TINY HOUSE LIVING
The newest trend in the housing market is tiny houses. A tiny house is a home under 500 square feet that can be on wheels or permanent and can come in all shapes and sizes. Consumers of the tiny house movement are increasing the demand for tiny homes so they can downsize the space they live in, to live a simpler life, be free of debt and live greener. In the beginning of the tiny house movement, the consumer had to build their own tiny home but because of increasing demand, small businesses have been started to actually build the house to the consumer’s design. Often times there will be a set design that can be customized to suit the buyers needs and wants for the house.
These houses use half the materials and are much easier to be fitted with solar panels or other green technology. The consumer will leave a smaller carbon footprint by only taking up an average of 186 square feet in total. By reducing construction and material cost, most people use reclaimed wood, recycled materials and refurbished furniture. Standard American homes are about 2500 square feet, and it takes 7 logging trucks to build the house while it usually takes less than one logging truck to build a tiny house. Often times most standard American homes cost an average of $300,000 compared to the completely customized tiny house at around $25,000. In addition to the differences in building costs, consumers are taking advantage of the opportunity cost by living simply in the tiny house community. With rising home prices, staggering student loan debt and an uncertain job market, people do not want to increase their debt and want more money in people’s pockets as Aldo Lavaggi has discovered. Lavaggi works as a folk musician with a humble yearly salary being $40,000 dollars a year, his total home expenses being about $900 dollars. He is able to pursue his passion instead of being overwhelmed with debt.
The biggest economic benefit of the tiny house movement is to people’s finances. Average Americans spend between ⅓ and ½ of their income for housing alone. This works out to approximately 15 years of work just to pay for your home. This is one of the reasons more than ¾ of Americans live from payday to payday. Members of the tiny house community do not live this way. Almost 70% of tiny home owners do not have a mortgage.
As tiny houses become a norm, more and more people are turning to living in these. It’s often stated by tiny home owners is that they are able to do more things and get out more. It creates more opportunity to explore. It can also mean that people can live in areas that they normally can’t when in single family homes. Spreading people out and preventing overcrowding and reducing pollution. When people live smaller and simpler, they lead much busier lives outside the home.
A side benefit of tiny living is the reduction in consumerism. By having less space, consumers must think about how much they can store in their home and make sure they are only keeping the essentials. Money that would have gone to extra things for the home is now being saved.
Glinski, Nina. “Tiny Houses Big With U.S.Owners Seeking Economic Freedom”. www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg business. 9 July 2014. Web. 20 Oct 2015
Gabriella. “Why Tiny Houses Can Save The Earth”. www.tinyhousebuild.com Tiny Living. 26 Oct 2014. Web. 20 Oct 2015.
The Tiny Life “What is the Tiny House Movement” http://thetinylife.com/