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What You Need To Know About The Tiny House Movement

General Expertise, Potpourri
By on Jun 24, 2015
What You Need To Know About The Tiny House Movement

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The tiny house movement is making its way across the country as more homeowners, or mortgage owners, are foregoing larger homes and opting for a cheaper, smaller alternative.

While the standard American home is roughly 2,600 square feet, the average tiny house hovers between 100 and 400 square feet. DIYers and pros can build small houses in any shape, style or size, but overall, the focus is of course more function than design.

Despite much less space, downsizing brings a wide array of benefits including more discretionary income, home ownership, a simplified life and much more. Continue reading to see some of the major stats surrounding the tiny house movement, as well as a few lessons from those living in tiny homes themselves.

Tiny House Stats

Houses Are Getting Bigger

While many Americans are opting for tiny homes, the averages are still up.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home is roughly 2,679 square feet, approximately 1,000 square feet larger than they were in 1973. Nevertheless, the National Association of Home Builders did report a slight decline in home size in 2014.

Perhaps its because there are more tiny homes?

Tiny House Advantages

1. No Mortgage

The Tiny Life is the ultimate resource for those looking into or are in the middle of building a tiny house. According to their tiny house infographic above, 68% of tiny house people do not have a mortgage compared to 29% of all U.S. homeowners. Needless to say, the average cost of building and purchasing the home plays a key role, which I will get into later.

2. Home Ownership

The American Dream consists of owning a house you can call home, but oftentimes, the ones occupying the home don’t actually own it. While the discrepancy is not large, 78% of tiny house users own the home compared to only 65% of people with traditional houses.

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3. Inexpensive

To no surprise, the average price of a tiny house is much cheaper than that of a traditional home. As a result, less homeowners carry a mortgage when they downsize to a smaller home. According to the infographic above, the average tiny house costs $23,000 to build. The average standard-sized home costs $272,000 and that is before a mortgage or any loans. With a standard mortgage, the overall price could balloon up to $481,000.

See what fits your budgets by checking out Ultimate Home Affordability Calculators & Resources.

4. Limits Spending

We could all use more storage, but more often than not, the reason we need more storage is due useless junk, clothes, toys, papers, etc. lying around the house. Well, with a tiny house, you simply do not have this option.

Tiny house owners must prioritize their space and therefore, all clothes, books, computers, tables, lamps and more must fit a purpose within the home. If it doesn’t, say goodbye to some of those sweaters you never wear.

Tiny House Living

Notable Stats on Tiny Houses

  • 40% of tiny house owners are at least 50-years-old.
  • The per capita income of tiny house owners is $42,038.
  • The per capita income of traditional house owners is $41,560.
  • Tiny house people are twice as likely to have a Master’s Degree.
  • 65% of tiny house people have zero credit card debt.

Tiny House Disadvantages

  • With less than 400 square feet, the traditional homeowner will not be able to fit all their belongings into a tiny home.
  • Most tiny houses are placed in rural settings (can be a pro as well!).
  • Tiny houses can’t hold many people.
  • Tiny houses do not offer as much design flexibility as traditional homes.
  • Tiny house bathrooms and kitchens do not meet the standards of many homeowners.

Tiny House Testimonial

I do not live in a tiny house, but have also never given it a try. As such, to get a valid opinion on the issue, you must hear what real tiny house owners have to say.

Watch below as Vina Lustado’s explains why her tiny house, which cost $40,000, was one of the best decisions of her life.


The tiny house movement has been gaining momentum for a few years now. Given the slight decline in average house size last year, there’s no telling how long this trend will run. If the benefits and testimonial are any indication, it seems small houses are here to stay.

If you want to hear more about what it takes to remodel, please check out The Tiny Life.

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