Let me start out by saying I LOVE the tiny house movement. In fact, after much speculation into my reasons for this fairly recent obsession, I realized just WHY I love this trendy movement. It turns out, I grew up in the Original Tiny House. That’s right, my family was obviously ahead of their time.
Before it was cool to live tiny, we were doing it. We were doing it decades ago! You see, my childhood family home was an 8′ x 50′ ABC Coach trailer. And, it was awesome! It was 400 SF of pure bliss with my parents, 4 kids, and a Boston Terrier. Check out my story here!
But, I’m not foolish enough to believe that tiny house living is for everyone. In fact, it’s definitely an alternative lifestyle that has its pros AND cons. So, if you’re considering going tiny, you need to ask yourself these 7 questions today!
7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Tiny
What Are Your Long-Term Goals?
Before signing up for tiny house living, you must consider your long-term goals. Do you want to be a freelance writer at the beach, work a steady office job in downtown Philly, or teach 3rd grade in the suburbs until you retire?
Figuring out the landscape of your life will help you determine if your long-term goals jive with your tiny house dream. It’ll also help you decide what type of tiny house is for you. For instance, if you’re a freelance writer or filmmaker you might be happier traveling and working in an RV around the country. Or, you could decide #VanLife is the easier and less expensive way to go. On the other hand, if you’re a loving your job as a teacher, you might decide on a stationary home on a piece of property.
Whatever your future looks like, you must choose a complementary tiny living situation in order to be truly happy.
Why Do You Want To Live Tiny?
There are many reasons you might want to jump on the tiny house bandwagon. One of the biggest reasons you might want to live tiny is to save money, but beware, if this is your #1 motivator, you might be in for a rude awakening. Tiny house living isn’t always a surefire way to save tons of money.
The cost to build a tiny house (or buy one) often exceeds the price per square foot of a traditional home. You also have to consider where your home will reside. If you plan on renting space or moving it from town to town, you’ll need to factor in those costs, as well. And, don’t forget utilities. Unless you plan on being entirely off the grid, you’ll still need to pay for electric, water, etc.
How Big Is Your Ideal Family?
Projecting your ideal family size is sometimes a little difficult, but it’s also imperative before signing up for the tiny movement. Tiny house living is great if you’re single or a dynamic duo, but things get a lot less fun when you’re trying to manage a marriage, a toddler, and a dog. And if you think that sounds hectic, imagine a teenager living in your tiny home.
I’m not saying you have to fly solo or not have a family, but it certainly makes things a little more tricky and must be a consideration before going tiny. The rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 100 SF per person. Anything less than that could quickly turn your tiny house dream into a living nightmare.
Do You Prefer Wings Or Roots?
Deciding whether you prefer wings or roots is a big part of your tiny house decision. If you are nauseated by the idea of living in one place, you obviously do not want to throw down roots and build (or buy) a stationary tiny house in a relative’s backyard.
On the other hand, if you can’t imagine waking up in a different place each week and figuring out where to park your home and how you’re going to access electricity or the Internet, then taking to the road in an RV, even if it is an ultra-cool Airstream, isn’t going to light your tiny house fire.
What Kind Of Tiny House Do You Want?
As mentioned, there are many types of tiny houses to choose from. Do you prefer mobile or stationary? And if you do prefer to be mobile, how often do you want to move your home? If you want to be able to move your home more than a couple times a year, you’re probably better off considering an RV or Van. However, if you rarely, if ever, want to move your home, then a stick-built home might be your best option.
How Small Do You Want To Go?
These days, anything that is 1,000 SF or less is considered a tiny home, but most traditional tiny homes are less than 500 SF. However small you choose to go, don’t forget the rule of thumb for tiny living happiness – 100 SF per person!
Do You Have Plans To Transition Out Of A Tiny Living Situation?
Not surprisingly, life has a way of throwing us curveballs. Pursuing tiny house living might work for you this year and next, but what happens when you meet the person of your dreams? Their dream might not be tiny house living. In which case, you’ll nee
d to transition out of your tiny house living situation.
Consider that selling a tiny house is probably going to be a difficult venture. The number of people willing to purchase tiny houses are few. Make sure you think about that before paying $200 SF for a tech-savvy tiny home. If you’re financially savvy in the building/buying process and you make sure you have an exit strategy, your tiny living dream will likely live up to your expectations.
In sum, tiny house living is an awesome experience. But, it’s not for everyone. If you want to go tiny, it’s imperative to do your homework and ask yourself the right questions before taking the leap. You might even want to try before you buy.