Perhaps you have seen the blogs and television shows documenting those who turn to tiny house living. You can find wonderful and inspiring examples of those who enjoy minimalist, debt-free living in adorable dollhouse-like homes. Some of us shudder at the thought of living within cramped quarters without the comforting chaos of a wealth of possessions. Meanwhile, others may find themselves dreaming of life off the grid in cute, cozy spaces with multi-functional furnishings. If tiny home living appeals to you, here are some things to consider before ditching your possessions and moving into a tiny home of your own.
15. Costs to Build
Your desire to move into a tiny home may be based simply on a desire to cut costs. If so, you may want to consider the expenses associated with building a tiny home. While some estimate building your own tiny house can cost around $15,000, purchasing one built to your specifications will cost you more. Tiny Home Builders offers tiny homes that range in price from $15,700 for a 12-foot basic shell to $63,000 for a move-in ready, 28-foot completed home.
14. Lot Costs
Once you have built your tiny home, you need a spot to park it. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of a lot or piece of land on which to make your home. In many areas, a plot of land can cost as much as a typical home. Then, you will need to check on the zoning laws in your area. Some municipalities require residents to build their homes on a foundation. A foundation would limit your choices if you were hoping to move your tiny home to a new location in the future. Meanwhile, renting a lot in an RV park has its own associated costs.
13. Moving Costs
Moving your tiny house from the building site to your property site can be an expensive undertaking. Factor into your budget the costs of obtaining a trailer and truck to get your home where you want it. Mobile tiny homes are attractive in that if you need to relocate, you can pack up your entire house and take it with you. Again, you will want to consider the costs of transporting this heavy item from one location to another.
12. Expensive Appliances
If you intend to cook and do laundry in your tiny home, then you will need tiny appliances. In this case, smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less expensive. Tiny Home Builders includes an air conditioner, stovetop, oven, microwave, fridge, tankless water heater, and washer/dryer in the costs for their completed houses. However, if you build your own, you will need to find the appropriate-sized appliances on your own and factor in their costs.
11. Utility Costs
To provide your tiny dwelling with the conveniences of modern life, you will need certain utilities. Running water, sewage, and electricity are amenities you may not want to live without. Getting your miniature home hooked up may cost you as much as obtaining these conveniences in a typical home. Make sure to investigate and include these costs in your budget when planning for a tiny home.
10. Difficulty Obtaining Insurance
A tiny home is an investment of your time and money. Therefore, you will want to protect this investment by insuring your home. Unfortunately, you may run into some snags when seeking insurance for your miniature dwelling. Some insurance companies will not cover homes that are not built on a foundation. Others will only cover homes built by certain manufacturers. This makes it critical to obtain insurance information before beginning the journey toward tiny home living.
Perhaps the idea of a tiny home appeals to you because you figure there will be less to clean. While you may live in a smaller space with fewer belongings, you may be surprised at how your few belongings can take over your living space. This may translate into a need to clean and tidy up even more frequently. After all, you will be limited on space in which to hide the chaos.
Have you ever felt like the walls were closing in on you? If so, living in a tiny home and staring at the same four walls may turn out to feel confining. If you live in a climate where getting outside for a change of scenery isn’t always possible, this may become even more of an issue. Consider where you will go and what you will do to get out of your tiny space for some fresh air and freedom.
7. Lack of Privacy
If you live with others, you will also need to consider your particular needs for privacy and personal space. No matter how much you love your spouse, there will be times when you get on each other’s nerves and need some elbow room. If tiny living is your goal, sit down with your loved one and make plans for how to handle those moments when you each need a bit of downtime. Perhaps one of you will head out for a walk or get cozy at a local library when the other needs some personal space.
6. Depreciating Value
Unlike a typical home, your tiny home may depreciate in value over time. Tiny homes tend to be lovingly constructed to the specifications of their owners. This means that what might appeal to you may not be attractive to a future buyer. The personal touches and special add-ons that make your home truly your own may not fit the bill for potential tiny home hunters down the road. Therefore, you may not want to consider your tiny home to be an investment that will grow in value before you decide to sell.
5. Limited Storage
With a smaller living space comes smaller opportunities for storage. This means parting with well-loved possessions or paying storage fees. Those cute little built-in benches that serve as couches, dining table chairs, a bed frame, and storage units can only hold so much. A lack of storage also means you are less able to trim your budget by buying necessities in bulk. This means more frequent and more expensive trips to the grocery store as well as less space to store purchases.
4. Garbage Dilemma
No matter how committed you are to creating zero waste, there are always items that require disposal. Maintaining a space to keep your garbage and arranging to properly dispose of it are other headaches you need to consider. A composting heap can come in handy, but you may find you also need access to a landfill site and recycling center.
3. Contrary Neighbors
You may love the idea of a tiny home. Your neighbors may not be as thrilled with the idea, especially if there are legal questions regarding tiny homes in your area. Neighbors may not be an issue if you can build your tiny dream home in a beautiful, secluded forest. However, you may choose to live amidst the hustle and bustle of a residential area. If so, you may have to deal with suspicious neighbors who are not on board with the tiny lifestyle.
If you build your tiny house on a typical lot, you may have no issue receiving mail. However, if your tiny dwelling is on a trailer that you move from one location to another, receiving mail may be trickier. You can open up a post office box for bills and correspondence. However, it may prove more difficult to receive your packages and certified mail.
Many tiny homes utilize composting toilets or RV toilets for taking care of toileting needs. A sawdust toilet is a type of composting toilet. Using the sawdust toilet involves doing your business into a bucket and then covering the waste with sawdust to keep out flies and minimize the odor. Then, you must regularly take your bucket to the compost heap to deposit the collection of waste. If this is an issue you haven’t yet considered, then you will want to give it some careful thought.