By Laura LaVoie
Someone asked me the other day what the advantages were of small houses versus apartment living? Why, she asked, would someone prefer living in a small house rather than renting an apartment? Certainly one is not superior over the other. The simple answer comes down to preference, but here are some other reasons people may consider tiny houses rather than apartment living.
- No Shared Walls. I’ve lived on the 16thfloor of a high rise apartment. I really liked it there. And I would do it again. There were occasionally issues with a neighbor playing music way too loud at 2 A.M. or us needing to be cautious of our television volume or playing the guitar too loud and bothering other residents. This is simply a fact of apartment living.
- Ownership. In most cities, apartment complexes are rentals only. In larger cities, like New York, and with condos you can certainly buy your own space, but if you want your very own home, a tiny house can be built or bought for less than a conventional house in most cases.
- Mobility. You can’t move an apartment. Well, you can move out of an apartment but it isn’t the same thing. If you have a tiny house on wheels, you have the flexibility to live wherever you want. If you wish to live in a different town every 6 months, go for it.
- Community. This will vary based on where you live but there is some movement within tiny house circles to build smaller homes on smaller lots within cities where density is becoming an issue. This type of intentional living is possible in an apartment but since most of the renters are individual entities who applied to live there through the management company, it is less likely. However, small houses on a lot with some type of shared space can create a lovely intentional community setting.
I think it is fair to say that the tiny house movement isn’t just about replacing the idea of conventional urban or suburban living with tiny homes. There is a transition that comes with downsizing enough to fit your life in a 300 square foot or less space. When people are willing to change the way they think about how we interact with our own lives the tiny house movement becomes reasonable option.
Photo Credit: http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2008/10/brooklyns-own-t/
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