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Why More People Than Ever Want to Live in Tiny Houses

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This article by Yuqing Pan for Realtor.com covers the Strange Allure of Tiny Homes (Explained) with interesting visual data using infographics.

Is tiny the new big? Well, sort of, but not quite.

So is everyone going small? Quick answer: No! In fact, overall, the size of American homes has climbed drastically. The average new home hit 2,600 square feet in 2013, an all-time high that surpassed even the housing bubble years, according to CNN. Still, our data show that most consumers are looking for something more modest. Homes between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet get the most views on realtor.com®

Are tiny houses popular? According to Google Trends searches, yes. Right now, they’re about as popular as they’ve ever been. But why? It stems down to becoming a homeowner and enjoying a life without a mortgage.

Why More People Than Ever Want to Live in Tiny Houses


Until recently, there were only a handful of tiny-house communities across the country. But just this year, more than 30 microcommunities—established or under development—sprouted up across the country, according to Tiny House Community.

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Surprisingly, tiny houses are not as cheap as most think. If you look at price per square foot, homes with fewer than 500 square feet are actually the most expensive on the market. For bargain hunters, 500 to 1,000 square feet is your sweet spot. That’s because every house comes with a fixed cost, including basic structure and high-ticket items such as the heating system. As a house gets bigger, the incremental cost for these pricey items lessens.

Read the full story: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/strange-allure-of-tiny-homes-explained/

Source: The Strange Allure of Tiny Homes—Explained – Real Estate News and Advice – realtor.com

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Deadrock
    November 10, 2015, 2:54 pm

    I just visited the tiny home community in Flat Rock, NC last week, while scouting land in the Asheville area.

    It seems like a nice place, and the people I spent a couple of hours talking to were very nice. If you want them to build a home for you, they will – or you can have one built elsewhere and brought to your chosen lot. You can have a home up to 800sf, if you wish. I believe they even have some small models available for sale, but you’d have to ask about that.

    There are still many lots to choose from. It’s in a slightly rural, country-ish part of town, with a cornfield across the street, and they’ve included a couple of small ponds and some wooded areas and green space – there are lots available overlooking those things too. In general it’s a pretty place, with trees that especially at this time of the year are particularly colorful!

    It’s about 30-40 minutes from the urban goodies that Asheville has to offer. There is a community hall, a community garden that you are encouraged (but not required) to participate in the care of, and events are scheduled throughout the year. There is a community firepit, and, in general, an emphasis on “community spirit” altogether. Someone is on hand to look after your home if you are away or only a part-timer, or they can offer property management services if you simply want to rent out your tiny home as a vacation property.

    They are very pet friendly too, and there are a couple of small dog parks for letting your pooch off the leash.

    If you are interested in being part of a community (and children are welcome, although there aren’t many right now), and you want to have some helpful services available in case you need assistance (I believe they can even help if you have minor mobility issues, but not too sure I’m remembering that correctly), then this could be a real option for you.

    My biggest concern was that you can’t own the land you put your house on, and at $500/month the lot lease was kind of pricy. However, you can lock in that monthly rate for 99 years if you want to, so never getting your rent raised might be an incentive for someone. You’re free to up sticks and move your tiny house elsewhere whenever you want to, although I imagine that won’t be too cheap to do. My other concern is that, while it looks peaceful and bucolic right now, the plan is to fill all the spaces they have mapped out, and when/if that happens, your only view is likely to be of your neighbor, and you’ll find you’re just in another mobile home park, with slightly nicer “mobile” homes in it. But at least you have a place to park your tiny home legally, and can live in it full time!

  • November 11, 2015, 11:02 am

    If I won the lottery (I don’t play, unfortunately), I would invest in a large piece of property and have a tiny house community in Missouri. St. Louis/St. Charles area. The community would have to either have a centrally located storm shelter or each home its own basement. Which, I guess, is doable. Any investors? *smile*

  • AVD
    November 11, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Tiny house cost statistics from the article:
    500 square feet = $100,500
    1000 square feet = $96,000

    Hmmm – sounds like a no brainer to me.

    • Nancy L
      November 11, 2015, 6:10 pm

      That would all depend on how much work you could do yourself and what kind of foundation you were using and they always assume the tiny house (under 500 sq ft) is on an expensive trailer.
      Many people now just want the tiny house on a foundation on their own property which is what I would want to do.

  • David
    November 11, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I ‘ve lived in a tiny house for 22 years now and I’ll tell you 480 ft small no room for friends or family any more than two people and it’s uncomfortable. I personally wouldn’t go below 1000ft.

    • Marni
      December 18, 2017, 11:48 am

      Ummm….if it’s so small and you have so many complaints, why have you stayed for 22 years? Also, a 480 sf house is NOT a tiny home. Tiny homes by definition are 400 sf and under. A 480 sf house would be plenty of room for a few friends to visit and pets. You could have four bedrooms in a 480 sf house!

  • Zachary E. Mohrmann
    November 12, 2015, 7:27 am

    Key word here is tiny, such as the affordable homes that should be seen here…! Yes with out question there is very many beautiful homes out there at 500 sqft. and up, but not exactly what the tiny home buyers are looking for, not the big homes in which the Sheik believes to be tiny… And popular with the girls in conversation at lunch……..!

  • Lottie
    September 4, 2016, 3:46 pm

    How can I began on a tiny house I know I need a builder looking to place one in South Carolina

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