The Small Home Movement Is Getting Bigger
Scared off by the expense of larger homes, Americans are increasingly finding shelter and satisfaction in smaller ones. Whether to reduce building or purchase costs, save money on utilities, or simply be a little greener, Americans are increasingly coming to the conclusion that smaller is better.
For many this means a little less square footage, but for some it means living in homes as small as 77 square feet! The small house movement is growing in numbers as more builders, designers, and home owners turn to the simplified appeal of tiny homes. Popularized by blogs like Tiny House Blog and Tiny House Talk, advocates like the Small House Society, and builders like Tumbleweed and Tiny Texas Houses, the internet is abuzz with those who have found greater freedom in smaller spaces.
The reduced size has its upsides and downsides.
Upsides of Small Homes
- Cheaper to build, buy, maintain, and more
- Saves money on utilities
- Less space means less to clean
- Unlike a 2,500 square foot house, tiny homes are easier
to put on a trailer to move across town
- Getting up to use bathroom in the middle night means not walking far
- Reduces chances of becoming a hoarder
- Limits stays by unwanted house guests or mooching family member
- Inspires you to get outside
- Spend less on shopping because of less storage space
- The smug satisfaction that comes from being greener than the neighbors
- Hard to host parties
- Cozy can quickly become claustrophobic to some
- Sometimes there are challenges with getting permits
- Adding a roommate may require swapping your current bed for a bunk bed
- Limited storage and closet space
- People may peek in windows in hopes of seeing Oompa Loompas
- Not much space for pets
- Little privacy if you don’t live alone
- Kitchen and bathroom odors easily spread to the rest of the house
- Limited space for big screen TV
Lest you think this tiny house bonanza resides strictly on the fringe of society, smaller apartments were recently promoted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and home furnishing giant IKEA. Bloomberg is pushing for the creation of 300 square foot micro apartments in New York City to provide housing for its growing population. IKEA recently teamed up with ideabox to create the 745 square foot aktiv, a customizable house that fits with IKEA appliances and cabinets (Article—Apartment Therapy).
At a minimum, these small homes provide creative ways to use space and offer unique designs. Pinterest boards are littered with pictures of these pint-sized abodes and there are increasing numbers of books on the subject, including Little House on a Small Planet and Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter just to name a few. Styles range from small cabins, farmhouses, modern cubes, and even repurposed shipping containers.
While most press on the subject has focused on it being a new and novel concept, the reality is Americans have walked down this path before with mobile homes and the single wide trailer. While most design buffs may scoff at these original tiny homes, many have chosen to revisit the single wide for inspiration or to revamp old ones with new design concepts.
While the era of the McMansion is certainly far from over, smaller homes are growing in popularity. Search for them at Estately by narrowing your search to homes under 600 square feet. You might just find the tiny home that’s right for you.