Since around 1950, the typical size of a single-family home in Massachusetts and New Hampshire has more than doubled from around 950 square feet to 2,000 square feet. As housing prices continue to rise while wages stay stagnant, more homeowners are beginning to question whether bigger is really better. 

In the field of home design, a revolution has been taking place. The buzzword is tiny homes, and there’s no doubt that this architectural trend and social movement is increasing in worldwide popularity. Similarly to minimalism and decluttering one’s environment, the tiny house trend advocates for maximizing your available living space. 

A typical tiny home traditionally consists of a single room with a pull-out bed, neatly organized storage compartments, and basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Tiny homes are designed to be decent affordable housing units that have a low environmental impact due to the limited amount of environmental resources required for construction. With a huge internet following, multiple documentary series such as Netflix’s “Tiny House Nation”, and high-profile endorsements from billionaires such as Elon Musk, tiny homes are becoming an increasingly attractive solution to our world’s housing crisis.

What Are The Benefits Of Tiny Home Living

a wooden modern shed

There’s no doubt that tiny homes have the potential to change the way we live. The idea of purposely downsizing your living space requires homeowners to ask themselves a few essential questions. How much space does a person or family need to live comfortably, and what luxuries are really necessary to live a satisfied life? 

Some motivations that push homeowners towards a tiny home life include cost efficiency, the reduced environmental impact compared to traditional houses, and the freedom and mobility gained from owning a tiny home.

Why Are Tiny Homes So Cost-Effective?

Offering an exceptional solution to the lack of affordable housing, tiny homes are generally inexpensive to build and maintain compared to traditional homes. As the price of traditional housing in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire increases, the interest in tiny homes is also expected to increase. The typical mortgage for a home in Massachusetts is $251,922, and many hard-working Americans and citizens across the globe can barely afford the down payment. 

On the other hand, Tiny homes normally cost between $20,000 and $50,000 total, and overall have a much lower cost of living, allowing tiny homeowners the opportunity to enjoy luxuries such as eating out and traveling abroad more often than your average homeowner. The end result is homeowners being left with more money to spend on things aside from housing costs.   

Tiny Homes Encourage Sustainable Living

As humanity develops and populates our planet, our impact on the environment becomes increasingly disruptive. Tiny homes are often viewed as a sustainable living option that generates less toxic emissions and requires less of the Earth’s resources compared to traditional housing. While energy efficiency in housing has improved dramatically in the last decades, residential homes still contribute a significant amount of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent studies indicate a direct correlation between the size of a house and the home’s total energy usage. Due to their small size, tiny homes lead to at least a 70% reduction in lifetime greenhouse gas emissions compared to a traditionally sized home, making them a perfect solution to reduce our energy usage and environmental impact.   

Tiny Homes Give Freedom And Mobility To The Modern Homeowner

Since the beginning of covid nineteen, working from home has been rapidly increasing in global popularity. Studies on remote workers show that more than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time in the United States, while 16% of global businesses are also working remotely. Working from home typically brings less stress, and provides a greater work-life balance. Reducing the amount of people required to commute to their offices also means fewer cars on the road, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Tiny homes allow easy migration, giving more homeowners the opportunity to work and live anywhere they please. Instead of packing up all your belongings and hiring an expensive moving company, you can just hitch your home to a trailer and move along.  

What Are The Challenges When Building A Tiny Home?

a backyard in-law suite

Unfortunately, many tiny homeowners will face legality problems, due to the zoning laws of most towns and cities having a minimum size limit to label a space as habitable, which is roughly between 850 and 1,800 square feet depending on your municipality. Most U.S. states do not recognize mobile tiny homes as permanent residences, but instead as recreational vehicles. This leads traditional home mortgage lenders to be less likely to finance a tiny home, and just like personal loans, they’ll have a higher interest rate than your typical mortgage. Even if you decide to build your tiny house on a foundation instead of wheels, lenders will probably want you to build your tiny home on land you already own.

Not only can mortgage banking requirements significantly limit your options when building a tiny home, but you may also face problems conforming to your local zoning regulations, as well as setbacks and provisions in the deed to your property that restrict how the property can be utilized. As a result, most tiny homeowners prefer to build tiny homes on trailers, which subjects them to different restrictions than your typical stationary home. The downside to this practice is that in some areas across the globe, your tiny home will only be considered a part-time residence.     

Build Your First Tiny Home With Perry Brothers Construction

tiny home on a concrete foundationthe perry brothers construction team

Despite their challenges, tiny homes allow a unique way of living that saves on costs, reduces your environmental impact, and gives homeowners the option to live anywhere they desire, for however long they want. However, as you know, tiny home living does have its downsides, as they can be considered part-time residences depending on where you live. As society shifts to a more sustainable way of living, innovation, and awareness of the tiny home industry will continue to grow. 

For more information on the tiny home movement, please don’t hesitate to contact Perry Brothers Construction so we can answer any questions you may still have regarding tiny homes. While living in a tiny home is certainly not for everyone, we believe that they truly capture the zeitgeist of a world wanting to shift towards more affordable, planet-friendly housing.