In America it’s always been about believing that bigger is better. A house is often judged based on square footage, and while the trend is understandable in a competitive society, it doesn't make sense environmentally.
The good news is that there’s a progressive shift going on in the real estate market, and it involves much smaller properties. Often called “tiny homes”, these dwellings offer everything that people need, but only what they need.
Whether you’re a first time home buyer out of college or a Native American looking to build a property with the assistance of an HUD 184 home loan, tiny homes are an option worth a hard look. Below I list the main reasons that tiny homes are a progressive form of real estate, and also why they’re financially viable for people from all walks of life.
We all know there is a finite amount of space on Earth. The bigger the houses, the less space there is. Tiny homes are a fraction of the size of traditional American homes, but still provide the necessary space to lead a high quality life. While there are some large houses that are necessary because of the number of tenants, there are many structures around the country that have large amounts of unused space and abundant guest rooms. These large properties can be viewed as a luxury, but they come at a cost environmentally for the world and financially for the owner.
Main point: Tiny homes are smaller. While people often try and acquire large houses, it’s really not necessary and more and more people are starting to realize this. Excess space is overrated, particularly for those thinking along the lines of the green movement.
They’re more affordable
While the traditional real estate market is based around properties on the scale of $100,000, tiny homes can be built for approximately $20,000-$30,000. If you aren’t a builder, you can hire out and have a company build one for you for approximately $50,000. This is something to consider because many people don’t have the financial stability to buy into the traditional housing market.
Tiny homes are also much more affordable when it comes to energy use and general expenses. While the actual legality and property taxes of tiny homes vary greatly across locations, it’s obvious that as a structure much less energy is required. This saves legitimate amounts on monthly bills and is a large budget boost over years if the owner continues with the situation.
Main point: Tiny homes are not only cheaper to buy, but they’re cheaper to maintain and live within. Every single cost associated with real estate will be lower in a tiny home. This is both progressive for the environment and for finances. Why spend money on something when it’s not entirely necessary? Why not spend the saved money on something less damaging for the Earth? Many people are asking themselves these questions as the movement gains traction.
They use far less of Earth’s resources
Imagine the drastic drop in power required to heat and cool a tiny home in extreme seasons. Additionally, any power that was put into the dwelling for climate control would be utilized much more efficiently because none of it would be going to unused space. This is the same for any bit of material or power that would be used for the functionality of the tiny home.
If everyone in the world lived in small real properties, copious amounts of building materials would be saved. In turn, thousands and thousands of square feet of forest would be preserved. This chain goes on for each resource, whether it’s water or coal or another one.
Main Point: Tiny homes challenge the traditional housing market while simultaneously representing a real estate option that decreases our environmental footprint as a society. While these homes are not for everyone, it’s clear that they have much less of an impact on the Earth’s finite resources.
Tiny homes are a really interesting form of real state that if even a small majority of our population transitioned to, there would be drastic improvement environmentally. It’s clearly not a viable option for certain situations, but if nothing else it’s worth thinking about and exploring in a positive light.
Tim Richmond is a real estate writer and home improvement aficionado.