If you are exploring the tiny house landscape then you are probably wondering what the downsides of living in a tiny house.
Tiny homes are generating massive buzz across different countries as more people continue to search for affordable housing while making minimalist choices. For many tiny home enthusiasts, the tiny house movement is about adopting a minimalist lifestyle, with everything scaled down both financially and physically.
Unlike traditional housing, where you get to live in a big space with enough rooms to hold all your belongings, the tiny house movement will mean downsizing your whole life into barely 500 square feet of space.
For tiny home advocates, the thrill that comes with tiny living, including the ease of relocation, no looming mortgage to think about, and a smaller carbon footprint, makes tiny home living super exciting and worth the adventure.
But like everything in life, not all that glitters is gold. While tiny houses look marvelous and all shades of amazing, they come with a couple of problems you should know before jumping on the tiny home trends
In today’s post, we will show you a few problems that come with downsizing and switching to tiny homes. But before then, let’s look at some major benefits of the tiny home movement.
Tiny home problems: What you should know
Yes, we know that you love the thrills and many benefits that come with tiny home living, and we do too. But guess what? The tiny home movement also has many shortcomings you should know before jumping on the trend. So before deciding if a tiny home works for you, you’re welcome to read some of the problems that come with tiny homes.
You have poop to worry about
When you live in a tiny home, there is no fixed septic system. And for less-is-more fanatics, this is something to worry about as you have to make some really difficult decisions on how best to get rid of waste.
While some toilets fitted in tiny homes are uniquely designed to divert solids to be used as composite, others come fitted with dry toilets, which function as a giant diaper. These types of toilets will essentially store your waste to be disposed of later.
Whatever the case may be, keep in mind that you may struggle with odor issues sometimes.
To be on top of this problem, you can opt for new toilet models capable of incinerating poop and reducing it to a pile of ash for easy removal.
That said, if the whole idea of incinerating poop sounds extreme, you may as well shelve your entire idea of minimalist living.
Zoning laws can be a bummer
One of the major problems that most tiny house enthusiasts encounter when building their tiny homes is complying with different state zoning laws.
Since building a tiny home will take around a year to finish, you want to ensure that you can actually place your tiny home where you want it.
While there are some grey areas in zoning laws and some loopholes around them, most tiny homeowners find that this is where they face most of the troubles.
Even though the tiny home trend is gaining massive acceptance, especially among people looking to live alternative lifestyles, it is unfortunate that the law hasn’t fully caught up yet.
We understand that state zoning laws can be a hard nut to crack, but keep in mind that these laws are simply put in place because states are still yet to figure out how to regulate this niche.
A tiny house can gulp a lot of money
Yes, the tiny home movement may look appealing because it’s been purported to be cost-saving, but guess what, that isn’t always the case, especially if you live in parts of the country where things are expensive.
For instance, there have been reports that tiny homes can cost at least twice as much per square foot as traditional houses built at a more common scale.
Some tiny home builders offer models that cost as high as $61,000. For those asking why the exorbitant price, it is because tiny homes come fitted with premium features like tankless water heater.
Yes, you can come across some models that cost only $25,000, but if you decide you want a tiny home with top-end amenities, you may end up spending up to six figures to get everything you want in your tiny home.
Also, keep in mind that the cost of the tiny home doesn’t include the extra money you’ll put into leasing or buying land.
Even if you decide to do it yourself, you can end up spending at least $10,000 on materials alone.
On the flip side, while buying a shell sounds like a decent option, especially if you’re looking to cut costs, you may end up spending thousands of dollars just to fill the empty interior.
Tiny homeowners need more storage
Even though the tiny home movement comes with many perks, discarding your properties to fit into the minimalist lifestyle of a tiny home can be nerve-wracking. From souvenirs to exquisite collections and other unique family memorabilia, opting for tiny homes will mean doing away with properties you have managed to gather for a couple of years.
Even though most tiny homeowners can rent storage units to keep properties they no longer have space for, the whole process can end up stressing you out. Plus, this is an extra expense you may not be ready to deal with.
Getting insurance can be difficult
Getting insurance can be almost impossible with tiny homes, and that’s because most insurance companies deal with precedents and like to manage their risk and expectations accordingly.
Sure, they may know that you live in a flood zone, recently driven through your garage door, and have a water bed installed. Where they have troubles is accounting for a house with no foundation, especially one that doesn’t conform to building codes or has to be towed across the country.
To this end, you may have a hard time securing insurance for your tiny home. And even when you do, you may end up paying hefty premiums for the coverage.
Your tiny home may be stolen
While most traditional homeowners have to worry about occasional burglaries, tiny homeowners risk having their entire home stolen, especially if the home is movable. This can be pretty scary for tiny home enthusiasts who have put thousands of dollars to have their dream space.
A woman in St. Louis in 2018 had her tiny home stolen from a commercial lot where she had parked it. Fortunately, it was recovered 30 miles away. While she may have been lucky to recover her home, some people aren’t as fortunate.
Major benefits of tiny house movement
On the flip side, most people who live in tiny houses have amazing things to say about the tiny home movement. As a matter of fact, many tiny homeowners have reported that living in a tiny home comes with many benefits, including:
Lowering expenses: This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages that come with the tiny home movement. Compared to traditional housing, a tiny home cost a lot less to build. On average, it is possible to build a tiny home for $23,000 or less. Sadly, you can’t say the same about a full-sized house, and that’s because a full-sized home will cost anywhere from $270,000 to $300,000 to build.
Compared to the cost of tiny homes, this is almost ten times more.
With tiny homes to the rescue, you’ll be able to cut down on your expenses while putting more money towards retirement savings, luxuries (such as holidays), and more.
Use less energy: While tiny houses cost a lot less upfront, they are also quite cheaper to maintain. For starters, the bills for fuel, waste disposal, electricity, and other utilities are considerably cheaper than what you’ll typically spend in a full-sized home.
Also, it is quite easier and fun to live off-grid in a tiny home, especially considering that you can easily heat up the entire house using a small wood stove. Plus, you only need a small solar array to power the whole house.
With many tiny homes fitted with composite toilets, your toilet will be able to break down waste without being hooked to a sewage system. Cool right? We thought so too.
No looming mortgage to worry about: When it comes to real estate, many people can’t afford to buy a full-sized home without taking out a mortgage. Unfortunately, this only makes the house more expensive. Let’s look at the maths, so you know exactly what we are trying to say.
Let’s say you take out a 30-year mortgage at 4.5% interest. This will dramatically raise the overall cost of a full-sized home to around $482,000. That’s quite a lot, and only very few people can afford to pay that.
On the flip side, tiny homes are a lot more affordable than full-sized homes. And statistics show that 68% of tiny homeowners fully own their homes. With tiny homes, you don’t have to worry about not meeting up with your mortgage payment.
A hassle-free and simple life: Because tiny homes don’t provide rooms for excess stuff like elaborate electronics, huge kitchens, bulging wardrobes, and more, many tiny homeowners have to keep their belongings to only the essentials.
So for anyone who wants to downsize their home and keep only the things that enrich their lives, you’ll be more than happy to live in a tiny home.
Freedom to move around: While living in a tiny home has a small footprint, it also means you’ll not require a large plot of land. And because most tiny homes are movable as they are built on trailers, you can take your tiny home with you, especially when you’re moving to a new city.
For many tiny homeowners, the freedom of movement that a tiny home offers allow them to enjoy their road trip without giving up all the comfort that a home offers.
Hassle-free maintenance: One thing we love about the tiny home movement is that it is easier to maintain. According to tiny home advocates, tiny homes are a lot easier to maintain, especially when you compare them to a full-sized home.
With tiny homes, you have less space to clean daily. Plus, there are fewer appliances to repair. Thanks to the tiny home trend, tiny homeowners can now spend less time on chores and dedicate more time to their relationships, work, and hobbies.
Frequently asked questions: Learn more about tiny homes
Why are tiny homes not a good idea?
To start with, tiny homes don’t come cheap. Even though these homes are a lot smaller than traditional homes, they aren’t cheap to build. To put things in retrospect, tiny homes cost more per square foot than traditional homes, and that’s partly because larger construction jobs make judicious use of available resources.
Can you legally live in a tiny home?
Even though tiny homes are legal throughout the US, many conflicting laws which vary from state to state can make living in tiny homes a little complicated. That said, states like Maine and Texas are tiny home-friendly, so you shouldn’t have any problems in these states.
Can I get financing for tiny homes?
Financing tiny homes can be quite difficult as many banks don’t give out loans for this kind of project. And even when you’re able to get a loan, the interest rate can be outrageous.
Without mincing words, while tiny homes come with many challenges, we are happy to inform you that the challenges can be surmounted. So before moving into your tiny home, get set to explore the trial and errors that come with tiny home living.
Also, get ready to learn what works and what doesn’t work for you.
While it’s okay to take advice from other tiny homeowners, keep in mind that what works for them may not work for you, and that’s because we all have our unique expectations.
Sure, you may have a hard time adjusting at first, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.