Inside the Pint-Sized Homes of the Tiny House Movement

Almost Complete Wooden Cabin With Window
Perhaps in response to the growing number of McMansions on the housing market, minimalist singles, couples, and even families are now embracing the tiny house movement.

Tiny houses are defined as small, sustainable houses that can measure anywhere from 80 square feet to about 700 (though they tend to average between 100 and 400 square feet). They are often structured like studio or loft apartments and have enough space to house basic amenities.

Compare this to the average-sized American home, which measures around 2,600 square feet. That’s more than double the average home size in the United States in 1973, which only measured around 1,000 square feet.

Tiny houses are gaining momentum because they have everything that most people need without giving in to excess. They contain sleeping areas, bathrooms, modern and efficient kitchens, and plenty of sitting room and tucked-away storage spots.

Some tiny houses are also built on wheels, so they can travel and go off the grid.

Many people also choose building their own homes — tiny or otherwise — to save money, and having everything new inside and outside helps to lower the costs on upgrades and maintenance.

So what are the reasons that people are looking to build these pint-sized homes?

For some, it’s about sustainability. Because the houses can be on or off the utility grid, and because of their size, they tend to consume far less energy than the average home.

Yet for other singles and families, tiny houses represent a simpler kind of life. Although most are built with aesthetically pleasing interiors that belong in a home decor magazine and have all brand new fixtures, they force inhabitants to confront the amount of clutter they keep with them.

Brittany Yunker, who lived in a 165-square foot tiny home for a while, told KBOI TV in Boise, ID, that she misses the quality of life she had when renting her small house.

“It’s not about the quantity or size of things that you own, it’s about quality,” she said of the lifestyle. “I learned that I was happier with less, and still am to this day.”

In fact, tiny homes are so popular that they even inspired a documentary, Tiny, which centers around a couple who moved from New York City into their own tiny home that they built.

Finally, price is another factor in choosing the tiny house life. On average, the houses only cost around $23,000 to build — compared to $272,000 for a full-sized home, and that’s principle alone!

Of those who live in tiny homes, 68% carry no mortgage debt, compared with only 29.3% of full-sized home owners who can make similar claims.

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