Does Tiny House Living Really Work? The Good, The Bad, The Tiny

Are tiny houses still popular?

I think tiny houses are about to get a surge in popularity and it’s all thanks to this crazy year we’ve had but let me go through a bunch of thoughts I’ve been collecting over where I think the tiny house movement is headed. This past year has been an interesting one and it seems like a lot of people are starting to seriously contemplate some big changes concerning how and where they live.

Tiny house living works on many levels. It is economical, gives freedom of movement and reduces our reliance on the world’s resources. Tiny houses work for living, recreation or as a home office.

The tiny house movement started simply as a response to ballooning house sizes, with the philosophy being that a bigger house will not lead to a happier life. We should downsize in order to find our inner peace.

In the past decade the tiny house movement has been popularized by building miniature houses on trailers, usually in order to get around building codes and local by-laws. That’s basically why I wanted to build mine.

With the recession starting in 2008, people were looking for alternatives to large mortgages and were seeking to live more securely within their means. The flaw of course came from having nowhere to park and live in them most of the time.

Are tiny houses still popular?

Tiny houses are still very popular, largely due to the societal disruption caused by the recent social restrictions. Many home-owners are looking to down-size and live more simply, using less of the planet’s valuable resources.

You’d still need to buy or rent land often in rural areas where you’d still need a vehicle in order to get around. That meant you weren’t getting nearly as far ahead financially as you’d hoped. Because of that I think the tiny house craze started to die down as reality set in.

If you’re struggling financially, a tiny house really just isn’t the cure. I wish it was. These days it can look a lot more like a tiny house is an expensive boutique item for rich families looking to try out minimalism.

I think the genuine DIY, small sustainable-living reason for tiny houses could soon return in a new way. With a lot of time spent cooped up this year, people have been forced to really think about what’s important to them in a home.

Whether you live with family and are sick of not having a minute to yourself, or you live alone in an apartment building with noisy neighbors, you may have thought once or twice about building a cabin in the woods and getting lost.

What states have tiny house communities?

The top states for tiny house communities are:

  • North Carolina
  • Indiana
  • Texas
  • California
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
Which states have the most tiny-house communities?
Infographic showing thriving tiny-house communities in USA by state

Image source

It’s looking like a lot of people are seeking alternatives once again, but specifically, city dwellers. Now I don’t think city living is going to lose its overall appeal. Living in a city has benefits you simply can’t recreate in a suburban or rural area.

Like walking to a nearby cafe, public transportation, nightlife and dating, and pretty much having the ability to meet anyone who’s interested in whatever. As we’ve all seen, in this past year living in a city does have its downside.

It always has, especially if you live in close proximity to a ton of other people. Not surprisingly, interest in land ownership and rural living has gone way up this past year. Self-sustainability has been on a lot of people’s minds and being stuck in a little box surrounded by thousands of other little boxes, all full of really anxious people – it’s starting to lose some of its appeal.

However, land is expensive and getting even more so. Building materials have jumped in cost over this past year, so if you currently live in an apartment, or own a condo, there still isn’t an easy way to affordably switch over to a single family dwelling with a bit of private outdoor space.

Does a tiny house have to be on wheels?

A tiny house doesn’t have to be on wheels but there are obvious advantages to having this mobility. Although not heavy compared to ordinary house, having two or four wheels makes it much easier to move around. Many home-owners plan to move their tiny house with them when they move to a different area.

Additionally, the economic landscape has shifted dramatically over the past year and I think tiny houses are going to get a boost in appeal to two specific groups of people as a result. Those now working predominantly from home and those with a little bit of extra outdoor land space looking to generate a bit of side income.

On top of all the concerns of this past year the nature of office jobs has changed forever. Jobs that once required a daily commute to an office are now being done quite often from home remotely and a lot of that is here to stay. That’s a good thing.

The time and energy wasted in commuting should be avoided at all costs. Killing the commute is better for the environment and it’s better for our collective social sanity. Unless, of course, you don’t have a practical place to set up a home office. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Now for the cost of a couple years of rent, or less, depending on how much you can salvage in materials, a single person could build a solid little tiny house for one. Of course, then they need to find someone willing to rent them a bit of land and presumably access to electricity, water, sewage and a good internet connection.

That’s where it fell apart for me. I built the house but got discouraged when I couldn’t find a place to live in it. It’s a lot easier if the land comes first. Historically, most people interested in tiny houses seem to be those looking to escape an expensive or excessive lifestyle.

Can tiny houses be moved?

Build a tiny house, live free and simple. Of course, it’s not that simple, as I came to realize. However, I think it’s going to be a new market of people opening up who are just looking to escape apartment living. They no longer need to live near work and they’re sick of living in a petri dish.

If you have the land to spare, now might be a good time to put it to work and provide what could soon be in high demand. Small, affordable dwellings with a little bit of private outdoor space. I can’t stress enough how important a good internet connection will be.

Unfortunately, that is a challenge for some area. You do not need to be a master builder to put together a solid little tiny house. Plus, there are now so many free resources out there on the internet that will teach you how to build a tiny house step by step.

Can tiny houses have wifi?

Tiny houses can have Wifi connection just like an ordinary house. In fact, all the normal plumbing and electrical basics apply. All the appliances and conveniences found in a normal house can be enjoyed in a tiny house. Many people often use their tiny house as a home office, so in this case Wifi is essential.

Really, with everything that’s out there you can remove all of the guesswork. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It doesn’t need to be expensive. If you build a simple, highly functional tiny house and park it somewhere where you can create a bit of privacy, you can rent that baby out to a single person or a couple looking for a nice quiet private place to live.

Or use it as an air-bnb or use it as a guest house, or a remote office. Maybe you’re suddenly working from home and you have a little bit of outdoor space that could fit a trailer. Tiny houses don’t need to be for living in.

They can be really tiny like, say, the size of a spare bedroom that one might use for a home office. My wife and I now both have home offices. I converted our garage into a studio office space for myself and my wife uses a spare bedroom for hers.

That’s all well and good for now, but eventually we’re gonna need that space for children. Spare bedrooms will no longer be spare. Looking towards the future, most of the houses we can afford that have a little bit of outdoor land are basically small houses with only two or three bedrooms.

Can tiny houses be transported?

It just won’t be enough if we also require two home offices. It will be especially challenging to find a quiet place where you can make important work calls. We’ve been thinking about either converting our current tiny house into an office or building a new little house to use as a completely separate home office.

Just a private little space to which we can run power and internet where work can get done without distractions and interruptions. For those with big enough driveways or backyard access, I think tiny offices on wheels could be one of the next big things.

They could be built much more affordably than a full-on tiny house, since you won’t need to cram a kitchen a bathroom and a sleeping space in there. You just keep on using your big house for all that and they don’t need appliances or really anything fancy.

Four walls, a roof, a door, a couple windows – done. But hey – maybe you don’t need a home office. Maybe a recording studio on wheels would be better, or a home gym on wheels, or a playroom on wheels.

I think it’s a great way to get a little extra space without being directly attached to the rest of the house. If you move, you can bring your little room on wheels with you. Anyway, that’s what we’re currently imagining for the future of our tiny house.

Either we’ll partially convert it into an office, or we’ll look into renting it out for a very reasonable price. Either way, I’m excited to make continued use of it.

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