The tiny house trend is growing, but there are benefits and concerns to weigh before you invest in this real estate fad.
Open floor plans, urban areas and cool color palettes are still trending, according to a recent report from Fixr, a remodeling, installation, and repair project guide. But the most interesting housing trend is the increase in the tiny house movement that 56 percent of industry influencers report seeing.
Tiny houses are functionality focused and typically take up less than 500 square feet. They can be built, but they can also be purchased on Amazon for as low as $4,490, often with free shipping.
I find it fascinating that 30 percent of Fixr’s respondents felt that tiny house buyers are likely to be first-time home buyers. With current homeowners struggling to keep up with mortgage payments, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to save money and try living in a tiny house. So why aren’t more buyers choosing tiny homes. What’s the catch?
One of the primary issues with owning a tiny house is finding somewhere to put it. Renting land can be tricky and buying a vacant lot, depending on the location, could cost upwards of $ 200,000. To host a basic party owners would need to rent a room or outdoor space because it’s already crowded in a tiny home without any guests. And, if they aren’t committing to a minimalist lifestyle owners will be paying to rent a storage unit.
Another potential concern is what happens if the family expands? Can you add on a room? Expand upward? Even if you physically can, it might not be the smartest idea. There’s research that suggests children in crowded apartments can be withdrawn and have trouble concentrating.
While there are a good number of problems that come with owning a tiny house, there are benefits, too. Fixr’s respondents thought 30 percent of buyers were likely to invest in a tiny home so they could spend more money on travel or other parts of their lives. If buyers plan to spend most of their time traveling or in the office, a tiny home could provide the essentials without the same maintenance commitment (financial and time) of a traditional single-family home.
It’s clear that there’s a lot to consider before purchasing a tiny home for yourself, but there are some great developments that are being built that reflect this trend.
Developers in Kansas City built a tiny-house village for homeless veterans and coupled it with mandatory programs like job training and drug rehabilitation. The project has been so successful and gained so much support that there are plans to start building 36 more tiny homes in the same community.
Other ‘tiny houses for the homeless’ projects are in process in Seattle, Austin, Portland and they’re continuing to be proposed as a solution for the more than half a million Americans without a roof over their heads.
I don’t think purchasing a tiny house is necessarily the right investment for you and your family, but I can certainly get behind the incredible community support aspect of the tiny house phenomenon.