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What Is A Tiny Home?

Ten years ago, you probably didn’t know everything about tiny houses. A decade ago there weren’t shows about tiny houses, no mainstream crusaders for micro-living. There weren’t any Tiny House Hunters binge-watching because there wasn’t a show about people searching for small houses.

Fast forward to the present day – micro homes are a beloved movement among homeowners old and young who are looking for alternatives to the “bigger is better” movement that’s long-held its grip on American homeowners.

How Tiny Is Tiny?

Tiny home
Now, among the ranks of tiny house enthusiasts, there is some debate. We’ve found people who say tiny houses should be 200 square feet or less, while others say 500. We’ve even discovered a niche for homes less than 1,000 square feet.

While there is no official definition of a tiny house, it is generally thought of as a small house, typically sized under 600 square feet. While they can be built on foundations, most tiny homes are built on trailers. This style of a tiny house is often referred to as a THOW (tiny house on wheels).

Whichever limit you choose, the size requirement ensures that the homes are, in fact, small, and the free-standing rule is really what makes the tiny home different than an apartment.

For reference, the median size of a new, single-family home sold in 2015 was 2,520 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Need a visual? You could fit 144 tiny houses on a football field. Yes, we did the math.

A common layout for a small house incorporates an open living space on the first floor, including a kitchen and bath, along with an upstairs sleeping area. Some small houses have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and some offer only a sleeping loft and a toilet/shower closet. Still, others don’t even come with bath and kitchen facilities as a standard component of the plan; they’re offered only as upgrades.

These purposeful design layouts are paired with space-saving interior features. Many plans incorporate built-in cabinetry and shelving for more storage space. Appliances tend to resemble those in an RV in smaller homes, while larger homes can have full-size appliances. Many of the home manufacturers have even teamed with specific retailers to offer packages thoughtfully chosen for small house environments.

The Benefits of Owning a Tiny House

Financial Benefits

The financial benefits of a tiny house are considerable. The most obvious savings are with the initial cost of the home. A tiny house can be built for less than the cost of most cars. And because they are built to the same quality as conventional homes, they can be expected to have a similar lifespan. Despite their lower cost, a properly built tiny house can provide housing for decades.


Living tiny results in owning less. With that comes less thinking about your stuff, less time upgrading your stuff, less time maintaining your stuff, you get the picture. This process is so common that we’ve stopped noticing it and just consider it part of life. It is an invisible weight on our shoulders. Only after it is removed do we recognize that it even existed. When I talk to people that have moved into tiny homes, I am repeatedly told how surprised they are that something they didn’t even know existed was having such a big impact on them.

Environmental Benefits

Using fewer utilities not only saves money but also has a smaller impact on the environment. Some homes go so far as to use no utilities by being completely off-grid. Also, with less consumption comes less waste going into landfills.
How Much Does A Tiny House Cost?
There are different tiny home costs, ranging from the costs of the building materials and labor, but there are other hidden costs to the building process and beyond.

The average cost of a tiny house is $30,000 – $60,000, but a tiny house can cost as little as $8,000 or up to $150,000. One of the appealing things about building a tiny house is that you can choose how many frills you want to include. The cost of a tiny house is highly dependent on the building materials and amenities you choose.

The Tiny House Revolution

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 than 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.

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