The reasoning behind people wanting to build tiny is normally one of three reasons: To save money, to simplify their life and to help the environment. There are both pros and cons to going to a tinier way of life.

Tiny Home Builders - Tiny Living 12

Advantages

Well it is easy to understand the financial implications to going small. Less square footage means less consumption which means cheaper utilities. The cost of a tiny house is so much less than its big brother counterpart, a lot of people don’t even carry a loan. This means that if you can find a place to store the house, rent is cheap or even free. Plus, if you don’t have room to store stuff, you tend to buy a lot less of it.

Also fairly obvious is the environmental impact living tiny will have. Less utilities means reduced carbon footprint. And there are many people who live completely off the grid with no impact on the land whatsoever.

Read More: Off the Grid: Tiny House Rainwater Collection

Simplification is a little less straightforward, being that you can simplify your life living right where you are right now. If you want to downsize, reduce clutter and get yourself organized, there are plenty of ways you can help that cause out right now. You may not even need to go tiny to do it.

Read More: 30 Ways To Downsize, Simplify, and Build Tiny

Disadvantages

So what are some of the obstacles that people are coming up against in their decisions to live a simpler, tinier lifestyle? Probably the biggest problem that people face is finding a legal place to put their tiny house. Codes and laws change from state to state and even county to county. This doesn’t make it easy to just pull in and say, “I am going to buy this property and place my tiny house on it and live carefree!” Many places will tell you that you cannot live in a vehicle on the property for more than 30 consecutive days (because they consider the tiny house an RV).

Financing and insurance can be a challenge as well. Financing and insurance companies rely on having accurate values for the items they finance and insure, and with tiny houses those values aren’t always reliable or clear. For instance, if an individual built their own house and did so incorrectly, their structure could potentially be worthless.

The other really big problem that people are having is finding a builder that they can trust. There are more and more builders starting to pop up on the scene very quickly, many of whom have never built a tiny house before.

Read More: Tiny House Builders: How to Choose One

What makes this a movement?

These disadvantages are not horribly difficult to overcome, but they require work to do so. And with such strong advantages as saving money and the environment, you can see how this could bring people together. Tiny house supporters are gathering in groups, starting organizations, and talking to the powers that be. You will be hard-pressed to find a more passionate group of people then the tiny house community. That is why this is more than a fad, more than a trend, it is truly a movement. Rarely if ever have you heard of people coming together on a national level to fight for other real estate trends. And the media is onboard. Reality shows on television, articles in every major magazine and on every major website as well as more news articles arriving daily.

If you are still unsure if the tiny house movement is for you, check out these two articles:

Five Tiny House Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Tiny

5 Signs You Are Not Ready To Go Tiny

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