Reflections,  Reviews

My Big Obsession with Tiny Homes

There is something intriguing about being able to build a home that is cute, affordable and eco-friendly.

I first became interested in tiny homes when I decided to entertain my mother’s idea about watching HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living.” She is obsessed with home and garden design shows and has done everything in her power to get me to follow suit. In the summer of 2018, she finally succeeded.

Together, my mother and I watched countless episodes of people searching for the perfect tiny homes across the US. Some of them were less-than-ideal, with cramped spaces and no storage (that’s a no from me, dawg). But others were fantastic, boasting high ceilings, natural light and beautiful views. It’s amazing how much you can do with an 8′ x 40′ space!

I decided to strengthen my knowledge about tiny homes by finding a YouTube channel dedicated to documenting the tiny home movement around the world. “Living Big in a Tiny House” was started by Bryce Langston, a New Zealand-born creative and environmentalist with a passion for small spaces. Langston’s channel has taken me from Arkansas, U.S., where a professional violinist built her dream home/concert space, to Queensland, Australia where recent college grads built their first eco-conscious home for only $12,000! Through watching Langston’s videos, I’ve been challenged to consider the many ways that we can be economical and environmentally-friendly while remaining comfortable and cozy.

Image result for asha mevlana tiny home
Courtesy of Asha Mevlana via Zillow

I feel like tiny homes are perfect for millennials. (Oh no, here’s yet another “millennial movement” to keep track of). Hear me out: With a tiny home, you don’t always have to pay property tax, especially if your home is built on a camper or an RV. If you do have to pay property tax, it’s nowhere near as high as if you owned a full-sized home. In general, they’re cheaper than full-sized homes. Secondly, because tiny homes aren’t always permanent structures, it’s easy to move around, and you can take your whole home with you! If you don’t have kids – or Tibetan mastiffs – to worry about, tiny homes still offer plenty of space to carry out your daily tasks. They aren’t that bad, especially if you’ve ever lived in an apartment in New York City. Tiny homes are also great for the eco-conscious person (the earth is dying, people!). Some are fitted with solar panels and off-grid water systems that allow for water conservation. Don’t worry, with the energy you save from owning a tiny home, you can afford to be connected to city water if managing your own water system sounds daunting.

Image result for tiny home plumbing
Courtesy of Tiny House, Giant Journey

Through a quick search on the internet, I found so many resources available to people interested in starting their own tiny home journeys. They’re especially helpful because moving into a tiny home is not always an easy switch. There’s a lot to consider: Though you technically have everything you need in a tiny home, the adjustment to having less physical space can be a tricky one. You have to be creative about storage, plumbing and hosting guests (basically, if you enjoy throwing extravagant parties or you have an African family that frequently visits, a tiny home isn’t for you). Also, if you don’t know someone who can give you a piece of their land for free, buying or renting the space to build your tiny home on isn’t always cheap. The largest thing to consider is the overall investment. Tiny homes are great if you plan to own them for a long time or if you do not foresee any issues with selling them. If you’re constantly on the go or plan to move abroad in the future, they might not be the right fit.

Everything has its upsides and downsides, but the shows I’ve watched and blogs I’ve read prove that tiny home living is indeed possible and enjoyable when all your ducks line up. They also offer a possible new solution to the housing crises we have going on around the world.

I’d definitely like to try living in a tiny house for a while to really feel out the experience for myself. It might be the perfect fit…it might not. What are your thoughts on the movement? Would you ever live in a tiny home?

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