- in General
Watching my neighbours over my lifetime suffer through repaying their home loans has taught me one thing. People always seem to try and live beyond their means and in the process place themselves in mountains of debt. I was one of them, but I was lucky enough to tackle the problem early on.
I looked at ways to cut my expenses, sorted out my lifestyle and did away with excesses. While I only chipped away at my lifestyle habits, people nowadays try to trim their mortgage or eliminate it altogether!
Tiny houses is a movement that is growing in popularity as many people around the world choose a life free from crippling mortgages over massive living spaces.
The idea is simple, take away the gigantic home and replace it with an efficient design that satisfies all your needs within the confines of 50 sqm or less.
I was pointed by some readers at Reddit's Tinyhouses subreddit r/TinyHouses and decided to look around to find a thread that can help me understand why people go for such a minimalist lifestyle.
The original poster was interested in the cost savings and expenses that might be involved in owning a tiny house and here were the most popular answers:
You save on utilities & extra expenses
92bjawni with most upvoted answer in the thread summed up the obvious points:
You save on heating, electricity, water and a shit load of money on crap you don't need or really want. You also save money on property taxes. So it’s basically just a pile of money.
The cost savings from utilities alone can help towards paying back any debts as well as giving you enough money to spend on what really matters (you might even be able to scrounge enough money to add to your retirement plan).
Also mentioned above is the vanity items, the unnecessary housing appliances or the clothes that you haven’t worn in two decades. These objects clutter up the household and add up to expenses that add no value whatsoever. Tiny houses force you to eliminate this clutter from your life as you have no physical space for them.
One thing that isn't mentioned so far in my opinion is headaches and frustration.
When you design and build your own house you're able to do it almost exactly how you want. But if you buy a house you might over spend on your budget for location, or sacrifice on ammenities you want to stay in your budget.
I think with a Tiny House you get the power of choice. You decide exactly what you want inside and do it exactly how you want. The only challenege may be where you're able to place it.
I owned a house at 23. 1200 SF 3br 2ba. It was too much space, poorly designed, and frustrated me to no end. I got a great deal on it, and ultimately sold it for a hefty profit (that I am hoping to pump into my tiny house). When you have a mortgage and all the costs involved with owning the prebuilt house you usually wont have the means to renovate, unless you pile on a second mortgage. Yuck.
Something people tend to forget is that the bigger a house gets, the more likely something can go wrong with it. It just means that repairs and maintenance get more inconvenient and costlier.
Another issue is the location, you can have the perfect house but the people around it will still find ways to make you feel miserable.
One of my favourite comments related to the perils of living in close proximity to neighbours who could be considered less than polite.
My freakin' sanity. No more noisy drunkass neighbours.
Kazooguru recounts a friend’s venture from a giant home into a tiny one:
Some friends of mine downsized last year. They went from a 3000 sq. monster to a 500 sq. house. As they were getting ready to sell the big place, he had to have a new roof put on. It was over $20,000 just for the roof. Now they live in Hawaii and walk their dog on the beach every morning instead of worrying about the next major fix on their huge home.
The above mentions a very good point, many people choose to add debt to their life while barely able to pay for all expenses. Should any emergency happens, the home owners may find that their mortgage repayments and emergency costs become a bit too much to handle.
Time. I have lived in a 5th wheel trailer before (for 6 months) and cleaning is a breeze. I currently live in a small house (less than 900 square feet) with four people, and am looking forward to being in a tiny space for the time savings. Less to clean and maintain. Put my energy somewhere else.
These are just a few of the benefits of de-cluttering your life and only living with what you truly need to make you happy. The big house and the fancy car may look great, but if you cannot afford either then what is the point? You lie awake at night wondering how you're going to afford all these items.
Tiny houses allow you to enjoy life barring the day-to-day troubles. It turns your house back to its very essence, a dwelling to rest the tired body. Take a leaf out of the book of these Redditors and live with what you only really need.