Tiny houses are a growing trend in the US, with now estimated 10,000 tiny houses being used as a primary living space. This number might not seem significant in terms of the overall housing market (the US has more than 130 million households, out of which more than 70 are single family detached homes), but is actually a huge uptick from just five years ago, when only few hundred of tiny houses were estimated. The trend is real and some states like California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Florida are experiencing a growing tiny house population. But what does it take to own a Tiny House?
In general, most of the challenges can be classified in:
- Land, building codes and restrictions
- Access to finance
- Lack of personal space
Finding affordable land to build on is becoming increasingly difficult for future tiny house owners of tiny houses for sale in california . The challenge might be a bit easier if you are seeking a rural getaway but finding free land in the urban zones will certainly test even the most patient. Check out the most tiny-friendly states in the US here.
Building codes and restrictions are a huge issue as well. It might be quite difficult to build a tiny house in certain areas where building codes prohibit such tiny dwellings, consider them fire hazards and in general discourage such buildings. No even mentioning the resistance you might encounter from the local community and neighbors who are concerned about their property values taking a hit.
If you do manage to overcome these challenges, the real test comes with having land that has easy access to job opportunities, entertainment and recreational activities. Tiny houses encourage an active social life, which makes it important to build a house in the area where those are available.
Access to Finance
Most of the lenders do not consider tiny houses a sound investment and inherently risky, so they might be very reluctant to lend to potential tiny house owners. A lot of people either turn to credit cards or finance the construction of their homes out of their own pocket/savings. The closest thing to a sure bet would be seeking out RVIA-certified construction companies who offer to finance directly through their company (Tumbleweed from Colorado is an example). Financing options are currently limited but more flexible and affordable models are popping up every day.
Tiny houses encourage modest and minimal lifestyle in terms of the living space but that doesn’t mean that all of the owners are willing to give up all of the comfort expected from a house. Finding land to build on is already a challenge, but finding land which already has installed infrastructure for electricity, water, sewage is another thing. There are water tanks and composting toilet solutions but they do require a DIY attitude from the owners and might discourage some.
Lack of Personal Space
Even the most tolerant people, sometimes have trouble sharing their living space with loved ones. In such close quarters, there is little room for isolating yourself from the rest of the tenants and most of the issues that are under the surface tend to come forward. This is as much of a challenge, as it is an opportunity for couples and families to grow closer together.
Before you consider owning a tiny house or building one, make sure that you take all of these into account. Living in a tiny house can be a very rewarding but at the same time challenging experience. Owning one can turn into an amazing life experience, but at the same time cause a lot of problems and issues for people. A house should fit your lifestyle and needs!