Sacrificing Savings for Space: Are Tiny Homes Really Worth It?

Tiny home on land

Whether you’re hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, enticed by the opportunity to move your home every year, or looking to greatly reduce your cost of living, tiny homes can make for an affordable and unique real estate investment opportunity. But these benefits aren’t without cost. The obvious caveat is that you’ll be sacrificing space, but marketability is also something you may be giving up if you’re hoping to turn a profit one day.  

The Pros of Tiny Vacation Homes

Cost savings

Homes, in general, are a major investment and probably the most expensive one many of us will ever have. Tiny homes though require significantly less capital and land, making for one of the most cost-effective options for home buying. With a smaller space to heat and cool and fewer electrical outlets also comes much lower utility bills. And depending on where you choose to live, there are even natural springs you can use as a water source, completely eliminating your monthly water bill.

Environmental Conscientiousness 

At less than 400 sqft, tiny homes take up a much, much smaller footprint than your average 3-bedroom home.  In fact, they are over six times smaller than the average home in America, making for six times the savings on construction materials, utility bills, and land cost. And while you might still be focused on how great that sounds from a financial perspective, shift that line of thinking to the environmental benefits. If you’re a fan of saving the trees, consider this. Six tiny houses have nearly the same impact as one 2,600 sqft home. On average, 22 mature pine trees are needed to build your average American home versus only 4 need for a 400 sqft tiny home.

The Ability to Move

As if, saving the environment while saving money isn’t enough, there is also the perk of picking up and moving your house when you get bored of the same old scenery. Imagine living at the beach in the offseason when there are fewer tourists and then migrating to the mountain in the summer, avoiding the inconveniences of snow. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Living in or around your favorite vacation spots allows you to experience and immerse yourself in parts of the US or even parts of the world that you may not otherwise have had the opportunity to explore.

Cons of Tiny Vacation Homes

While there are definitely some major pluses to owning and living in a tiny home, it’s hard to ignore the inconveniences. Let’s play devil’s advocate before you apply for Tiny House, Big Living on HGTV.

There’s been a recent trend towards adopting minimalism and putting experiences before possessions, but this movement is much harder to follow than most will make it seem. Tiny homes aren’t for everyone. If you’ve always lived in 2000+ sqft home and you aren’t willing to live without your many possessions, it may be worth your while to consider living in a smaller home versus building a tiny one.

You will also want to do your research regarding permits and zoning requirements for a tiny home in your area. Oddly enough, there are more regulations and restrictions for homes that have minimal square footage and some cities prohibit their construction altogether.

Small spaces also don’t make for big profits, so if your plan is to one day sell your tiny home or even rent it out, you might struggle in the real estate market.

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