In 1973, the average home size was 1,525 square feet. It was big enough to house a family of 4-6 comfortably, without too much door slamming about who was in the bathroom too long. By 2003, the average home size had grown to 2,599 square feet. That’s big enough that everyone can consider themselves an only child. The extra room is nice, but it comes with a price, and that price is full of zeroes at the end. Not every family can drop a quarter mil on a starter home, so something had to give. Enter, tiny houses. A great fit for crowded urban land parcels, they are becoming popular even in suburbia and rural America. What does Gildshire think of them, and are they for you? Let’s break it down.
Pro Number One, Initial Cost: Well, duh, but it goes beyond the black and white price. These little numbers are great if you’re commitment-phobic. Or, to put it in a less judgmental sounding way, if you like to move around. Some people like the idea of being here for awhile and finding somewhere else to go. Those people will like the almost portable nature of tiny houses. No coming up with 50 large for a down payment. No sweating out the vagaries of the housing market, because these niche homes have an economic path of their own. Lock the door on your home in Virginia, and buy another one in Massachusetts.
Con Number One, How Much Do You Really Like Each Other? This may sound flip, but it is a question that must be asked within the soul of the prospective housemates. That’s because, there’s nowhere to go. If you need some alone time on a daily basis, you might want to go a more traditional route. He’s right there. She’s right in front of you. If you’re still cuddling while you watch TV seven years in, you’re a candidate, but if not…
Pro Number Two, They’re Made for Thinking Outside the Box: Sure, they work great as little primary dwellings, but they can be more than that.We know of someone who uses it as a detached mother-in-law apartment. Others write it off as a home office a little ways from the home. FEMA uses them as alternatives to mobile homes for disaster relief.
Con Number Two, You Thought Space Was Precious in Your Old Place: It is amazing how much junk can accumulate…in your car! Close your eyes and try to picture all the junk you’ve amassed in your home. We’re being very honest here, much of it will have to go. You’re cutting your living space by 76% if you’re moving from an average sized home, and by 26% from the average one-bedroom apartment. If you’re an unrepentant hoarder, tiny houses ARE NOT FOR YOU!
Pro Number Three, The Options List is Great Fun! Don’t worry if the tiny house on the local tiny houses lot isn’t right for you, because you are your own designer. If you miss the office area you had in your old place, then design a desk in the custom-built kitchen space (closer to the cookies). Murphy beds are making a significant comeback as people choose larger living room spaces, with functionally-sized dressing areas. Your Mom wanted you to be an architect, and now you are your own.
The late comedian George Carlin once said that life is about stuff, and he was correct. If we didn’t have stuff, we wouldn’t need a house. Are you ready to end the time when your stuff dictates your mortgage payment? Are there better ways to spend your money? Does Poodle Skirt really love being near Pookie Bear? If the answer to all three is “yes,” well a tiny house may be the answer you seek.
Big house, small house, tiny house, or some house in between, live large. For it is the memories you make that will determine the happiness that dwells within.