What to Know Before Joining the Tiny-House Movement

A small wooden house in the woodens with a stone path leading to the entrance, meant to signify the tiny-house movementYou’ve likely read about the tiny-house movement in an article or caught wind of the trend on Netflix’s Tiny House Nation. For small families or those looking to sell to take advantage of the blistering housing market, moving into a tiny home temporarily or permanently can sound alluring. The costs are minuscule, and unlike renting, you have complete authority over the interior and exterior remodeling. However, it can also be frightening to imagine the downsizing requirements of tiny-home living. Let’s discuss what you should know before jumping aboard the tiny-house movement.

What is a Tiny House?

Tiny houses counter the age-old adage, “Bigger is better.” Tiny houses are minuscule homes that are no more than 500 square feet but can be as small as just over 100 square feet. They come in a variety of styles – such as converted shipping containers or small luxurious spaces complete with home automation – and they can be either stationary or mobile. They are far cheaper than the average home, typically amounting to the lower end of five figures.

What are the Benefits of Tiny Houses?

While a tiny house usually only consists of a few rooms – such as a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living area – or may have an open floor plan like a studio apartment, there are some benefits to this downscaled lifestyle. People are drawn to this movement for the following reasons:

  • Less Maintenance: Less space means less time spent cleaning. Since there’s no room for clutter, it’s also easier to organize all your belongings.
  • Lower Expenses: Tiny houses have lower utility costs, fewer appliances to repair, and are cheap enough that a buyer could purchase them outright without the need for a mortgage.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: Tiny homes require fewer building materials and consume far less energy than your average house.

If you settle for a mobile tiny house, you can also have freedom of movement. Since these homes don’t need a large plot of land, owners can easily move them between cities.

What are the Drawbacks of Tiny Houses?

While there are many financial and environmental advantages to owning a tiny home, downsizing so significantly can obviously have its setbacks. Some downsides to owning a tiny property include:

  • Less Storage: With such limited space, you may have to give up some of your cherished belongings, such as exercise equipment or children’s toys.
  • Less Privacy: If you have a larger family, it can be difficult to gain privacy from one another, especially for children trying to do homework or parents trying to enjoy a movie alone.
  • Limited Entertaining Capacity: You’ll likely have to sacrifice large holiday gatherings or parties in exchange for this smaller lifestyle.

Furthermore, despite the freedom of movement, many towns have zoning laws that require a minimum size for dwellings. Sometimes, your 250 square foot home may not be big enough to make the cut.

How Are Tiny Houses Insured?

If your tiny house is mobile, you’ll have to obtain appropriate motorhome or RV insurance. This will include important provisions such as collision coverage and protection from liability. However, since most tiny homes are purchased outright, they often don’t require homeowners insurance, but it’s still wise to safeguard your property, nevertheless. As they are not as durable as bigger houses, it’s not uncommon for damages and accidents to occur. Having a homeowners insurance policy can ensure your investment is protected.

While still in its infancy, the tiny-house movement is growing rapidly. It’s certainly not the right fit for every family, but for those willing and able to sacrifice living space for more financial freedom, it can be a great opportunity. At TJ Woods Insurance, we have the experience to insure any size house. Whether large or tiny, our agents can match you with the best homeowners insurance for your needs. Contact us today to get started on protecting your investment.