Recently I took a trip to visit my friend, Sheri, who might be one of the most fascinating individuals gracing this planet… which is only partly due to the fact that she went ahead and built herself a tiny house a couple years back. If you want more info about her tiny house and how she built it/keeps it tidy, I suggest reading the interview she did with Kobo.
As you may have guessed, that visit is what prompted me to write this post. The reason I haven’t written about tiny homes before is not that I didn’t know about tiny houses before, or wasn’t aware of their merits. I suppose I didn’t really feel comfortable writing about such an alternative lifestyle choice without first seeing it in action with my own eyeballs first. That’s generally how I conduct business here on THR, either see it/try it before writing about it, OR collect a lot of reputable info about it if it’s out of my means to test it myself.
I’m so glad I’ve gotten to experience it even just for an evening. And, after hanging out with my friend and chatting with her, I feel like I can finally write this post properly. So, here are the top 5 reasons (in my opinion) why tiny houses are the bomb, and why you should consider buying or building one.
Real estate in Vancouver and the surrounding areas is getting so pricey it’s ridiculous. If you have the time and money to invest in a tiny home and can find a place to park it (or get your own land), you can actually save money in the long run if you’re smart about the whole situation. Part of this is because tiny houses usually cost between $20,000 – $30,000 according to one source, or $50,000 according to another. Either way, that’s pretty inexpensive, which means you probably wouldn’t be tied to a mortgage or would have a relatively small loan if you needed one.
Plus, because there’s less room to store stuff, you’re less likely to buy random things you don’t really need… which leads us to the next point.
2. Embrace Minimalism.
Minimalism is something I’ve talked about a lot lately and is something I’m really trying to embrace in my own life. Minimalism, or at least adopting a minimalist mindset has really helped me do a better job of buying less things and decluttering the stuff I already do have. I think that living with minimal excess is a great way to move towards sustainable living!
Since there isn’t much excess room in a tiny house for unnecessary stuff, those living in tiny houses are almost automatically living the minimalist lifestyle. The homes are also highly customizable, so you can paint/decorate/organize to your own taste.
3. Be more environmentally friendly.
Things like composting toilets (which are actually not gross at all. Trust me, I’ve used one!) are pretty common in tiny houses. A tiny house will also use less power to heat, cool, light up, etc than traditionally larger homes.
A lot of people also manage to use reclaimed or repurposed materials to build parts of their home, which is easier to do when you don’t need as much of each material.
4. More room for the great outdoors.
If you can park in a place that’s got a great view, like my friend Sheri did, you have so much opportunity and incentive to hang out outside.
To be honest, part of the appeal to get outside, for me, would come from the fact that I’d probably feel a little bit cramped inside. And don’t get me wrong here. I think it would be a good thing that I’d be driven outside for some proper exercise and fresh air. As I type this, I’m realising I’ve been indoors on my butt almost all day anyway, at work and in my apartment… so I could probably use a little push to get outdoors.
Also, rant time: I’ve noticed that homes in the city these days have, in my grandma’s words, “a lot of house and not a lot of yard.” What a tragedy! A large home is great of course, but for me, I’d rather have more outsides and less insides for the long term (or a big house AND a big yard… but that’s probably not possible in this housing market). At the moment I love living in the city in a tiny apartment, but when we decide to find a more permanent home, I think a yard is going to be a necessity. Ok. Rant over.
5. Go travel more!
For me, the impermanence of a tiny house is actually pretty appealing. If you have a serious case of wanderlust like me, you can probably relate! Since tiny homes can be made very mobile, it’s less of a commitment than purchasing a traditional home. If you want to move, move! Ok, it’s probably a bit more complicated than that, but you get the point.
Are there cons?
Yes, of course. Lack of space could get tricky with a family, and unless you can find a cheap way to rent land or park on the property of someone you already know, you’ll still need to buy a lot. This article from Buzzfeed goes pretty in-depth on the topic of tiny living.
Let me know what you think of tiny houses in the comments! It’s something I’m really intrigued by, so I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts!