By Carol Hardy • 2018 President
I can’t say if tiny homes are a trend or fad, and after having asked several fellow REALTORS and others in the industry, all have said tiny homes are here to stay!
I can see where these itty-bitty residences are attractive in that there is far less to vacuum and dust, but you also have definite challenges that may or may not be so obvious. So, here are some things I came up with that may be a pro or con, depending on your size.
- Tiny houses are — well they are really small! While this is taking minimalism to the max, living with less can be very freeing as well. Less material items that break, get lost or need maintenance can be a stress reliever and you probably won’t even miss it. I remember once we were renting a house after a big move and only unpacked half our boxes since we were buying a house in a few months. I didn’t even remember what those unpacked boxes contained. If I didn’t know, I must not have needed it, and/or they weren’t important. A tiny house owner will also need to be super creative with storage space. Could you do without your closet, pantry or book shelves? Well, maybe bookshelves.
- Where can you put a tiny home? This is a good question and one you would really need to plan. This is not a traditional house, an RV or a mobile home. Can you build it on any residential lot? Can you simply hook it to your car and go where ever you want? This needs to be researched and planned by the owner. It could be that some RV parks will allow them. Land that does not have an HOA attached would probably be just fine. Since these are such a new concept the owner would need to do their due diligence in finding these answers before downsizing into this tiny home.
- Adjustments will need to be made! Adjustments to what, besides size? Have you ever tried to level an RV? Yes, you must level the house so items don’t roll off the counter, doors stay shut, etc. How about skirting? Concealing the outer structure so you don’t see the wheels or other “mechanical” eyesores can be tricky. How about if you have children? Well, if they start out in a tiny house, that will be all they know — pretty simple. Remember when you made a fort out of blankets and sheets on mom’s chairs and tables and then pretended to live in it? Well, this is what your kids will have all the time. I’ll say this, their cleaning chores will be done lickety-split!
- Tiny homes still need maintenance just like big homes! You can’t get away from this one. If you use propane, the tank will still have to be checked. Appliances will go out and you’ll need a plumber every now and then. Maintenance to a house is just that, maintenance — it is ongoing no matter what size of home.
- You might just love it. I see tiny homes as a lifestyle, and a way for those who can’t afford the traditional size home. You will definitely be spending more time outdoors, be more creative with living space and have the ability to travel more without a large mortgage. Then there are those who would otherwise not be able to be homeowners. This is a more affordable route to owning your home. This could be the answer to many opportunities in limited areas for homeownership or as an investment treasure.
There will be sceptics, dreamers, entrepreneurs, adventurers, and yes, homeowners that will have an opinion and may even want to try tiny home living. But one thing is for sure, though the structure is tiny, the sky’s the limit on how these can become the next generation of residential living. RL