Television shows like HGTV’s Tiny Luxury and Tiny House Nation have created a stir about tiny houses, but what is all the fuss about? Are they a realistic idea and most importantly, why should homeowners choose little over big? After delving into the key questions around tiny houses, you could be surprised to find that a luxury tiny house may suit you after all.
Perks of going tinyThe arguments for a large sprawling mansion hardly need mentioning, so today’s focus is all about the benefits of choosing to live in a tiny house.
- Reduced energy bills – Tiny house owners will naturally pay less for utilities, which is beneficial financially and environmentally.
- No/smaller mortgage – For those wanting to live debt free or who just have less money to spend, a smaller house on a smaller block of land is a way to free up finances for other things.
- More environmentally friendly – A tiny house has less of an impact on the surrounding environment and takes less energy to run.
- More cost effective – Logically a smaller house will be cheaper to build as less materials are needed.
- Flexibility (if on wheels) – For those who love to travel and don’t want to spend too much time in one place, a tiny house on wheels can be the ideal way to live.
- Simplified lifestyle – Downsizing can be the perfect option for those wanting to condense and simplify their life and get away from the demands of materialism.
- Easier to clean and decorate – Cut your chores in half and change up your house’s decor with the minimum amount of fuss and expense by going tiny.
Hurdles to overcomeOwning a smaller house will undoubtedly involve some challenges that owners of a bigger house wouldn’t have to worry about. You have a limited ability to entertain and host family and friends (imagine a 10 person dinner party in a house that’s under 46 square metres). A way to combat this is to construct a great outdoor space like a deck or firepit that is both inviting and functional for when you have guests over.
Another option to accommodate guests is building a small guest cabin separate to your tiny house.
One of the most obvious challenges is the lack of storage and living space. Tiny houses rely on multifunctional areas, wall mounted appliances, folding tables, cupboards or drawers under seats and loft beds. Housing a family in a tiny space can be a challenge, but it also people with tiny houses report that it promotes creativity and forces them to improve their communication skills.
For those living in areas with strict council rules, you can split a larger block and rent out a bigger house in the front area while living in the back. Other options are shared communities with other tiny houses or moving a little further out of town for less restrictions. Despite these obstacles, Amy Livingston from Money Crashers says that “having less space, and less stuff to fill it, means more money, more freedom, and more time for the things that matter most.
Culling the junkDownsizing to fit into your new life is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Tiny houses probably won’t suit people with large families or who are very sentimental about possessions because going tiny inevitably involves a huge cull. Storage units are an option, but can end up being an unnecessary and burdensome expense. For those planning a permanent move to a tiny house, the better option is to sell or donate all unneeded items.
Reducing your footprintSustainability is obviously a huge point in favour of luxury tiny homes. Why not save money, simplify your life and do your bit to help the environment while you’re at it? A smaller home requires less materials, uses less energy and often prioritises self-sufficient energy and recycling (i.e. the use of solar panels and a composting toilet). Overall, the tiny lifestyle is a significant way to make a meaningful contribution to reducing your impact on the environment.
Interestingly, luxury tiny houses and their bigger counterparts are now influencing each other: tiny houses are echoing leading edge trends reflected in luxury homes, while many Sydney display homes increasingly reflect tiny houses’ pared back design and clever use of space.