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The world is always growing but the tiny houses are not. While some people drive SUVs and own mansion homes, others are choosing to go in the opposite direction. If anyone lives alone, a tiny house feels spacious and it comes with many benefits. People have chosen to live in tiny houses for different reasons including their compatibility with eco-friendly lifestyles. These homes also come with their fair share of challenges.
Normally less than 500 square feet, the tiny houses focus on modest living and can be built on trailers or foundations. Despite saving money and spending more time with loved ones, various issues affect those who live in these houses.
Tiny houses can be more expensive
When the price per square footage is considered, the tiny houses prove to be more expensive compared to the regular houses. The regular home will cost almost $150 per square foot to build while the tiny houses cost around $400 per square foot. The price is more since the owner strives to consolidate everything into a small space and so much of the costs are in the details of any construction project.
The house makes only part of the cost
If the tiny house is not mobile, the owner may need to pay for a local building permit that can cost between a few hundred dollars and thousands of dollars. On the flip side, if one goes for the mobile tiny house, they may need to pay for a truck to pull it, a trailer hitch, and trailer brake controller. Also, they may need to pay for RV Park or private lot for parking which may cost $500 to $1,500 a month.
Even when one is not traveling, they still need a place to put their tiny house. Therefore, the homeowner may need to buy land or lease a lot. Some laws for these tiny houses could be strict with some jurisdictions needing one to own the land where their tiny house is parked or built. In extreme cases, they dictate the size of the lot.
Other extra costs include insulation, electricity, and plumbing installations. Solar panels may go for up to $3,500 while plumbing costs around $1,000. Notably, utilities are the most expensive part of constructing a tiny house. Homeowners will have to pay more for them since they need specialized appliances that are energy-efficient and compact enough for the limited space.
Tiny house insurance is also a basic necessity that is quite challenging to get. If anyone is unable to downsize their possessions to match the size of their tiny home, they may end up not saving money. Without enough storage space, some of these tiny homeowners end up renting a storage unit.
Return on Investment is not good
Experts say that tiny houses are a part of a market segment that is not good for real estate. In this market, sales rely heavily on supply and demand. The tiny homes only fit in the demographic of buyers in the market. Moreover, the more limitations the property provides the market, the more niche it becomes translating to less available buyers.
Resale is also hard since it is hardly possible for a tiny home to appreciate like the other properties. Finding an interested buyer is also an uphill task since these homes are considered to be just a fad instead of a reliable trend.
Since the tiny house market is still unproven, the growing interest and uncertainty in a newer, unproven market make them a risky investment.
Shared spaces are challenging
The challenge comes in the form of proximity to family members while trying to maintain a physical space with regards to keeping activities separate. The natural closeness and intimacy that comes when living with loved ones in a tiny house can be amazing and tricky at the same time.
It is wonderful since the small space enables people to bond and spend quality time with the family. On the other hand, it becomes tricky since the house will not help when one person wants some privacy. Stepping out to get some fresh air is always welcomed when living in a tiny house.
Living in these minimalist houses needs the occupants to be creative and proactive about spending time alone. Even though it is possible to have a spacious tiny home, it is never easy keeping activities and work life separate. It may become challenging if multiple family members use one place to do their activities.
Choosing design in place of function
Incorporating designs that offer some function is important when living in a tiny house. When one goes for functional designs, they realize that less is more when living in a tiny space. The best tiny house designs will make efficient use of space. For example, focusing excessively on fancy shelving may make a homeowner miss opportunities to get a two-for-one solution.
Cubbies and shelves built into a staircase are the ideal methods of gaining storage space and accessing a sleeping loft. Carefully chosen windows can make great differences between great natural light supply and not enough light in the house. The little things in design count.
Before purchasing any electronics and other appliances, the tiny homeowner must think carefully about what they want. The small space means that there is no adequate space for cook top, oven, and dishwasher. Also, the size of the door influences the appliances that one plans to get since some of them may not fit through the door.
Limited choices for mobility
Sleeping space takes a considerable amount of space in the tiny house which makes sleeping lofts popular. These lofts may be difficult for various people to access since they leave minimal room for basic accessibility options.
Accessibility gets restricted more when the tiny house is on a trailer. Thus, the homeowners should take care to ensure that they make the most out of every opportunity.
Small building systems
It is important to have a design professional figure out the building enclosure which includes the heating, cooling, ventilation, windows, exterior walls, roof, and floor. Please note that it might be challenging to find equipment small enough to fully address all the homeowner’s needs. Also, it is hard to get solutions that are also not disruptive.
Tiny loans remain a challenge
These small houses may cost as little as a simple car and the home loans are not normally designed to deal with such small amounts. This scenario depends on the choice one makes between a tiny house on a trailer or a foundation. A small house on a foundation is just a tiny house while a tiny house that is fixed on a trailer is considered as a recreational vehicle.
Any homeowner can address the financing difficulties with a home equity loan that enables them to enjoy low-interest rates.
Before anyone dives into the world of tiny house ownership, they should consider the benefits and challenges involved to determine if it is worth it.